Mrs. Jones has a bigger office; Mr. Smith has a bigger pay check: comparisons amongst employees in the workplace can be poisonous – and a breeding ground for conflict! The frustrating feeling doesn’t just emerge with colleagues, but also with the boss. Suddenly, a small conflict in the workplace has become a threat to our career. This doesn’t need to be!

Conflicts arise in every situation, even in interpersonal relationships. Normally we see a conflict in the workplace or a quarrel with colleagues as a negative thing. It can also bring about positive change in the workplace however; if you can personally face up to the problem and find the optimal conflict solution yourselves.

Prerequisites for Conflict Solution

Conflict solutions can only be created if you know exactly why the situation arose, what it is about and what both parties involved want to achieve. The reason for the conflict is clear in most cases, but the causes are often lying much deeper beneath and need to be extracted. There are three main reasons for conflicts in the workplace, all of which can be the trigger.

The three Most Common Causes for Conflict in the Workplace

  • Heightened time pressure – More and more tasks are being assigned that need to be completed in the same amount of time as before. Stress increases and the relationships with colleagues are left out in the cold. The working atmosphere drops.
  • Envy and competitiveness – The frustration of comparing salary, reputation and position.
  • Fear of losing your job – The economic crisis has left its mark: more and more redundancies happen by the day. Suddenly, you have to face the reality of whether your job is safe. Pure stress – the perfect breeding ground for conflict in the workplace.

Principally, anyone who wants to continually bite at the small problems is waiting to explode. Often it’s the small things at work that start the conflict. Approach the conflict head on with a structured solution to increase the chance of avoiding long term damages in the office. However, if the conflict has already passed by, it’s often difficult to bring parties together to find a solution.

Conflicts can have Substantial Consequences

The employee, or even the whole workforce aren’t the only ones to suffer from unsolved problems. A lack of motivation to work, frequent illness, loss of control and bullying are all consequences that can result in high costs for the company. High economic damage can occur. Conflicts at work seldom remain at the office, often being taken home into the private life, resulting in stress and arguments within the family. This can result in physical and psychological afflictions upon multiple lives.

How do you solve your conflicts in the workplace? Had any experiences where the damage was more present in the home?