Handling a situation where two colleagues or teams are in conflict can be challenging, especially when it starts to affect your work and personal mental health.
Here are some steps you can take to address the issue:
Stay Neutral: Avoid taking sides and remain neutral in the conflict. Taking sides could exacerbate the situation and make it more challenging to find a resolution. Try to maintain a professional attitude and focus on your work despite the tension.
Communicate Directly: If the feuding colleagues’ behaviour is directly impacting your work, consider communicating directly with them. Approach them in a calm and non-confrontational manner to express how their conflict is affecting your productivity. Use “I” statements to communicate how their behaviour is impacting you personally.
Seek Mediation: If the conflict persists and begins to affect your work significantly, consider involving a mediator or a neutral third party. This could be your manager, HR representative, or a designated conflict resolution specialist within your organization. Mediation can help facilitate a productive conversation and guide the parties toward finding a resolution.
Document the Impact: Keep a record of instances where the conflict has directly affected your work. Document any missed deadlines, communication breakdowns, or other tangible impacts. This documentation can be valuable if you need to escalate the issue to higher management or HR.
Focus on Solutions: Instead of dwelling on the conflict, focus on finding practical solutions that can help minimize its impact on your work. This might involve adjusting your work processes, collaborating with other teams, or finding alternative communication channels that can circumvent the conflict.
Seek Support: If the situation is taking a toll on your well-being or mental health, consider seeking support from a trusted colleague, mentor, or counsellor. Talking to someone you trust can provide you with emotional support and help you gain perspective on how to manage the situation.
Elevate the Issue if Necessary: If the conflict persists and continues to hinder your ability to work effectively, it might be necessary to escalate the matter to your manager or HR. Be prepared to provide specific examples and suggest potential solutions that could help resolve the conflict.
Remember that managing workplace conflicts can be a delicate process, and it’s essential to approach the situation with professionalism and empathy. Prioritising open communication and a willingness to find a resolution can help create a more positive and collaborative work environment.
Elevate Wellbeing’s professional development workshops provide evidence-based information, practical strategies, and resources for you and your organisation.
Have a look at our Conflict Negotiation Workshop here.