Question: What’s the best way to handle conflicts with coworkers?

Answers from frontline reps —

The best way to handle a conflict with a coworker is to be understanding. Although we may see each other every day at work we don’t always know about each other’s lives and stresses outside of the workplace.

To resolve a conflict, it’s important to let your coworker know that you are open to coming up with a solution.

Start by trying to see where the other person is coming from. Jumping to conclusions about a conversation or a comment will only make things worse. If you don’t understand what your coworker meant by something he or she said, ask for clarification.
Sometimes you might need to have an objective third party get involved. You could ask to meet together with your manager or someone from your human resources department.

Rachel Dillon, Assurant


When conflicts arise, it is very important to remember that there is more than one side to the situation, and that all parties involved need to be heard. It’s also important to remember that you do not have to agree with someone, but you should at least make an attempt to really hear what they are saying and try to understand them.

It is always a good thing to meet with a mediator who is not involved in the situation. Go to a private room, preferably away from your department. Let each party speak and fully get everything out. When the first party is done, the second needs to be allowed the necessary time to do the same.

Through this process, everything can be aired out. And even if both parties leave agreeing to disagree, the conflict has been confronted, and everyone has a better understanding of why there was a conflict in the first place, and what steps can be taken to fix it.

David Creighton, SKF USA


Conflicts with coworkers can be tricky, and confronting an issue is almost always uncomfortable.

But everyone has a job to do, and what’s best for your company is what really matters. Try to openly talk over the issue with your coworker presenting your view in a kind, calm manner. Choose your words carefully and try not to be accusing or in attack mode. Friendly confrontations usually work out much better. Remember — you’ll still have to work together and you won’t want to have a strained relationship going forward.

Listen carefully to your coworker’s response. If possible, discuss back and forth.

Tracie Milan, RTS Packaging

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