Are You Ready to Leave Workplace Conflict Behind?

The holiday season can be all about celebrating the success you’ve enjoyed with your co-
workers in the past year. And, for some of us, the season can also be a time to reflect on what we can improve for the new year. This is particularly true if you’ve experienced workplace conflict and want to start January with a clean slate.  Keith Rosen, CEO of Profit Builders has a few suggestions if you're ready to put conflict behind you.

While Rosen’s suggestions are designed to help managers deal with difficult encounters in the workplace, you can apply his suggestions to your personal situation. If you’ve argued with a co-​worker, you might want to take the opportunity the holiday season presents to reset the relationship. Whether you’ve clashed over how an account was handled or about political ideologies, you should clear the air. Consider asking your co-​worker out for coffee to discuss what happened. Own up to any childish behavior on your part, even if you feel the other person should be apologizing. Then set expectations.  You don’t have to be lifelong friends with this co-​worker, but you need to be able to work with him on a day to day basis so make sure you both feel that things are square between you.

One of your New Year’s resolutions should also take your workplace behavior into account. Yes, we all spend a lot of time with our co-​workers, often in emotion-​charged situations, but that doesn’t mean we should treat the guy across the conference room table like the sibling we’ve argued with for years. If you sense tempers rising over how to handle something you feel strongly about, think before you speak. For example, do you really want to tell your co-​worker she’s wrong because it used to be your account and you know better? Maybe things have changed at the account and your co-​worker actually knows better. The point is you need to think about your approach in these situations. Understand that yours is not the only perspective in the meeting.  Listen respectfully, offer your opinion, and don’t lose your cool.

Co-​workers and managers form impressions based on how others conduct themselves, and you want to be thought of as the employee who can keep his cool in all situations. Keep that goal in mind when you sense a conversation or a meeting is about the reach the boiling point and you’ll be on the right path for the new year.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.