Avoiding Conflict in the Workplace
- Sep 06, 2019
- By Sara Myers
If you’re like about 85% of all American workers who show up to their job five days a week, there is a chance that you understand the importance of workplace friendships. We all love the thrill of attending an office happy-hour after a long week, or the ego-boost of adding a successfully funny meme to the company group chat. However, we also know that mixing professional and social isn’t always smooth sailing. As seekers of positivity and friendship, we’ve done some research and found a few helpful ways to avoid and solve the social conflict of office life.
There are a few ways to create a workplace that fosters positive relationships. Licensed Psychotherapist Sara Myers shared that “practicing open, respectful communication with coworkers is the first step”. Team members should establish clear communication boundaries, as humans thrive with this type of structure and knowing where they stand. In order to achieve this, leaders should always allow for employees to be honest and open. This sets the stage for open discussion that allows everyone to be heard.
Recognize Different Personalities
All people, including your coworkers, are unique in their personalities, backgrounds, and life experiences. Being aware of how the folks in your office operate will help ease tension and avoid potential probelms. A fun solution here might be to take personality quizzes as a team, and share your results. Try learning about Myers-Briggs, The Enneagram, or the 5 Love Languages. Knowing a few details about how your coworkers approach and process life allows for increased relatability. Plus, it could possibly help when faced with interpersonal conflicts.
Create a Positive Company Culture
It’s no surprise that company culture is everything, so it’s important to have a workplace that feels like home. Boosting team morale and trying a bit of bonding is a great way to build relationships and trust among coworkers. Try scheduling regular team lunches, or implementing a fun tradition like “Workout Wednesday” into the weekly routine. Or, if time and budget allows, maybe schedule a team retreat somewhere tropical!
Studies show that workers who feel comfortable in the workplace, especially in regards to relationships with their coworkers, are more productive. Essentially, taking time out of the daily grind to connect to the human at the next desk over is proven to pay off.
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