While healthy conflict can spark your productivity, some conflicts aren’t always so healthy. Sometimes, people just don’t get along.
If an underlying tension exists between you and a co-worker, now’s the time to address it. While it may be easier to ignore it, such tensions can mushroom.
Use these techniques to reverse the momentum of mounting conflict:
1. Be direct. Many admins reject this obvious step and choose not to level with someone when they’re peeved. Yet once you harbor negative feelings toward a colleague, chances are you’ll start to look for other “evidence” to reinforce those feelings.
It’s smarter to let the individual know you’re upset. Find a good time to say in a polite tone, “There’s something I want to discuss with you, and my goal in getting it off my chest is to help both of us work together better.”
2. Admit any error. Before you open up to the other person, consider to what extent you can take responsibility for contributing to the problem. Your openness will encourage the other person to see her side of the conflict.
3. Focus on agreement. If your personality clashes dramatically with someone you work closely with, don’t just shrug and accept that the two of you must remain at odds. Find traits or beliefs that you hold in common and discuss them. Say, “We’re very different people, but we share a goal of ….” That becomes your springboard for establishing a safer relationship.