When working in close quarters with others, disagreements are bound to happen — often with people you genuinely like. If handled properly, this can be resolved quickly, without damaging your relationship. Here’s some advice to help you handle these types of situations like a professional.
Four Tips to Defuse Workplace Tension
Go Straight to the Source
It’s tempting to vent your frustrations to other co-workers, but publicizing the argument will only make things worse. What started as a disagreement between you and one other person will take on a new life as hot warehouse gossip. Other people will get involved, making the situation even more awkward and intense.
Avoid this by keeping the problem between you and the other person. After you’ve both cooled off, take them aside to discuss the issue in private.
Listen to the Other Person
You have a right to share your side of the story, and your colleague deserves the same respect. After speaking your piece, give them the floor to speak uninterrupted. Really listen to what they have to say because you might learn something. Hearing another perspective on the situation could open your eyes to factors you were unaware of at the time of the argument.
Maintain Your Composure
Chances are, you’re not going to agree with everything your colleague has to say on the matter, and that’s okay. Different people are entitled to different opinions, so don’t allow yourself to lash out. Even if they raise their voice at you, be the bigger person and remain calm. Provoking them further won’t get you any closer to settling the matter.
Work Together to Find a Solution
After discussing the matter, it’s possible one of you will realize the error your ways and apologize. If not, you can still agree to disagree and find a way to meet in the middle. Working with others is all about compromise, so if you both give a little, you can find a way to peacefully co-exist.