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How to Express Problems with a Co-Worker

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The work place is a maze of challenges- meeting deadlines, staying motivated, mutli-tasking. The last thing we want to deal with is a conflict with a co-worker. Unfortunately, unless you work alone, at some point you may have to settle an issue with a fellow employee. Here are some ways to express yourself to creat a better work atmosphere.

Figure out precisely the problem. Your co-worker took papers off of your dask again without asking. Your fellow employee used common equipment without cleaning up after himself. These are INSTANCES of a problem, but not really the issue you need to address. Before you confront your colleage, identify the point you have to make. You would like her to ask before borrowing your things or be courteous to others by claening up after yourself, for instance.

Remain cool, calm and collected. It's very easy to say exactly what your problem is with a co-worker directly after you become irritated. Howver, approaching someonw when you are frustrated or angry will often only come across as aggressive or confrontational. Instead, find a way to calm down and reflect first. Play your favorite music. Have lunch with a friend. Put some time and space between yourself and the...

Express yourself clearly. I once heard very good advice on presentation skills by using the three S's: Stand up, Say what you have to say, Sit down. In this context, the three S's can mean Stand up for yourself, Say what you have to say, Sit back and listen. Be concise with your approach to your colleage. State your problem plainly without being too verbose. The more you say, the more likely they will feel that they are being lectured and will become defensive.

Listen. Hear what they have to say. Approaching them should not only be about getting what you want but genuinely wishing to end the conflict. You should be willing to hear their greivances too.

Agree to work together for a resolution. Now that you have expressed yourself, be sure to know what they may need from you in return. Being respectful of each other will allow a more open working relationship in the future.

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