Dealing with Conflict in the Workforce


So you have your dream job…or maybe you're working towards it. You may have some colleagues you get along with, and life seems amazing. But what happens when a conflict comes about? Or you're not sure how to handle the situation? I can't say I've been in your particular position, but in my experiences, a good employee is one that can manage conflict in a timely manner. Many things may come up in a workplace, and it's all down to how you handle it.

Whether you feel the fault was yours or not, get the full story. Without engaging in gossip or asking around, ask the source – whoever the miscommunication happened with. Hear out their side of the story first, so that when it’s your turn to talk and tell them your side, they will be more open to listening to you because you showed them the respect first. The thing is that in most cases, conflict comes from a mis-heard fact, a miscommunication…it’s hardly ever a malicious intent from the sender, so make sure you nip those conflict in the bud as soon as you can. Who wants to walk around for half a year, thinking one thing, when it may all come down to just a misunderstanding from one or both sides?

Just stick to being the best YOU that you can be.

The key is not to get stuck into feeling that you must always resolve every conflict that comes up. The stereotype of the ‘nosy secretary’ is not you – you shouldn’t feel like you must fix everything at all times, or pass on information between employees – I know you wouldn’t, but sometimes, even from personal experiences, you think you may be doing the right thing, but remember there’s nothing worse than passing on information that someone shared with you to someone else, later to realize it was wrong, or mis-heard, and you end up doing more bad than good. Stick to your own situations – that way, you’ll be way more productive, and become an even more valued employee that doesn’t engage in trying to ‘fix everything’ (to the extent that people stop telling you ANYTHING), and someone that’s always on the job!

What’s a conflict you’ve been involved with, and how did you manage it? Remember this question is important to think about, because it’s usually one of the more important ones that come up during interviews when you go for any future jobs, so think about what you can answer if this question came up, and an example to back it up!


Eva Maria


Eva Maria is our youngest author. Born in Russia in 1990, she moved to New Zealand with her parents, brother and sister in 1996. She is now working towards an International Coaching Certificate.

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