So, you’ve had an argument with your co-worker and it has snowballed into a major issue in no time. You never saw it coming and now it’s getting harder by the day to work together. While work-related arguments and spats are common, it can pose a major problem to both and adversely affect work if not addressed and resolved. Reconnecting with your co-worker is as important for both people involved, for other colleagues and most importantly, for work.
Cool down & think
Firstly, it’s very easy to form opinions and pass judgments when you’re angry. So, it’s best to cool down after a major conflict. Do something that would take you away from the situation and calm you down; for instance, take a short walk, use visualisation techniques, find a corner and meditate; do anything that would take your mind away from the situation and cool you down.
Resolve it at the earliest
You may think that as time passes, the conflict will get resolved on its own, but that’s not true. Things could only get worse if you only keep at emailing each other and doing nothing constructive about your argument. So, the next step after calming yourself is to do something about actually actively resolving the conflict.
Talk & listen
Next up, decide and invite the person to talk and share their feelings. Maybe you’ve missed out on something, or they maybe hurt, or you may have misread something. When you’re angry it’s easy to overlook a lot of things so it’s better to discuss the issue with a cool mind and clear intentions. And, when the person is talking, do listen; do not cut in, let them finish what they want to say and then share what you have to say. It could also be that they may have misunderstood you, so talking and listening is the first step to clear the air.
Apologise if necessary
While allowing the coworker to speak is important, you too have to put your viewpoint clearly without flaring up again. Remember, you want to resolve the issue, not reignite the fire. Maybe, your coworker has a valid point and you faltered and have inadvertently hurt their feelings. And if so, do not hesitate to apologise. It’s in the best interests of everyone and work as well.
Reach a compromise
Arguments and spats can be solved by finding a middle-road. So, when you discuss after your argument, give your solutions and also ask for the opposite person’s solutions to the issue. You may not be on the same page, but you can both certainly reach a compromise. You will both have to let a few things go and accept the other person’s views on some matters. Maybe, both have very valid points, but if you’ve to go ahead with work, compromise is the key.
Get a mediator
Lastly, if all else fails, get a third party, to step in and hear each one out. Maybe a senior or the HR could help. Before the spat escalates into a never-ending feud, it’s best to get help if both of you can’t resolve it together. Do keep in mind that long-standing tiffs don’t die down easily, they only simmer. And this is detrimental to your work in the long-run. So, getting a little help from the outside never really hurt anyone.
To conclude, we all face such tricky situations where we disagree with a colleague but resolving such tiffs is easier than one would think. So, do not hold back, simply go ahead, reconnect with the person and settle it at the earliest before it starts affecting your work.
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