Is it safe to assume that nobody likes conflict at work or that we can always have great work environment? Unfortunately, in the real world disagreements occur and sometimes personal agendas get in the way. Yet, every day we go to work with the anticipation that it will be a good day and hopefully free of conflict.
When should we fight?
First, let's examine the question; when is it appropriate to fight with someone? When it comes to work, some will argue that fighting is never a good thing but they'd be wrong. Conflict can shake the dust off and exposes old ways of thinking and doing things which can be counterproductive to the company's goals and profitability. It can also bring to our attention to business practices or someone's attitudes and behaviours that need modifying.
Whenever possible it is best to first approach the person you are having the difficulty with and see if you can come to a resolution in which you both win. As you may already know that's not always easily accomplished so consider the following:
- Are your on attitudes and behaviours in compliance with the objectives set forth by your employer?
- Are you harbouring any prejudices or ill feelings towards the other person?
- Have you come to the negotiating table in good faith to resolve the problem?
- Do you backstab and talk to others about the person and problem?
- Have you looked at this from the other's point of view?
Fighting for the win-win
But what do you do when they aren't willing to work with you on a solution? Learning how to fight someone, might require that you report the situation to someone higher up. Here's how to approach the situation:
- Organize your thoughts in an outline.
- Review them with a disinterested third party (preferably someone outside of work) for an objective point of view.
- Refrain from attacking the person you are in conflict with and address only the issue.
- Be accountable for any part you have in contributing to the conflict.
- Be respectful and reasonable.
- Offer suggestions for solutions.
- Once fully discussed, leave it in the hands of the supervisor.
- Keep the conversation between you and your boss. There's nothing worse for a company's work environment than gossip and backstabbing. Remember the old saying, "If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem." The right way to fight someone at work is to adhere to the belief and business practice, that in the fight to win, your goal should be to see to it that everyone wins.