Why can’t we all just get along at work?  This is a question that I get asked often and when conflict is present, production goes down.

We all know that when you are working with people you are bound to have conflict.  It is just a fact of life.  What is important is that we need to know how to successfully handle the situation when it arises and come out with a win-win result.

First when conflict does happen each person involved needs to be able to describe what it feels like to them.  Are they frustrated, angry, hurt, depressed, or stressed?  Being able to describe what you are feeling and then being able to relay that to whomever is involved is important.  Many times, we do not know how others actually feel so we do not know how to respond.

Next, is it very important to clearly identify and describe what the conflict is.  When I have asked employees to do this many times, they will come back and tell me that it really was just a problem they were having because once they started to write it out, they realized that it was not that big of an issue, and they needed to make some adjustments themselves.

When working out conflict it is important to go through the following points to come to correct conclusions of the situation:

  • Facts – What are the actual true facts?
  • Motives – Were there any true underlying motives or was it just an innocent mistake or situation?
  • Personalities – Do the parties involved have personality conflicts? Often this is the reason for any conflict
  • Genders – Is it a gender difference? Sometimes they collide
  • Generations – What is the generational gap, and could this be causing the conflict? Different generations working together can cause misunderstandings from not really understanding where each other are coming from.

It is important to always address when coworkers have conflict to keep communication, understanding and peace in the workplace.  Often when doing the above research of the actual conflict, 90% of the time is it not that one person has truly done something to cause harm or anger purposefully. It is usually a personality conflict or a communication misunderstanding.

We need to realize that we are all different like the colors of the crayons in a box, different but complement each other when we blend together.  We need to learn how to see the best in each other and put in effort to communicate clearly and have the desire to work well together each day.

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” ~ Babe Ruth

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