How to Avoid Conflicts at Work

Written by Dimitra ~ Category: Career & Finance ~ Read Time: 4 min.

I can describe myself as the most nervous person in the world. Yes, I am. Being a professional has taught me that not avoiding conflicts at work could result in a nightmare.

Conflicts are something normal, and natural for a lot of people. However, arguing can cause a bad ambiance and serious problems to your performance and your relationship with your colleagues when it comes to the workplace.

As a nervous person, and as a person who has been and is still collaborating with many people, either supervisors or subordinates, the moments you want to argue are often. I need the job done, and I need it now. However, every person is different, and it was difficult for me to understand that. Therefore, nobody, or a few, could understand my pace and my way of working. There are some important points to have in mind if you have to cooperate with others; and, to be honest, which is that job that you won’t have to cooperate even with one more person?

Also, having to deal with constant conflicts while trying to finish the -countless- tasks you have can be overwhelming and time-consuming and also cause significant other issues in the workplace.

Workplace conflicts can affect your well-being, productivity, and even your decision to stay with the company. According to studies, employees who have to deal with conflicts usually show:

Stress and Reduced Morale

Conflict can be a major source of stress, leading to anxiety, depression, and even physical health problems. Employees who are constantly on edge or feel unsupported by their colleagues are unlikely to be happy or productive.

Decreased Productivity

When employees are embroiled in conflict, they become distracted and unable to focus on their tasks. They may spend time ruminating on the conflict, gossiping with others, or trying to avoid the person they are in conflict with. This can lead to missed deadlines, lower quality work, and a decrease in overall team output.

Increased Absenteeism and Turnover

Employees who are unhappy in their work environment due to conflict are more likely to take time off or even leave the company altogether. This can be a costly problem for businesses, as it disrupts workflows and requires time and resources to recruit and train new employees.

Negative Impact on Mental Health

Chronic workplace conflict can have a serious impact on an employee's mental health. Employees may experience symptoms like headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, and even depression.

In addition to these individual effects, workplace conflict can also damage relationships between colleagues, erode trust within teams, and create a hostile work environment.

How to Avoid Being in Conflicts

The bad news is that no matter where you work, you will definitely have to deal with some kind of conflict. The good news is that there are some tricks in order to not be a part of a conflict!

1. Think Positive.

Our working environment can affect both our mental and physical health. Keeping a positive attitude in the workplace will engage others to think more in case they need to start a fight. Smile and try to use humor in situations where the only thing you want is to start screaming.

2. Show Empathy.

Not all people work efficiently, or as efficiently as you want, so you must understand that every person is different and have their working style. Do not press someone who does not respond well to pressure or assign important tasks to people who cannot efficiently deal with them.

3. Use Planners and Project Management Tools.

This way, important tasks will not be forgotten, and the delegation will be an easy and straightforward process. Also, whatever you want your colleagues to do, always put it in writing. Write an email, a memo, write it on Slack, and, in general, do not count on verbal assignments and delegations.

4. Don’t Carry Your Problems To Work.

We all have our problems in our life that are not related to work. It is normal and completely acceptable. However, when you are paid to get a job done, your absolute priority for your working hours is that. Forget whatever is on your mind and focus on your work. Do not behave as if you were alone at home and try to keep it professional. In case you feel overwhelmed, ask for the day off and go home. Being in a weird mental situation or feeling overwhelmed is more likely to make you susceptible to being part of conflicts.

5. They are your Colleagues, Not your Friends.

The ideal scenario in every workplace would be to build real friendships with your co-workers but, in reality, that is hardly the case. Everybody is there for a reason: to get paid, to build a career, to get a promotion, etc. Nevertheless, a strictly professional relationship does not mean that it cannot be civilized and polite. Respect is the key to having a rapport with people you spend one third of your day with.

6. Be Patient.

When you have to collaborate with different personalities, patience may be the only key to coping with your job. Some people just love the drama; it’s in their nature. A patient person can understand that and can easily get away from that kind of situation. Learn to keep control of your emotions and not lose your temper, regardless of what others say or do. Even though being calm and avoiding conflicts may be a tricky part of your working routine, controlling their frequency could lead to a healthier working environment and, consequently, to your mental and emotional health and performance.

At the end of the day, keep in mind that no matter what you feel about your work colleagues, don't forget that you are just there to do your job and go live your life!

It took 2 coffees to write this article.

About the author


Dimitra is a Translator and Localization Expert and Language Lover. She loves her job and she runs her own company. When she doesn’t work (rarely) she is practicing her (five) foreign language skills to her coworkers -but, to be honest, nobody understands what she is talking about. She also likes writing. About her job. And that is what she does in The Working Gal.

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