Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of inter-office disputes—both in our place of business and inside the businesses we partner with.focuz
In the process, we’ve determined there are four acts that not only deepen a dispute with another coworker but widen the dispute until every person in the office is caught somewhere in the middle of it.
Here are four things you should never do when conflicting with a coworker.
Don’t use email as an avenue for resolution.
Email is never a good idea when you’re upset with someone – whether you’re slightly annoyed or downright angry. It’s easier to be rude, sarcastic, and offensive in written form, and it’s also easier for the recipient to decipher content as rude, sarcastic, and offensive even if it’s not. If you have an issue with someone, avoid responding or initiating a conversation via email. Even though it can get a little awkward and uncomfortable, it will be better for all parties involved if you have a verbal, face-to-face conversation about the issue.
Don’t gossip about it.
A great way to create a horrible working environment is by gossiping about inter-office disputes and issues. Everyone around you will have their two cents to add to the conversation, creating turmoil where there shouldn’t be any and instigating drama when it doesn’t need to exist. You’ll also find that people will start to take sides, thereby widening the dispute from two people to many people. Keep your office issues to yourself, and if you feel the need to speak about it, only bring it up to a manager. Or… here’s a novel idea! Speak to the person you actually have the issue with.
Don’t be passive aggressive.
It’s tempting to avoid the issue altogether for as long as humanely possible, but this is a terrible idea. Avoiding issues will almost always lead to more issues. It will make people volatile and more liable to lash out. In other words, don’t be passive aggressive. If there’s an issue, be bold and put it all out on the table. Odds are if you’re feeling this way, so are others. Or, there just might be a misunderstanding… which leads us to our next category.
Don’t jump to conclusions.
Oftentimes, disputes can be the result of a simple misunderstanding, like (cough, cough) someone misinterpreting an email. Because of this, it’s extremely important that you never allow yourself to jump to conclusions, AND you never allow an issue to fester – with you, with another person, or with your entire office. Get it out in the open and walk to the right conclusion instead of jumping to the wrong one.