Nobody wants to dread dealing with a difficult coworker, yet it seems a regularly occurrence anyway: incredibly, on average, American workers spend 2.1 hours per work week navigating issues related to workplace conflict, which averages out to one lost day of productivity a month! Fortunately, a lot of the conflict people encounter at work is totally preventable. Quit wasting valuable time and learn some strategies you can use to rise above workplace conflict.
85% of all workers report dealing with conflict at work, and the majority of those conflicts can be boiled down to what we call personality clashes. Nobody is immune to this either; 12% of workers have witnessed conflict among members of their company’s senior leadership team! Of course, if you asked the people involved in these conflicts what the underlying issue was, they’d either downplay their own involvement, or emphasis the involvement of the other person. In most cases, nobody wants to make trouble, but nobody wants to be walked on, either. Walking the line between standing up for yourself and being the aggressor is a bit of a tightrope act sometimes!
Offices are melting pots. Introverts, extroverts, dominant and passive individuals are all thrown together and expected to not only cooperate, but produce results. If you aren’t sure what kind of personality you have, consider taking a personality test like the DISC test and thinking objectively about how you can come off in less than favorable ways to different personality types.
Another major cause of workplace conflict can be defined as the all-too-common generational gap. Although Millennials and Baby Boomers are probably the two most common generations that experience inter-generational conflict (mainly because there are so many of both in the American office), generational gaps can affect any pair of generations. These gaps stem from differences in cultural upbringing, societal expectations, and professional
So how do you avoid generational conflicts? The first step is to listen to the person’s concerns and take them seriously, even if they don’t appeal to your specific values. Empathy is an underutilized skill in the workplace that can help you defuse misunderstandings or even avoid them entirely.
I’m Jessica Cox, and the strategies that helped me learn how to conquer life despite being born with no arms are the same ones you can use to achieve the impossible in your own life. Let me share my story with the attendees at your meeting, convention, or religious gathering and I can can give you real-life tips that can help you make the impossible happen. Contact me here.