Business Musings

3 Ways to Diffuse Work Conflict

Uh oh. Confrontation time?
Uh oh. Confrontation time?

Bam: you have been at your company for a few months/years now. Suddenly, you are managing a small team….and suddenly, you have a conflict with one of your teammates. Here are quick, easy, and relatively stress-free tips to handle the conflict:

  1. Be proactive, not passive-aggressive – If the conflict arises slowly, bubbling to the surface, do not just let the situation simmer there: confront the situation with your teammate or the whole team before things get any stickier. Be clear about the conflict and talk about how to work things out…instead of feigning ignorance and letting the tension rise.
  2. If you feel emotional, do not confront during this time – I have mentioned this before in email correspondence etiquette, but this rule should especially apply to in-person confrontations. DO NOT confront when you are especially angry or upset at your teammate. You will most likely say something that will fire back at you, and maybe hurt the other party (or make them angrier).
  3. Map out a plan of solving the conflict – If the conflict is not time-sensitive, cool yourself down and think of some ways to solve the conflict. That way, when you bring things up with your teammate, you will be able to go about the conflict in a constructive manner.

And remember, always keep your cool. If you do lash out at your teammate, remember to apologize. This should not need to be written out, but oftentimes, we get lost in the moment of anger.

Happy work days to you!