You mad, bro? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 11, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:50 PM, August 23, 2017

You mad, bro?

How to resolve office conflicts in 5-6 steps

You just shouted hurtful words at your co-worker. The other person may or may not have responded that you are Kanye West, without the money. Which is pretty hurtful. And now, neither of you will share the same gutless coffee from the canteen.

When you are working with someone for an extended period of time, conflict is bound to come up.

What now?

1. Evaluate

Is it a minor issue, such as a co-worker picking his nose beside you? Or is it a major issue such as him picking his nose and throwing the excavated treasure at you? Were you friends just before the argument or is she one of those acquaintances you would gladly offer as sacrifice to the rain gods? Did the co-worker take credit for your work and lied? So many ways these can go. One requires administrative intervention while the other suffices from a personal apology. 

2. Don't delay

Wait just long enough to cool down. Usually, this is measured in single-digit hours. Hit the gym and hit the bag? But do it soon enough that you avoid the problem becoming a much bigger issue. Stressed out people always exaggerate and over-react.

3. Bring in a calm, helpful third wheel

This is tricky. Can you stay calm and discuss rationally? Or do any of you have a history of jumping to confusions and performing Jedi battles with the keyboard? The latter would require a calm-headed senior who the offending parties would be afraid to annoy.

4. Start with a formal communication

Start by sending a mail requesting you want to meet and discuss. Emphasise that what happened should not have and everyone needs to go back to the days past when the grass was green.

Wait, re-read the message. Send when you are satisfied it is as neutral-sounding as possible. Mails are good to have as they allows you to think of your words. They also keep a record if accusations start flying of who did what. Some people unfortunately make up alternative facts like the hundreds of Marvel superhero spinoffs. Good for Marvel, bad for you.

5. Keep calm or shut up

Hear the other person. Take a pause and think of what you say. What you or the other person put into words has led to this in the first place.

If you cannot keep calm, walk out politely.  

6. Avoid gossip

Once all this is resolved, avoid discussing the matter with others. Explain if need be, but only on a need-to-know basis.


Ehsanur Raza Ronny is Editor of the career, tech and automobile publications of The Daily Star. He is also an entrepreneur of a baby clothing business and previously worked in advertising as a Senior Copywriter.  

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