Conflict among coworkers is inevitable, but how you handle the situation could change things for the better. When addressing office issues with your boss, remember to do it with this appropriate acronym: TACT.
Take a Step Back
Your first instinct may be to run into your boss’s office and start complaining, but this is rarely the right choice. If an issue has your emotions running high, you should wait until you’ve cooled down to address the issue with your superiors. During this limbo phase, take time to reflect on what made you so upset. Was it a fluke comment that can be resolved with a coworker, or is this a habitual problem that is hindering your work? If you believe a manager needs to step in, take action immediately.
Address the Issue Quickly
If you are caught in the middle of an incessant conflict with a coworker, address the problem with your manager promptly. Waiting weeks to address an issue could cause you to confuse the facts. A long delay could also downplay the seriousness of the situation. If your house were on fire, would you wait a week to call for help? Addressing an issue quickly could also help your case if a lawyer needs to get involved. Make sure you have a lawyer review your case before the applicable statute of limitations expires.
Consciously Look For a Solution
Are you part of the problem or the solution? When trying to resolve an issue, be willing to compromise. By actively working to find solutions, you will show you’re invested in improving the office environment. Remember, addressing a negative situation with the help of your management team should lead to better working conditions in the future.
Tie Up Loose Ends
Once you’ve found common ground and settled a dispute, your work is not over. Even if you’re not a manager, help implement plans that will prevent similar issues from reoccurring. When the conflict is gone, any resentment and grudges should go out the door as well. Grow from your experience and hold coworkers to the same standards. Avoid office gossip by spreading well wishes around the water cooler.
Addressing an issue is never easy, but by using TACT you can effectively alleviate trouble around the office quickly. A healthy environment will make your workload feel lighter and the hours go by faster.
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