Managing conflicts at work.

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conflict at workThere are a lot of conflicts around the office sphere each day; hopefully you will have little conflicts at your job. But no matter how harmonic your cubicle might be, there is always unlit dynamites laying there somewhere. When the blast comes you might be unprepared. I still remember the very first time many years ago, when I caught a co-worker stealing, conflicts are always a challenge.

Stay calm, require time.

If you first encounter the heat, it might come just as an explosion with bits and pieces flying all over the place. You might act on impulse, and that is just what you need to avoid. You need to hear more than just one side; you need to know the facts before you make decisions. Be careful not to say too much, rather use your ears twice as much. When you heard the story, ask for time to talk to others and to get all the facts to the surface. Even if the case seems clear ask for time.

Hear both sides always.
Do not agree on anything before you hear both sides of the story. You can even start the conversation with saying for professional reasons that you will remain neutral and will not comment much during this first session.

Ask for advice.
Who do you need to involve when you encounter conflicts at work? Do you have a HR manager, coach or maybe you need to involve your manager? Always tell the involved parties who you are going to involve, how and why. You might be drawn between both sides, and talking to someone outside your daily environment might help.

Get them to talk.
Try to get the involved ones to talk together, either one on one, or if they want you can come along.

Conflict triggers.
Equal pay, might be unfair to the best of the best, but if people talk about pay, they are most likely to wonder why John makes more than Matt, encourage that the pay is an agreement between the employee and the employer. Even the employees must understand the importance of this to avoid a bad mood around the office.

Promotions is also a conflict trigger, as everybody wonder why Sally got promoted instead of Jane, especially Jane are pissed off since it might be the second time she got bypassed. Often these kinds of situations end up with someone leaving.

Love can also be a conflict trigger, when James was flirting too much with Sara that has been dating Gregory for a while.

Humor can also be a conflict trigger, as people have a different sense of humor. Some just don’t get it and might get pissed off when someone makes a funny remark. Personally I like humor around the office and like that people get hassled for fun, as long as both parties have an understanding. Misunderstandings do happen from time to time, as someone like Benny Hill, and other like Seinfeld. And some just do not laugh at anything; those are the one we make fun of.

Conflicts at work are never easy, stay calm, be professional and listen, listen, listen before you make any decisions to the matter. And buy a book about it…

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