No matter where you work or how well you get along with your coworkers, sooner or later conflicts are bound to occur. In professional life, conflicts and disagreements arise all the time. Most of the conflicts are minor which can be easily resolved and are quickly forgotten. However, sometimes disagreements can get ugly and create a lot of trouble and chaos. If you are unable to handle the situation properly, workplace conflicts can seriously affect your productivity and career growth in the long run.

Why do conflicts arise?

Conflicts arise in the corporate climate every other day and while there might be many reasons behind them, the basic reasons for conflicts can be broken down into the following categories:

Clash of ideas

Most of the people believe that they have the best ideas and they want others to follow their lead rather than listening to what their peers have to say. These people do not appreciate hearing ideas put forward by the coworkers and often find faults with them. When such people are challenged by their colleagues or feel threatened by the ideas put forward by the coworkers, they create problems and hence give rise to conflicts.

Different personality types

Everyone that is working in an organization has a different personality type and most of the time people are able to work in collaboration. However, some people have difficult personalities and they do not only make it hard for people to work with them but also disrupt the office environment. Such people are often used to getting things done their way and do not like changes. While is tough to deal with such people, it is not entirely impossible. Managing such people is a challenge and if handled properly, they can be an asset to the company.

Competition

Majority of the times, competition is the most common reason behind conflicts in the workplace. Everybody knows that competition can get ugly as your coworkers often stop at nothing to prove to the boss that they are better at the job than you. In such scenarios, conflicts are bound to occur as coworkers start accusing each other of stealing their ideas and taking credit for their hard work. Sometimes such conflicts are resolved in no time but mostly these conflicts grow to such an extent that the employees stop talking to each other. This kind of behavior retards the growth of the company and mars the reputation of the workers.

Effects of conflicts on work environment

For an organization to prosper, the environment of the workplace has to be positive. It will only then allow the employees to function at their maximum potential and exploit their talents to the fullest. However, regular conflicts among the employees have a negative effect on the environment in many ways, such as:

  • Lowering productivity
  • Causing lack of motivation
  • Increasing frustration at work
  • Inducing lack of commitment
  • Disrupting team work

Managing conflicts in the workplace

While it is best to avoid conflict and stay out of the way of trouble, sadly it is not always possible and is quite unpractical. Sooner or later you are bound to find yourself caught in the middle of a conflict or an argument and the way you handle it can have a profound effect on your career. Dealing with such conflicts can be tricky but we have come up with some sure fire ways to steer clear of any major trouble and avoid getting into huge conflicts. Try these tricks and see how well they work for you.

Communicate well

Communication, either the lack of it or too much of it, is one of the most common reasons behind the rise of conflicts in any office. Make sure that you keep the channels of communication open and flowing all the time. Be it your manager or your coworker, communicate well. Let them know how you feel about a certain problem or issue and hear them out as well. However, do not indulge in unnecessary chatter and refrain from bad mouthing anyone at your office. Whatever you say will be spread around and sooner or later you will be pegged as someone who is taking sides, which will put you in a bad spot. So keep on communicating but do it well.

Avoid negative statements

At all costs refrain from uttering negative remarks even if you are in the middle of a conflict and are being targeted directly. If you want to make a point, do it with facts rather than shooting blank statements that will do no good other than probably venting your anger for a short while.

Stay calm

Whenever a conflict arises try to stay calm and explain your point of view. Getting angry and shouting will serve as a catalyst, blowing the conflict out of proportions. If you stay calm, the other person will be forced to calm down as well and then the two of you can sort the problem out.

Be a good listener

It is important to be a good listener as well as a good communicator when you are in a corporate environment. Sometimes not listening to your coworkers, superiors, or even juniors can create conflicts.  So keep your ears open and make sure that the coworkers know that you are listening to what they are saying.

Be reasonable

Whenever a conflict arises that has something to do with you, assess the situation honestly and impartially. If it has arisen due to your fault, accept it and try to rectify the harm that has been done. If it is someone else’s fault, point it out very calmly and use no harsh words.  There is a high chance that if you reasonably point it out, the other person will accept his fault and reassess his behavior.

Concluding thoughts

The fact of the matter is that wherever you go, conflicts will arise and you have to face up to them. Some people bury their heads in the sand and try to avoid such situations totally. This approach might be helpful in the short run but will fail you sooner or later. You have to keep in mind that with every conflict that you resolve, you learn something new and gain valuable experience that will help you in your future. Not all conflicts are bad for the office environment as they sometimes give rise to healthy competition and enhance the capabilities of employees to deal with stressful situations. It is then up to us whether we learn from them or let them ruin or careers.

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