Conflict is an eight letter word that everyone should try to avoid. Unfortunately, conflict within the workplace is inevitable. With the proper problem solving and resolution skills, you can face problems with your coworkers professionally. Let’s face it; you work with your coworkers approximately 40 hours per week, so by not dealing with problems appropriately, the workplace can become extremely awkward and negatively impact productivity. Here are some excellent tips to deal with a difficult coworker.


Confront the problem

Although it might be a difficult topic to breach, take a deep breath and confront any issues you are having with your coworker head on. Professionally state the problem and present possible solutions. Explain that you do not wish to engage in the named conflict and you want to focus on doing what is best for the company and your career. If your coworker is unreceptive and the conflict continues after your conversation, it is probably time to contact your supervisor or human resources department depending on the severity of the issue.


Be empathetic

In certain situations, it is best to try and understand other people’s perspectives before jumping to conclusions. When you are having a difficult time working with a coworker, it is a great idea to look at the situation from his or her perspective. Maybe he or she is overworked? Perhaps he or she just got finished dealing with an unreasonable customer and took it out on you? Or, it could simply be a bad day. We have all been there, right? Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and you might just find that a problem does not even exist.

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Be fair

What is it that you do not like about your coworker? Are you being fair, or are you being a bit caddy? It is very easy to hold a grudge against people if they remind you of certain others you do not like. You are not going to get along with everyone in life, but you must be professional within the workplace. Like the old saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Of course, the silent treatment is not professional, but keep the conversation focused on business matters only, and leave the personal feelings aside.


You can’t be friends with everyone

For some, being friendly with coworkers makes the work environment more comfortable. However, it is impossible to be everyone’s friend. Yes, it is important to try and be cordial to all of your coworkers, but that does not mean that everyone is going to be your best friend. If you can’t get along with a particular coworker on a personal level, brainstorm ways you can work together professionally. Try not to let personal issues bother you. Your main focus at work should be work, not making best friends.


Note: Always remember that you are in control of yourself and your actions. Try not to let others get under your skin and ruin your respectable reputation.

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