How to Solve a Conflict at Work

Conflicts are Inevitable at Work


Having a conflict at work is something that often happens, but nobody likes it.

However, conflicts at work are quite usual since we always work with humans and not robots. Well, not yet…

Of course, you can try to prevent any conflict from happening, but what should you do when they happen?

If you disagree with somebody at work, it does not mean that you are responsible for the conflict, but it means you feel involved in the project, in your company and your work. And that is really good news, except if you let things go on without communicating about your own frustration.

Talk, Talk about your Conflict at Work


Communication is the first step to resolve a conflict. At least 90 % of conflicts happen when things are not said. You always have to tackle the issue before it is too late.

The best thing to do is to ask the other and talk about your anger, frustration or misunderstanding, especially in a multicultural company where a lot of misunderstandings could lead to conflicts.

You may feel that nobody understands you or that you did the wrong thing even if you are not responsible for anything.

But, how can you know if you do not ask your colleagues or if you do not ask a professional coach to help you?


The Best Strategy to Solve a Conflict at Work


You could follow this 8-step strategy to solve the conflict at work:

  1. Ask your colleague to have a conversation in a neutral place: that could be the most difficult step for you, but you should definitely do it!
  2. Prepare notes and write a list of what you will say
  3. Describe the facts in the most objective way. Facts are not ideas or beliefs. You could say: I’ve noticed you never agree with me when I talk about the clients we must contact first. Don’t say “I’ve noticed you hate my work” because it assumes something about your colleague.
  4. You could apologize for something you feel responsible for, except if you have done anything wrong (I mean a verifiable fact).
  5. Say that it is important for you to solve the conflict and why.
  6. See the conflict from the outside: discuss on the consequences of the conflict on you and your colleague..
  7. Set an objective goal for the colleague and you. “We could try to better communicate when we don’t agree.”
  8. Suggest a plan of action so that both parties feel involved in the process. Example: I suggest that every time we feel attacked by the other, we should have a private conversation before meeting with the team.

Other strategies can help you solving a conflict at work.

As an expat, you also need to know many things about the French people. But this quite simple strategy can be used in almost every case.

There is always one solution to a conflict, but remember that communication is the key strategy to solve any conflict at work.



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