Money & Career

How To Handle Workplace Conflict

Office life can be full of awkward moments when you clash with your colleagues.

Here’s how to tackle those tricky situations.

THE CLASH: The boss asks you to stay late … again.
It’s never too late to set boundaries, notes career coach Fiona Craig. “Explain that while you’ve willingly stayed late previously, tonight you must leave on time. Ask what needs to be done and suggest you prioritise it tomorrow. Your tone and language are crucial – be firm, don’t ask questions and ensure language is positive but emphatic.”


THE CLASH: Your manager delegates, but doesn’t pull their own weight.
Focus on what you can control, advises career consultant Caroline De Kimpe. Sometimes we have to put up with the boss’s actions, but make sure it’s known if your workload is increasing. “Connect and network with senior managers – they will notice your contribution and achievements,” she says.


THE CLASH: A co-worker takes credit for your ideas.
“Talk with your colleague to find out what happened – it may be an oversight. If it continues, raise it with your manager,” says Craig. If it’s the boss who’s the culprit, ask them, “How can I get credit for the work I did on that project?” In the future, share your ideas with a wider group so you’re recognised as the source.


THE CLASH: A colleague’s emotional life prevents you from getting work done.
“Set a specific time to talk about your colleague’s problem – this gives them a sense you care,” advises De Kimpe. “Chances are, by the time you scheduled, the moment has passed.” Next time they approach you be ready with: “I understand this is difficult and I’d really like to be there for you. Would it be OK to talk at 4pm?”

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