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How Employees Can Prevent Workplace Conflicts

Preventing Workplace conflicts


orkplace conflict is something that every employee—or every employee not looking for frustration—wants to avoid. Unfortunately, it is one of the most common problems which occurs in the workplace and can be a major source for numerous workplace related problems. Workplace conflict can have consequences such as lower job satisfaction, lower work productivity, a lower quality of work, or even more serious consequences such as employee theft, tardiness, absenteeism, or even employees who quit the company altogether due to workplace conflicts. Conflict affects both employers and employees in a negative way—but it can, in some cases, be avoided through prevention. Employees can help reduce the chance for workplace conflict by ensuring that they are doing what they can to prevent situations which can commonly incite workplace conflict. The following are some of thWe best ways that employees can help prevent workplace conflict and, in the process, help keep the workplace a productivity, high quality, and pleasant place to be.

How Employees Can Prevent Workplace Conflicts


Be Polite
Employees should never overestimate the power of politeness. Basic politeness is often forgotten in the workplace and this can typically create a rude, negative environment which makes the chance for tenseness and conflicts much higher. Employees should remember to say please and thank you when appropriate and, when possible, compliment fellow employees when the situation is appropriate. This will help create a more pleasant and relaxed atmosphere which can reduce the chances for conflicts among employees.

Don’t Let Conflicts Snowball
One of the most common reasons for workplace conflicts is misunderstandings or other frustrations which, overtime, snowball—or grow—into something much more serious and negative. For example, an employee might overhear another employee saying something negative about their work quality in the employee bathroom. Over time, the first employee may build resentment until they eventually grow so frustrated or upset that they lash out, creating a potentially serious workplace conflict. It is important to address any potential conflict as soon as possible—using the previous example; the first employee should have politely informed the second employee about the incident and asked for an explanation about their words. Although conflict can still potentially occur, it is important to address the issue before it becomes something much bigger than the
initial incident.

How Employees Can Prevent Workplace Conflicts


Would vs. Could: Watch your Phrasing
It should be common sense that using swear words in the office should be avoided, but employees should also be careful with a potentially flammable phrase: could or can. It may seem naturally for an employee to say, when they are asking a co-worker to do something, “Could you do…?” or “Can you do…?” But it is actually better for employees to use the words “would” and “will” rather than could and can. Why? Because the words could and can are considered to be directive statements rather than appeals for aid. People respond much more positively to appeals for aid or assistance, such as the words would and will, rather than phrases which seem bossy and demanding.
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