Thank you for your question! Here is a simple litmus test for you to apply. Ask yourself… Is the ongoing conflict causing harm? If yes, then it’s time to get help with your workplace conflict.
Is the unresolved conflict having a negative impact on you? On your ability to do your work? On your ability to focus, solve problems, or make decisions? On your mental health and well being? On your physical wellness? If yes, then it’s time to get help with the conflict.
Is the unsettled conflict at work having a destructive impact on the people around you? Is it affecting your team mates or work colleagues? Is the conflict creating a tense work environment? If yes, then it’s time to get help with the conflict.
Hey, we are human after all! And wanting to put off dealing with an awkward, troublesome, or difficult conflict situation at work is completely understandable. The “I’ll deal with this unpleasant situation later” mindset is certainly not uncommon. It’s normal.
Most often, we tend to avoid dealing with a workplace conflict because of fear. An employee might be concerned about knowing what to say and how to express his or her thoughts effectively. Another employee might be afraid about how the other person will react when approached. Employees might be fearful of negative repercussions, an escalation, or some other undesirable outcome.
Let’s face it, the idea of engaging face-to-face with a colleague to work through interpersonal issues can be stressful and fear provoking for any employee! But unresolved and ongoing and unrelenting conflict can be even more stressful and damaging! Unresolved conflict is destructive. It’s debilitating. It hurts. It distracts. And like a pebble in a pond, unresolved conflict at work tends to have a ripple effect that leads to more and more problems as time goes on.
Frankly, I have seen the levels of worry, stress, fear, and anxiety in employees to be highest before dealing with a conflict. And I have also seen all of these negative feelings subside by addressing the conflict… and give way to a sense of relief, harmony, and satisfaction. Deciding to work through the conflict, and having someone to support you and your colleague, can help alleviate a lot of the associated negative emotions. Whether it’s a trusted manager, an HR representative, or a professional from outside the company like me, having someone in your corner to assist and guide you step by step through the problem-solving process, and to ensure a safe and respectful resolution environment, can be just the help you need to effectively address the conflict and collaborate with your colleague to solve problems.
Please feel free to leave a public comment in the “comment here” section. If you prefer to send a private comment or question to me directly, please do so in the PRIVATE form below. Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you!
- Eliminating the Costs of Conflict Avoidance (business2community.com)