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How to Deal With Conflict in the Workplace

Workplace intrigues find us whether we seek it or not. As imperfect beings and social creatures, we have clashes with other people whose personality and/or agenda differ from ours. Overseas workers will have this worse, as they are in a multi-cultural workplace. How we handle intrigues in the workplace with maturity and fairness will be the difference between an employee with potential from an employee with an attitude.

Identifying the problem and the players

workplace conflict

These are hard questions that you should answer.

Who does this conflict affect?  Do you have any direct reports that will face any consequences of this issue? Will your work suffer? Don’t add to the problem by speculating with workmates and friends, especially if you are not directly involved. A lot of times, ignoring an issue will make it go away. Usually, though, a course of action should be put in place for a workplace conflict to be resolved.

Understand the root cause

Why did the problem arise in the first place? Is it something that can be easily resolved? If an issue occurs again and again, the problem may not be as straightforward as it seems. Remember that people have an agenda and if they are hurt, they sometimes act out in inexplicable ways. A passive-aggressive act can be done by a person who feels no power over his or her circumstance. Find out what the underlying need of the players are, and you can perhaps address the root of it all.

workplace conflict

It’s easier to work in harmony.

Empathy is underrated

There are times when you won’t do your part in resolving the issue because of who the opposing party is. Take a great big step in understanding the other person by seeing where they’re coming from. Once you try to see it from their point of view, it will be easier to come together and work towards resolving your conflict in the workplace. Winning the argument is not the best thing everytime. If you are an overseas worker, these are also the people that you might need to lean on to in the future.

Work towards resolution

What is your contribution to the conflict? Is it something you can undo? What are the steps you can do to resolve it? If you are the aggrieved party and the resolution has to come from the other player, come into the table with facts, not feelings. Document the instances of the problem arising, as well as provide concrete steps to get the workplace conflict resolved. Give options that will be acceptable to all parties involved. There are times, though, when compromise will provide the solution that everybody will be satisfied with. Keep in mind that just because you are right does not mean that the other party is wrong. Ultimately, you would still need to work with the other player and having a healthy relationship is better than keeping the conflict going.