How to deal with workplace conflict
Have you ever felt like standing on your desk and calling out a colleague for being ‘laan’?
Have you ever stared down a colleague for three straight days because she said you were ‘mo yong’?
You’re not alone when facing workplace conflict. Everyone has had their fair share of awkward, negative workplace encounters. In Hong Kong, most employees are known to be workaholics - and long hours adds to the stress and pressure. All these factors can culminate in some wound-up employees, many of whom are incapable of shrugging off problems and walking away.
Poor communication is probably the number one cause of bad blood in the office. Messages sent in jest or in a rush can be misinterpreted, especially in a multicultural work environment. Sometimes people don’t represent their thoughts well, and other times the recipient of a comment can take what you said completely the wrong way. It happens!
Instead of fuming about it at your desk, deal with it head on. This doesn’t mean storming over to colleague’s desk in a huff to make a scene, but simply addressing the communication with a mind to setting things straight. Don’t go looking for a fight, go looking for a resolution.
When two hard-headed colleagues clash, it can result in a Mexican standoff. Neither party wants to be the first to back down (despite the fact that the answer to the problem is often incredibly obvious!)
In cases where personalities clash, there’s not a lot you can do about it except manage the situation. The two enemies might never become allies, but they can (and should) learn how to conduct themselves in a professional manner in the office, and keep any personal feelings out of business decisions.
Never hold a grudge against a colleague for something they did in the past, it will impede on the collaboration for future projects. Always put the work first.
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