Whether you’re fighting with a coworker or superior, workplace conflict is quite unpleasant—not to mention a threat to your job security. When you experience tense situations, you can be the first to diffuse the situation and prevent disputes altogether. Here are the most common workplace conflicts to avoid.
Unmet Job Expectations
One of the most common conflicts people experience is a disparity in expectation. You understand your role a certain way, and your boss expects something different. Your superiors may expect more or different work from you, but you don’t feel as if it fits within your parameters. These unmet expectations can quickly reflect poorly on your job performance and lead to frustration in the workplace.
Instead of meeting these misunderstandings head-first, ask prodding questions and explain why you didn’t do certain things. If possible, reference your job description or the scope of work your coworkers perform to give context to your frustration. With a bit of listening and understanding, both sides can move past the miscommunication toward a profitable future.
Poor Communication Strategies
Many problems in the workplace boil down to a lack of healthy dialogue. When you communicate your feelings, expectations, and thoughts to your colleagues, you have a productive workplace. If you withhold information, neglect to deliver your input on time, or communicate passive-aggressively, you set others up for failure.
Don’t let poor communication cause conflict at work. Instead, set clear boundaries for communication and what you hope to achieve through dialogue. Help each other set assumptions and preconceptions aside so you can have an honest and illuminating conversation.
Companies often experience a structural reorganization, new leadership, or technology updates that throws everything out of whack. While a healthy person and dedicated employee will go with the flow and learn how to adapt, this may not be the case with your coworkers or bosses. If you see people around you are fighting change, it signals opposition with company values that may cause them to lash out at you. Whether you’re a new manager or bringing new systems to a rigid workplace, you can run into problems.
When you sense resistance to your initiatives, reach out to the people opposing your work. Instead of reprimanding them because of their stubbornness, ask them questions and listen well to get at the heart of the issue. With a sensitive ear, you can win over even the hardest soul.
Knowing these common workplace conflicts to avoid is one thing; putting in the effort to divert your course from frustration is quite another. If you have the misfortune of a backbiting boss who fires you after speaking up about the truth, you should look into workplace retaliation lawsuits. While you may not want your old job back, you should find compensation for yourself and protect others from a toxic workplace.