I’d like to think of myself as a drama-free person- I enjoy keeping things simple and friendly as possible. It wasn’t until later in my professional career and a lot of coaching, that I learned there is a difference between work place gossip and conflict- though closely related. I learned that conflict is inevitable and doesn’t have to be viewed as a negative or drama, but as an opportunity to build trust between the two parties and to face and correct impending issues.
And to save you all some time I decided to do a little research on how to help manage the inevitable…workplace conflict.
Below is a clip from the yahoo community – blog writer23456. I enjoyed it because it gets straight to the point of how to manage conflict and foster good working relationships.
Check it out…
Here are five basic tips that will help you prevent conflict and maintain a good working relationship with your co-workers:
1) The interview- Keep in mind that these are the people with whom you’re going to spend most of your time. Be friendly – though they may be just fleeting faces to you now, they will notice you and remember you. This first interaction counts far more than you’d think.
2) While on the job, behave decently and respectfully towards everyone — from the mail clerk to the CEO. This is recommended not merely because that modest-seeming mail clerk may very well evolve into the CEO at some point, but because the cornerstone of good working relationships is a mutually respectful attitude.
Respect breeds respect. Disrespect breeds disrespect. If you don’t believe it, think about how hard it is to “smart off” to somebody who is being utterly civil and decent to you. Be decent to your colleagues and they will return the favor.
3) Avoid social cliques. Don’t hang out exclusively with people in your own department, of your own age or socioeconomic class, or who share your interests or job classification. Oh, it’s fine sometimes…but not all the time.
Branching out can be challenging. Yet if you avoid cliques, you avoid excluding and offending your co-workers. The Golden Rule has it right — welcome others and they will welcome you. You may even find that those with whom you assumed you had nothing in common are well worth getting to know.
4) In the event you witness a personal conflict, don’t take sides.
Matters of business are one thing — after all, your professional opinion is part of what you’re paid for. But if you’re thinking of insisting that Mark in Accounting must be lying because Joe in Human Resources happens to be your best golfing buddy, think again. It’s better to remain neutral and let the combatants fight it out themselves.
5) If all else fails and conflict between you and a co-worker arises (and eventually it will), then absolutely, positively do not ignore it. It’s tempting to brush over conflict and pretend it doesn’t exist. But therein lies disaster. Disaster lies, too, in aggressive confrontation, manipulation, revenge, and other assorted dominating behaviors. The key to resolving work conflict is to address it in a clear, straightforward, and sincere manner.