Occasionally, even the most professional employees may find themselves in a situation where they don’t get along perfectly with all their co-workers. Sometimes, personalities naturally clash. Knowing what to do in such situations can help reduce tensions and even smooth over damaged relationships. This article will cover some suggested responses for you to use when you simply can’t get along with a co-worker.
Avoid Physical Confrontation
Above all else, you should avoid any kind of physical confrontation, no matter how much you might dislike your co-worker. No matter what the situation, any physical response on your part can be used against you in disciplinary action. Whether or not you initiated the fight, you won’t come out the end of it looking good to your supervisor or other co-workers. The work environment needs to be a safe place for all employees, even ones you don’t get along with. If relations are getting heated with a particular co-worker and you think they are headed towards a physical confrontation, do your best to disarm the tension and rise above the bad behavior. Always remember that there are a number of actions that you can take before a bad work relationship gets physical.
Talk It Out
Verbal confrontation is often the best way to address an issue in the workplace. Talking directly and honestly about the behavior that is resulting in workplace tensions can sometimes help. People are often simply unaware of how their behavior impacts those around them unless they are told exactly what the problem is. They may also need just that sort of opportunity to air out their own grievances. If that’s the case, it’s best to be open to hearing their side of the issue and do your best to respect and respond to their concerns, as you hope they would do the same for you. Good communication is a two-way street. Remember that everyone has their own perspective on an argument and staying open to hearing the other side of the story can help turn a bad work relationship into a great partnership.
Talk to Your Manager
If talking it out doesn’t help or even makes the situation worse, you might need to bring your manager into the situation as a last resort. While you don’t want to become the workplace tattletale, sometimes a manager’s intervention is required. If you have done your best to reach out and solve the problem on your own, then telling your boss is likely your next move. If you find yourself in that situation, remember to focus on how the behavior is having a negative impact on the organization or team as a whole. If your workplace nemesis is impacting productivity and damaging team morale, those are very good reasons why management should be brought in to intervene.
Something else important to remember is that there will always be some people who you don’t get along with on the job. Learning how to deal with such situations is an important part of being a team player.
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