Conflicts at the workplace are inevitable. However, if there is serious breakdown in working relationships, serious measures must be taken to contain such situations. Often, one will encounter low level problems with colleagues which to some extent will lead to frustrations, delays in completing projects and unhappiness at work. How do you counter these small issues from developing into more serious tensions? Here are tips of what one can do to overcome the personality clashes at the workplace:

1.  Be open and honest

Though there is no easy around this, if your working relationship with a colleague is poor, the first thing to try and do is be honest with them about how you feel. If you do not communicate the person in the picture may innocently assume that nothing is wrong. Opening a dialogue will ensure that you can air issues before they escalate.  However, remember tact is as important as honesty. Do not simply offload your concerns with no thoughts of how the other person will react. Some people are a bit sensitive to implied and direct criticism-and will immediately become hostile when challenged. For instance instead of saying: “I hate it when you do this and that…” you can try a more neutral approach like “do you think there is a better way of dealing with a, b, c…” The whole idea is thinking proactively and productively rather than critically and defensively.

2.  On the extreme, seek another opinion

There is always a thin line between gossiping and seeking an opinion from another person. There is the temptation of sounding off you frustrations to another person about the problems you are facing, which in essence is a valuable part of negotiating a good working relationship, and there is gossiping behind someone’s back which is not okay at all. If you feel that you would like a third person to intervene and offer advice, speak to someone who knows both of you well, who is familiar with your work processes and who will suggest a constructive way to deal with the problem.

3.   Fairness creates balance

Many disagreements are not about differences of opinion over the practical approach to a problem, but rather about sharing work fairly, ensuring that credit is given based on work put in. It is therefore important that recognition is made of the contribution of all parties. Keep an informal timesheet of the amount of time you spend on a project and the processes that you contribute to. Equally, be honest about your colleague’s involvement. If the creative ideas and innovation came from them, and then you did the ‘donkey work’ based on their instructions, while you may have spent more hours on the project, your colleague may be seen as the senior partner.

Many disagreements are not about differences of opinion over the practical approach to a problem, but rather about sharing work fairly, ensuring that credit is given based on work put in. It is therefore important that recognition is made of the contribution of all parties. Keep an informal timesheet of the amount of time you spend on a project and the processes that you contribute to. Equally, be honest about your colleague’s involvement. If the creative ideas and innovation came from them, and then you did the ‘donkey work’ based on their instructions, while you may have spent more hours on the project, your colleague may be seen as the senior partner.

Many disagreements are not about differences of opinion over the practical approach to a problem, but rather about sharing work fairly, ensuring that credit is given based on work put in. It is therefore important that recognition is made of the contribution of all parties. Keep an informal timesheet of the amount of time you spend on a project and the processes that you contribute to. Equally, be honest about your colleague’s involvement. If the creative ideas and innovation came from them, and then you did the ‘donkey work’ based on their instructions, while you may have spent more hours on the project, your colleague may be seen as the senior partner.

  1. Understand the different personalities

Another challenge that may bring clashes at the office is simply not getting on with a person with whom you have to work closely. You may find them having a totally different personality than you. Maybe they come out as too impatient, too shy, over-confident or too cautious. You may resent them trying to take the lead, or conversely, find that they are holding back waiting to be instructed with little to contribute. It is easier to work with people with similar attitudes to work. It is important to thoughtfully assess your own personality and attitudes, and then you will see which colleagues you will click with. On this point however, it is good to be aware that there may be a reason why your boss paired you with someone with different attributes: you will both have something exciting to contribute to a project.

In conclusion, the combination of your approaches will provide balance and enhance your work. So do not always resist working closely with someone with a very different personality. You might find that your differences spark an excellent working relationship.

 

Source : Ethiojobs

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