Now what do you do?

You’re moving along in your work life and suddenly you have a co-worker who doesn’t like you or tries to sabotage your work?  What do you do when you face animosity from a co-work?

These were the questions that opened an interview I had this week with a reporter writing for FastCompany.com about how employees can deal with co-workers who seem to have animosity toward them. What a great topic for Workplace Conflict Awareness Month!

Here are a few of the things we talked about:

  • Is the employee exhibiting animosity feeling threatened or insecure?  Has a new member joined the team and not taken the time to learn more or exhibited superiority? Both of these attitudes could lead to feelings or perceptions of animosity.
  • Get to the root of the issue. Understand what the underlying problem or issue is – and do so in a respectful way. “Can we talk and clear the air?”
  • Describe the behavior and the impact it’s having on everyone. Educate the other person so can understand and realign their behavior.
  • Respectfully confront the situation and the person and offer a more positive approach. This helps to derail any continued negative behavior.
  • Ask for help from a neutral third-party only when all else fails. Organizations would do well to invest resources to help their employees learn good conflict resolution skills.

I’ll let you know when the article goes live. In the meantime, be aware of and address any conflict in your workplace!

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