A conflict-free workplace would be a beautiful place indeed. However, it's just not possible to avoid conflict entirely. You have to learn to expect that conflict will become a part of your work life at some point.
The real imperative is learning to deal with conflict in a productive way. Don't let disagreements gather momentum and turn into major crises. Instead, address them as soon as possible. Resolve them instead of letting them fester.
Of course, for many people, avoidance or passive-aggressiveness is a more course of action. But fearing or avoiding conflict tends to make edgy situations much worse.
As you work to manage the problem, make sure that the conflict is totally resolved for both sides. If you feel triumphant but your co-worker is deflated and upset or convinced that the outcome was unfair, there's a good possibility that the problem will flare up again. Learn better communication skills, though, and you'll be a better overall employee and a happier person, too.
For more information about workplace life, visit the links below.
- Allbusiness.com. "Tips for Dealing with Workplace Conflict." (Aug. 18, 2010)http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/workforce-management-conflict-resolution/12260-1.html
- Ayers Report. "Managing Conflict in the Workplace." Spring/Summer 2006. (Aug. 18, 2010)http://www.enewsbuilder.net/theayersgroup/e_article000582492.cfm
- Diversity MBA magazine. "Managing Conflict in the Workplace with Martial Arts Thinking." (Aug. 18, 2010)http://diversitymbamagazine.com/managing-conflict-in-the-workplace-with-martial-arts-thinking
- Friedman, David. "Resolving Workplace Conflict." Connections magazine. April 2004. (Aug. 18, 2010)http://www.connectionsmagazine.com/articles/4/026.html
- Gatlin, Julie, Kepner, Karl, and Wysoki, Allen. "Managing Conflict in the Workplace." University of Florida IFAS Extension. October 2008. (Aug. 18, 2010).http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hr025
- Hooper, Helen. "Handling Conflict in the Workplace." CreativeCoaching.com.au. 2008. (Aug. 18, 2010)http://www.creativecoaching.com.au/articles/CCS_Handling_Conflict.pdf
- Lankton-Rivas, Susan. "Overcoming Conflict in the Workplace." Boston.com. May 14, 2008. (Aug. 18, 2010)http://www.boston.com/jobs/news/articles/2008/05/14/overcoming_conflict_in_the_workplace/
- Ramsay, Michael A. E. "Conflict in the Health Care Workplace." National Center for Biotechnology Information. April 2001. (Aug. 18, 2010)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1291328/pdf/bumc0014-0138.pdf
- Varhol, Peter. "Managing Conflict in the Workplace." Electronic Design. Oct. 30, 2008. (Aug. 18, 2010)http://electronicdesign.com/article/articles/managing-conflict-in-the-workplace4876.aspx
- Watson, Steven A. "Talking Shop: How to Identify and Manage Workplace Conflict." TechRepublic.com. Oct. 30, 2003. (Aug. 18, 2010)http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-5093251.html
- Zupek, Rachel. "Six Tips to Managing Workplace Conflict." CNN.com. Jan. 2, 2008. (Aug. 18, 2010)http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/01/02/cb.work.conflict/index.html
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