Conflict Resolution

How To Protect Your Career Development By Dealing With Workplace Conflicts Correctly

James Utterson asked:

Have you ever been at the receiving end of trouble in office? If you have, rest assured that it is not just you. Conflicts at the workplace are a very common phenomenon.

A lot of people have had their careers threatened by problems with their bosses or co-workers. It is a really tricky situation; for your reaction to the conflict may well have serious repercussions on your career planning.

You have to consider your options carefully in order to tackle such conflicts and safeguard your career. The person or the situation in conflict with you is a key factor in determining what response would be appropriate under the circumstances. If you are facing trouble from a colleague, you could speak to one of the supervisors. If on the other hand it is a supervisor you are in conflict with, you have to approach the next higher level of the management.

An important aspect of career management is that you need to be very careful when you approach your supervisor with the problem of workplace conflict. All workplaces have groups and sets of people drawn together by their common traits or self-interest. Naturally you wouldn’t like the colleague in question and your supervisor to belong to the same clique. However, even if they are close, you still need to take your problem to your boss. The only thing is you must do so in an objective and matter-of-fact manner. The last thing you want is to come across as vindictive or malicious.

If on the other hand the conflict is with your supervisor, you will need to approach the next level in the office hierarchy. Of course if you are dealing directly with the owner, a career transition could be your only option. Serious conflict can arise from various issues – unfair treatment, unpaid overtime, and the like – and need resolving quickly. Naturally, especially since you are facing your boss’s manager, you need to be tactful and professional in your approach for the sake of your own career advancement. You will want to contact your boss’s supervisor to schedule an appointment. Divulge as little information to them as possible when asking for the appointment – conflict resolution might be quite low in their list of priorities at that point of time.

If you want to keep your career advancement aims on your sights, it is imperative that you maintain a professional mindset and an objective outlook in a workplace conflict situation. For example, such an approach could prompt you to methodically keep a record of events, and a summary of exactly how you were harassed or treated unfairly. It is a good idea to have documented evidence in support of any serious complaints you make or major problems that you face. You wouldn’t want to come off as the one with an attitude problem, would you? It would be disastrous for your career if such an impression is created in front of your boss or your boss’s supervisor.

Running to your bosses every time there is a small problem is bound to undermine your career development goals. Listen to your survival instinct: it will help you fit into most situations. Any small issue should be tackled on your own. If it is a serious problem, and persists even after your best efforts, you need to alert the higher-ups. However, if even that fails, as a last resort you might give career change a serious thought


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