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Workplace Conflict Prevention

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Workplace conflict is bound to happen when you have a lot of employees from a variety of different backgrounds. Conflict causes tension between employees and, if left unaddressed, can hinder productivity. Some conflicts are preventable. Others you have no control over. When you are experiencing conflict with another co-worker, there is a right and wrong way to handle the situation. To put an end to the conflict, quickly identify the source of the conflict and uproot it.

Start Within

Examine yourself first. This is always a good place to start when trying to prevent or resolve conflict in the workplace. By having a little intrapersonal communication, you can determine whether or not you are doing anything to contribute to the conflict. If you find that you are doing something to contribute to the conflict, stop the behavior. By doing so, the problem may resolve itself.

Talk About It

Speak with the other person who is involved in the conflict. Don't call her on the carpet in front of other co-workers. Instead, meet with her one-on-one. Confronting your co-worker in front of others will only result in more conflict. Ask your coworker what is causing the conflict. It's possible that you unknowingly said or did something that offended her. Speak calmly instead of using an aggressive tone. If it turns out that your coworker was offended by something you said or did, apologize for the offense. Agree to move on and let the past be the past.

Don't Gossip

When something happens that creates conflict, it can be tempting to discuss the situation with others. Refrain from discussing the conflict with other coworkers. This is workplace gossip, which can result in greater conflict if your coworker discovers you were talking about her. If you are unable to put an end to the conflict by talking directly with the involved party, discuss the matter with someone who is empowered to do something about it.

Speak With Management

Involve your supervisor or manager if are unable to prevent or resolve the conflict. This is especially true if the conflict starts affecting your job performance or morale. Conflict resolution is one of your supervisor's job responsibilities. It's not necessary to bring every conflict to your supervisor, only conflict that interferes with your productivity or results in a hostile working environment.


About the Author

Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.

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