Everyone who spends his or her days in an office knows how difficult it can be to manage relationships with all of your co-workers. In a confined space, conflicts are inevitable, and you should work to limit their impact on your working life. With that in mind, you should consistently consider smart conflict mediation strategies that will prevent interpersonal issues from developing into serious problems. By dealing with interpersonal problems proactively, you can create a happier and less stressful work environment for yourself and others.
Hear the other person out
Many interpersonal problems are simply the result of a misunderstanding. If you feel that conflict is brewing between you and another employee, tackle the issue directly. Offer to go out to coffee and engage them in a conversation. You don’t even need to talk about the issues that might be causing problem. By getting to know the person, you will humanize yourself and get a better idea of who he or she is. This can dissolve barriers before they have an opportunity to develop.
Look inside yourself
It’s important to understand that an interpersonal problem does involve participation on your part. While it’s possible that the other party is in the wrong, you have complete control over how you respond to the situation. Take time to consider the other person’s actions and how his or her choices make you feel prior to speaking about the issue with the other person or someone in the human resources department, according to the HR Council. This type of introspection will help you mediate the current conflict and will equip you with understanding when conflicts arise in the future.
Go to HR
Sometimes trying to deal with a problem on your own will simply exacerbate the issue. If you find yourself in a touchy situation and are unsure how to proceed, it’s probably wise to involve the HR department. Generally speaking, this is not a good first step, as the other party might see mediation as an attack, but involving an outside party can sometimes be the only way to concretely deal with an issue, according to the Houston Chronicle.
A third party can provide perspective and improve your understanding of your own feelings by restating personal sentiments in different words.
Managing interpersonal relationships is a critical part of succeeding in the workplace, and a little patience goes a long way toward success in this field.