Career Advice

4 Things To Do if You Have a Conflict with Someone in Your Office

posted on November 5, 2018 | by Becky Bush

4 Things To Do if You Have a Conflict with Someone in Your Office

While interacting with so many different people in our twenties, whether it be your Craigslist roommate or the new friends you’re making, it’s normal to occasionally have conflicts with others. TBH – I *hate* conflict – but when meeting so many new people, it’s inevitable to have an issue with one! In learning how to interact with new people, it’s not out of the ordinary to run into a conflict at one of the places we spend the most time…work!

With jobs already being so stressful (thank you deadlines and post-grad pressure!), an interoffice conflict can be one of the toughest things for your mental health. How can you approach a conflict at work? For someone who hates conflict as much as me, I’ve learned to follow these steps in order to handle an issue with someone at the office.

Assess The Situation And Find A “Source”

A disagreement with someone in your office can come about in so many ways. When assessing your next steps, ask yourself these questions:

-Where did this conflict come from?
-Was someone else hurt or offended by me?
-What will the consequence be as a result of this conflict?

All conflicts have a source – they started somewhere. Was something said in a meeting or was your idea shot down? Did someone else do something to offend you or vice versa? Ask yourself these questions to understand the source of the problem. Every conflict is manageable (and will pass with time, I promise!) It’s important to know why this issue started in the first place when taking the next steps.

Find An Appropriate Time To Have a Conversation

IMO, it always helps to have an open, respectful conversation regarding a conflict. I hate to give anything negative too much energy, and having an honest chat usually squashes any issues sooner than later.

To avoid blind-sighting your co-worker, I would ping or email this person asking for a good time to talk. This way, you’re being mindful of their time. If you’re stuck on how to approach this step, you can always ask your co-worker for coffee, saying you wanted to clear the air from [insert conflict here] so you can both move forward.

Have self-awareness

It’s easy with conflicts to only see your point of view. In fact, when I’m in a fight, I almost always think I’m right! I like to take a day away from the issue, give myself a day or two to sleep, to look back on the situation with a clear head.

I’m embarrassed to say this but I literally practice hard conversations in advance to ensure I say what I need to say, while still being respectful and kind.

One of the most powerful things is to admit when you’re wrong. Or apologize – maybe not for what someone thinks you did, but for how you made them feel.

Be Gracious & Forgiving

If someone is taking the time to talk with you regarding a conflict, always be grateful – regardless of who ‘started’ the conflict. I always like to say thank you for anyone taking the time to speak with me. My favorite quote is “all you can do is clean up your side of the street” – and I truly believe that applies here.

Secondly, if something was your fault, or your mistake, don’t be afraid to say I’m sorry! And as mentioned above, if you hurt someone’s feelings, always say you are sorry for how you made someone feel.

Lastly, remember that it’s fine to agree to disagree. Part of what makes us humans great is that we have differing opinions, as long as they are shared and discussed in a respectful manner!

If you have a conflict with someone in your office, know that it is manageable! As long as you approach the situation in a kind, respectful manner, I know it will be solved in no time.

Did you ever have an issue with someone in your office? What were some ways you used to handle it?! Comment below!