How to Turn Office Conflict into a More Positive Scenario

Office environments can be frantic, stressful and do not always bring out the best in people. Combined with spending so much time together, sometimes the smallest grievance can seem like the end of the world.

Have no doubt, at some point in their careers; even the most amenable employees have experienced colleague clashes and disagreements. It can be difficult not to take things personally at work, try to keep a level head, stay calm and remember some of the below points where possible:

1. Speak openly and directly.

Many times, office conflict arises as a result of a team member or your own lack of self-awareness, rather than bad intentions. If you have an oblivious coworker, try speaking to the other party; ask them why they are acting in a certain way, telling them how you feel, in a constructive yet direct way.

While most people do not like confrontation, they will realise how their behaviour is making you feel and will probably be apologetic rather than defensive. This is a great way to make your colleagues more aware of their conduct and will hopefully change in the future.

2. Arguments Are Not Always Negative. See opportunities in conflict.

Almost all conflict offers many ways to grow, learn and teach. It does not always have to be a negative situation. Your adversary at work may have a different personality to you; however this difference may be what your team needs.

A mix of approaches and personalities is the best way to get a different perspective and is usually a recipe for success. Try to look at the situation using an objective approach. Where a disagreement arises, bear in mind that there is huge potential for team development. Sometimes the best leaders are the ones that find opportunities in conflict.

3. Always keep your emotions under control.

Realistically, you will always find colleagues who you don’t see eye to eye with in the workplace, or are just downright rude. The best thing you can do is accept this as a fact and try to move on.

There isn’t much you can do about it other than to be cautious when you are around them. Do not focus on them, focus on your own goals, development and success and try not to be in competition with them. Be positive and collaborative, and your motivation will most likely inspire them to change their ways without even bringing it up!

Finally, we will leave you with this quote, that will make you think twice about your conflicts, remember:

“Let kindness be your first choice of weapon, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”