How to Handle Conflict at Work

Conflict at work is an occurrence that is not uncommon but can be handled incorrectly without proper training. Today, we’re here to introduce to you our conflict resolution strategies that will help you deal with these situations in a way that works for everyone! By learning these key tips, you’ll be headed to management in no time.

  • The 24-Hour Rule: We hope that many of you are familiar with this rule! However, if you are not, the 24-hour rule encourages anyone dealing with anger or frustration to wait 24 hours before confronting the problem head-on. First, apply this rule before evaluating if there truly is a conflict at all.
  • Set up a Time to Talk: Attempting to solve your conflict in the middle of your work shift is inappropriate. Doing so will hinder your ability to gauge the entire problem and will create an unwanted scene. We encourage you to approach the person directly and ask them when is a good time to speak. Potential times to focus on are: before the office opens, when your shift ends, or during your lunch break.
    • Extra benefit: Setting a time to converse allows you to plan what you are going to say and reach a calm demeanor that you may not have achieved otherwise. It is crucial to take some time and evaluate the situation instead of acting when emotions are running high.
  • Be Aware of Your Language: Avoid accusatory language at all times! Statements of this type include, “you always do this…”, “it’s your fault that this happened because..”, “this happened because of you…”. Approaching any situation by immediately expressing blame will only cause the other person to become upset and unwilling to compromise. Focus on feelings statements like “I believe…”, “I feel…”, etc.
  • Listen: Remember, there are two sides to every story. While you most likely believe that you are in the right, you must acknowledge that the other person has feelings too, and those feelings are valid. It is absolutely crucial for you to listen to the other side of the story. Showcase active listening skills by nodding your head, making eye contact, and asking questions for clarification. Until you truly understand where the other person is coming from, you will not reach an effective conclusion.
  • Apologize: It’s okay if you realize an hour, day, or week later that you may have been in the wrong. However, where your true character shows is in your ability to apologize and resolve the conflict.

You would be surprised how much a simple conversation can resolve! Allowing yourself to acknowledge another’s person’s perspective, and working to reach a solution in which both parties are happy is a skill that you will need for the rest of your career. Mastering your ability to do so will help you achieve your goals and work up the ladder!

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