Important Tips for Managing Conflict with Coworkers

You likely have to collaborate with coworkers on projects. This is why building relationships is so important.

Of course, you and your coworkers will not always agree on everything. This is why your ability to professionally resolve conflict matters.

Effectively resolving an issue with a coworker helps you focus on your deliverables. This increases your productivity and professional success.

Implement these tips to professionally handle a disagreement with a coworker.

Privately Address the Issue

Respectfully talk with your coworker about the problem. The sooner you address the issue, the sooner you can resolve it.

If the issue suddenly arises, give yourselves time and space to calm down and think about the situation. Then, come together to discuss the problem and find a solution.

Stay Positive

Maintain a positive attitude when discussing the problem. This helps reduce your stress level and resolve the issue.

Remain Calm

Speak to your coworker in a controlled manner. This shows you can properly regulate your emotions. It also helps your coworker avoid becoming defensive or aggressive.

Consider writing down some key points to talk about during the conversation. You also may want to rehearse your discussion with a friend or family member. These actions can help you stay on track when speaking with your coworker.

Be Direct

Talk with your coworker about your side of the issue. Explain your point of view and what you suggest a fair resolution may be.

Provide adequate time for your coworker to respond. Encourage them to share their viewpoint and potential solutions. Work to reach a compromise that satisfies both of you.

Find Common Ground

Point out something about the situation that connects you with your coworker. This may include both of you wanting a project to succeed or being passionate about reaching your company’s goal.

Finding commonality reinforces the fact that you and your coworker are on the same side. Working out your differences lets you reach your objective.

Remain Open-Minded

Focus on the fact that your coworker may see a side to the problem that you do not. This is why working to understand what they have to say is important.

After your coworker finishes speaking, ask questions to check your understanding and gain clarification. Provide your input as well. Continue to move forward to reach a resolution.

Determine a Reasonable Solution

Reach a compromise that fits both your and your coworker’s needs. Because you likely will collaborate again in the future, you must find a way to resolve your differences.

Know When to Involve a Third Party

Determine whether other employees or leaders need to participate in your conflict resolution. For instance, if the problem is related to a group project, you might involve the other members in the discussion. Or, if your coworker is harassing or discriminating against you, involve your manager and HR.

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