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Conflict between coworkers

Quarreling with your co workers is something that happens in every work place; in fact it is almost unavoidable. It is not necessary that you be best friends with your co worker and it is not possible that you can be friends with everyone. But as adults and professionals, you must be able to resolve your conflicts, especially if it’s with your co workers.

Some common causes of conflict in workplaces occur because of the following

  1. Unclear definition of responsibility — there will be numerous occasions for conflict to arise over decisions made or actions taken in disputed territory.
  2. Limited resources — time, money, space, materials, supplies, and equipment are all valuable resources. Competition for any of these resources will inevitably lead to interpersonal and interdepartmental conflict.
  3. Conflict of personal goals — individuals may fight for their personal goals and lose sight of organizational goals. Each individual needs to know how his or her personal goals and efforts fit within the organizational goals and efforts.
  4. Conflict may also arise in a workplace due to the differences in personalities: When personalities of a coworker oppose with that of another, differences in interest arises. For example, some people prefer to work at a moderate, even pace while some like to work at a faster pace. Some people are very inquisitive whereas some don’t find the need to question. Some employees find the need to see the big picture and focus at the finish line whereas some just prefer to focus on the smaller tasks. When paired or put together, these can cause irritation between the workers, leading to conflict.

Conflict with ones coworker is something that should not be left unresolved as it can cost a lot. It may cost the organization in terms of employee turnover and time wastage in complaints and reconciliation and also in terms of absenteeism and stress related compensation. At the personal level, conflict can cost an employee his good name and affect his productivity and thus affect his career. Therefore it is best to avoid a quarrel in the first place. If it does happen though,  it would be best to work it out individually with professionalism. If it can’t be done personally, you can always ask your manager to resolve it.

A conflict is seldom limited to within the two quarrelling parties. It influences the surroundings too and hence should be either avoided or resolved as soon as possible.    

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