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Understanding that disagreements are a normal occurrence, is an important step in the self-growth process because everyone needs a stable network even if it’s at work. In promoting harmony, the worst thing to do is to go out of your way to avoid a disagreement. Rather, tactfully engaging others to get conflicts sorted out in healthy, helpful ways is the smart thing to do.

Tactfully approach the situation

Don’t sweep your differences under the carpet. Because bending over backward to accommodate everything does nothing for your image or relationships. Rather, tactfully approach the issues on hand and address them with civility. If you have a problem with a co-worker, it’s a bad idea to address them in public. So, as much as possible, have such sensitive discussions in-person, away from other ears.


When everyone is upset or in their feelings, achieving effective communication is like talking across a great divide; no one hears the other. To avoid this, try taking a step back to look at the situation objectively. Sometimes all a colleague might want is to be heard or go on record about something or to establish a point, for example, boundary. Other times, their issues from home or another aspect of their life might be tearing them apart. You aren’t necessarily the problem in such a situation, just a misplaced target for pent up emotion. However, if the disagreement is related to how work gets done or with the quality, on the whole, effectively communicating will help set the record straight. Approach your colleagues or boss politely and have a conversation about what is expected and how those expectations should be met.

Apologize or forgive when the need arises

If you realize that you are at fault, it will do to just apologize to the offended party. There’s no substitute for simply saying sorry. When you hold yourself accountable for your wrongdoings, you are validating the other person’s feelings and edging them away from escalating what might have started as simple. On the flip side, when you are apologized to, try to forgive them and let go. Remember that no one is perfect, including you. Forgiveness gets rid of the negativity and eases the tension of the moment.

Seek redress when necessary

If the situation gets out of control, for example, resulting in you getting fired, the best thing to do would be to seek help from the appropriate quarters. In such cases, you can notify your human resource department if you have grievances or take them to a higher up. You can also file a wrongful termination suit to get it addressed legally. Too many employees are terrified of the names they would be called and don’t get the justice they deserve. This is rife within organizations that have a negative, oppressive work culture. You can start by entering the words ‘wrongful termination lawyers near me’ into the google search bar to get the right people to review your case.

Differences between work colleagues happen all the time, whatever the nature of the conflict, work processes, tasks, or relationships. Sometimes they get solved quickly, like water under the bridge, and other times they escalate, become ugly and disrupt harmony.

But since conflicts are commonplace, the smart thing to do, regardless of your role or position, will be to arm yourself with healthy, helpful conflict resolution techniques in preparation for one. And if you hold a managerial position, when conflicts arise, be sure to show fairness and impartiality as this not only encourages your employees, but it also raises their confidence in you as a manager, and in the organisation as a whole.