Workplace Conflicts – How to Handle Properly

Have you been having problems at work, namely problems with your boss or your co-workers?  If you have, you are not alone.
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-mr-angry-rimagefree174300-resi3067370Workplace conflicts are a lot more common than you may have originally thought.  You and many others may have problems with a co-worker, a supervisor, or both.  When faced with a workplace conflict, you will want to be careful, as your actions can have consequences.
When it comes to handing workplace conflicts, there are a number of different factors that you will want to take into consideration. One of those factors is the situation or who you may have a conflict with.  If your conflict is with a coworker, you may want to speak with one of your supervisors.  On the other hand, if you are having a conflict with your supervisor, you may be able to go above their head and deal with another member of management.
Speaking of having workplace conflicts with a coworker, it is important to note that you need to proceed with caution, especially when reporting their behavior to your supervisor.  You need to remember that even the best of workplaces have cliques.  You will want to make sure that your supervisor isn’t close with the person in question.  Even if a relationship does exist, you can still take your concerns to your boss, but you just need to do so in a pleasant and professional way.  You will want to avoid, at all costs, sounding like you are spiteful or gossiping.
On the other hand, if you have a problem or a workplace conflict with your supervisor, you will want to consider going above their head, especially if the conflict you are having is a major one.  Major conflict can involve unfair treatment, unpaid overtime, and so forth.  Unless you are dealing directly with the owner of your company, you will likely find that your supervisor has a boss and so on.  When speaking with a supervisor, especially one who is ahead of your own manager, you will be as professional as possible. You will want to try and schedule a meeting in person.  You may have to make arrangements over the phone or through email, but you should refrain from divulging too much information at first.
As previously stated, it is important that you are professional when handling any workplace conflict.  It may be a good idea to keep documentation of all the complaints or problems you would like to bring attention to. For example, you may want to write down the time and date and a summary of what happens each time that you may be harassed, even if it is not sexual in nature. You will want to have documented proof to back up your claims, especially the serious ones.  The last thing that you want to do in a meeting with your supervisor or even their supervisor is come off as unprofessional or as the one with the issues.
The above mentioned methods are just a few of the many ways that you can go about trying to resolve any conflicts that you may be having at work.  Any small issues, such as a coworker wearing a strong perfume, should try to be handled privately first.  If you are unable to see success, especially after supervisors have been alerted, you may then want to consider seeking employment elsewhere, but you may want to use this only as a last resort.

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