April is Workplace Conflict Month – and no, that doesn’t mean that it’s time to go start the fight with the loud eater in the cubicle next door. There’s a big difference between constructive conflict, or an honest, respectful meeting of ideas, and destructive conflict, where the personal realm taints workplace relationships.
Here are some tips for dealing with the natural conflicts in the workplace:
- Air It Out – leaving conflicts unresolved only make them more destructive.
- Tackle the Real Problem – conflicts about minor issues are more likely about larger, unresolved problems
- Everyone Takes Part in Conflict – there are no bystanders, even if it seems like most of the problems come from a few people; being passive can have just as much effect as participating
- Everyone Needs to Change to Resolve Conflict – just as there are two sides to every story, everyone involved in a conflict needs to work things out together
Take a look at your performance and identify the conflicts in your workplace, even the ones you keep to yourself. April is a good time to start working through them.