Picture this: You’ve spent the last three weeks working on a report and you just handed it in to a manager for review. They take barely three minutes to scan it over and then proceed to tell you exactly what’s wrong with it. Sound familiar? With so many different personalities in the workspace it’s only normal that conflicts arise. But, how do you keep it together and not feel attacked when your work isn’t validated or you need to collaborate with people who have such different work ethics than you? Below the top five office conflicts and how to bypass, work through or avoid them altogether.
Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game. Often conflicts will arise because of differences in work styles. You might like to work on things quickly and get them off your desk as fast as possible while your co-worker might want to first ask everyone’s opinion before finishing his task and yet another might spend three times longer completing an assignment then you would have. So, how do you manage all these different styles without feeling that your personal workstyle is at fault or diminishing the quality of the work at hand? Have a conversation with the people who you work with and learn to determine their work style, this will help you learn how to collaborate more efficiently. If, for example, you know a co-worker isn’t going to hand something back to you on time then adjust the deadline to earlier so it doesn’t affect your contribution.
Birds of a Feather Fly Together. Inevitably there might come a time where you rely on someone else in order to be able to finish your work. A sales person, for example, might be late inputting monthly sales figures which in turn causes the accountant to be late with their reports. This kind of dependency can get very frustrating quickly especially if a lack of punctuality is affecting the quality of your work. It’s in both of your interests to be able to work well together so set up a conference call or meeting and create a system that works well for everyone involved. The worst thing you can do is not acknowledge the problem because then you are not only letting it get worse but also will start to harbor feelings of resentment and frustration that will only further affect the quality of your work.
Marching To The Beat. Different leadership styles can be another common source of office conflict. You might have a manager who is very inclusive and like when you participate in discussions while another manager is directive and never asks for your opinion. This can get very frustrating quickly as you need to learn how to meet each person’s expectations instead of meeting your the organization’s overall needs. If you are a manager, make sure you meet with other managers and have concise list of principles and values that are used to provide consistency in how decisions are made and how to delegate work. If you are an employee, learning to create a system around your manager’s expectations is always a good idea but if you happen to have a manager who is open to suggestions then you might want to add the tip above to the feedback box.
What office conflicts are affecting you in the workplace? Let us know below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.