Don't Yell At Me! 7 Tips for Successful Conflict Management at Work

Conflict resolution at work

You’re never going to be best friends or even get along well with everyone you work with.

Hurt feelings and miscommunication will cause problems at some point. Here are some conflict management tips.

1. Be open-minded

Not everyone is going to look at things the same way you do. Make an effort to see the situation from the perspective of the coworker you’re having a conflict with. You’d be surprised at how much hearing the other side of the story could help resolve the conflict.

2. Determine the source

Step back and figure out what you did or said that contributed to the situation. Try to pinpoint what your coworker did that struck a nerve. Set aside your frustration as you calmly get to the source of the problem.

3. Nip it in the bud

Try to handle disagreements as they come up rather than let irritation fester. No one likes conflict, but the worst conflicts are those that seem to drag out. You may find that you’re able to resolve your differences quickly by talking things through.

4. Verify you understand

When you’re in the middle of conflict management, be all ears when the coworker you’re in conflict with tells you his side of the story. Acknowledge his point of view, and tell the story back to him (“If I’m hearing you correctly, you’re upset because …”) just to be sure you truly understand it.

5. Don’t cast blame

Blaming your coworker will only make matters worse. Don’t say: “You always interrupt me!” Instead try: “I felt hurt when I couldn’t finish what I was saying.” Always give specific examples of why you feel the way you do.

6. Ask for help

Are you at an impasse? If you and your coworker can’t seem to resolve the issue, ask a manager or someone from human resources to mediate.

7. Seal the deal

Once you resolve a dispute, make sure that you and your coworker put it behind you. Shake on it. Go a step further and discuss how you will handle the situation in the future. Learning these conflict management skills can help you in your career: The better you work with all types of people, the better your chances of promotion.

What are your tips for conflict resolution in the workplace? Let us know in the comments section.

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