How can we deal with friction in the workplace and avoid conflict between colleagues, so as to prevent the workplace from becoming unbearable? Here are a few tips to follow in order to help you reduce tensions in the office to an absolute minimum!
1 – Positive attitude
Very often, disputes between colleagues happen because the attitude shown towards them was not as positive as it might have been. Long faces, flexed muscles and frazzled nerves create a deep sense of exasperation within the team, which in turn affects collective performance. All this, however, may be avoided with the adoption of a more positive attitude.
2 – Show an open-minded approach
As far as dealing with friction at work is concerned, it is essential, above all, to be as open-minded as possible towards others: if one colleague should happen to criticize the work of another, the latter must not get offended or retreat into their shell, rather they should analyse the feedback received in order to maximize their performance.
3 – Be ready to listen
Although a colleague may be in disagreement with other colleagues’ points of view in many instances, if we wish to work in a calm atmosphere, we must listen to and respect the opinions of others as much as we can. Despite there being differences of opinion in the office, that doesn’t mean that the views of others count any less than our own.
4- Speak only when we are calm
In order to avoid the development of conflict with our colleagues, we must deal with the most aggressive situations only after we have calmed down: on no account should we try to interact when we are agitated or irritable, because it is precisely in those moments that we risk saying something which we will later regret.
5 – Ask for advice on how to proceed
If a member of staff disputes someone else’s work, the person receiving the criticism must do all in his power to avoid getting worked up and to keep the situation under control: considering that two heads are better than one, in such cases it is better to ask this person how they would resolve the problem in order to work together towards an efficient solution.
6 – Identify the causes of conflict
Before we can deal with friction at work, we must take a long hard look at what the causes were that led to these tensions in the first place. Had one colleague been badmouthing another? Are we sure that the other person hadn’t done the same to them before? Whatever the circumstances, it is imperative that this is clarified as soon as possible, and that, where necessary, people admit their responsibilities.
7 – Speak to the Boss
When there seems to be favouritism within the company, it is better to go and speak to the Company Director about it as soon as possible. Even when discussing our difficulties, in order to achieve the desired result, it is important to maintain a kind, polite and moderate tone.
8 – Learn from our experience of past disputes
Falling out with colleagues is never pleasant, but each single disagreement should be analysed in order to make future ones more tolerable and constructive: by learning from our own mistakes, we can avoid the behaviour that caused resentment in the past and thereby show good will.
9 – Hold a team meeting
When misunderstandings between colleagues create major problems in the office, it is essential to speak face to face with the person involved first and, if that doesn’t work, a team meeting can be arranged to ask them for their suggestions in order to resolve the matter.
10 – Contact Human Resources
If it is not possible to achieve a resolution following consultation with the colleague and the rest of the staff, we might contact the Human Resources department so that the situation may be resolved in a professional manner (this is a drastic measure, to be taken only as a last resort).
These are our tips for dealing with disputes between colleagues: some efficient solutions to be put into practice in the professional workplace!
Translated by Joanne Beckwith