Interaction and conflict at work

Most of us spend our waking hours working. And during this time, we interact with several people that have different aspirations.

Though most of us try our best to get along well with everyone, the veneer simply cracks sometimes. And there are bound to be conflicts — tempers will flare and harsh words will be exchanged. And it’s not always between coworkers and people can have tiffs with their seniors too.

Sometimes it may start as a mere difference of opinion or argument but may turn into a full-blown fight, leaving both the parties fuming and drained and work relationships visibly strained.

If you happen to get into a conflict with someone in your team, it makes working as a team so much worse. It’s not only awkward situation for those directly involved, but also for others in the periphery. The trick lies in diplomacy. Here is how to tackle a conflict.

More often than not, a conflict can get out of hand if the communication is accusatory. It is important for a communication to be non-threatening and non-accusatory. If you constantly keep saying ‘you’ and pointing fingers in a confrontation, it sounds accusatory to the other person and she/he becomes offensive.

Those involved in a conflict always want to clear their stance. Most
Tend to rush to their superiors to complain. If explanation needs to be given, they should be done at a suitable time. It is important to wait for things to- settle down and then discuss it with a superior or coworker. Otherwise, such discussions may add gasoline to the fire.

During or immediately after a conflict, there is tension and stress in the immediate environment where the conflict has occurred. This is not the best time to express your feelings regarding the issues or seek problem resolution.

Those involved in conflict may not want to speak to each other. Sometimes a mediator is required to sort out the issue. A lot of productive time and energy is wasted in a conflict, necessitating the involvement of a superior.

A skilled mediator can help resolve the issue amicably. It could be a person held in high regard by those involved or an unbiased co-worker. It is also important that all discussions, suggestions and preferences that are exchanged between conflicting parties and the mediator, happen in the privacy of an office cabin. ‘Conflict is not a dead-end to any interaction. The least you can do is to maintain cordial relations with one another.