If you spend much time at an office with other people, it’s likely you will have conflicts to resolve, quirky habits to adjust to, and pet peeves to confront. This happens even if coworkers become close friends. Personalities sometimes clash or communication breaks down, and we just need help coping. But what if there was a better solution than just coping? Read on for a few tips and tools to bring peace back to your office space.
You’ve heard it before, communication is key. To keep communication lines open with coworkers, make yourself an approachable person. How do you do this? First, get to know your co-workers. The simple act of listening lets them know you care. Find some common interest to talk about, preferably non-work related. But don’t use this as a form of gossip within the workplace. Your coworkers will get to know quickly that they can be honest with you about work-related needs, concerns or ideas.
When others approach you with a situation or are looking for some advice, do you take sides right away? This may be the wrong way to help resolve the conflict. Instead, try to listen objectively with empathy for all those involved. You can express sympathy if the case calls for it without choosing sides of a debate. Any advice you may want to offer will be much better received if you take the objective view.
Communication in Conflict
Conflicts happen between everyone, especially if you are working in close quarters or working together toward the same goal. When a coworker offends you, take time to let your emotions cool before reacting. Count to ten, take a walk, or even go home and sleep on it before you respond. This will keep the conflict from escalating and give you time to discern what the root of the conflict is and if it is something that needs to be addressed. This is also a good time to look for another coworker that you trust and that can look at the situation objectively for honest feedback. Maybe you are in the wrong.
When it comes time to address the offender, be careful to take responsibility in your confrontation. Use “I” statements, such as, “I was hurt when…” or “I understand the expectations for me in this role are…”
Good relationships with coworkers are important. Investigate a few more tips to keep communication lines open and honest. What helps you avoid or confront conflict in the office?