99 Tristan's Tip : Addressing Conflict at Work

On the twenty-sixth entry of Tristan's Tips, our special guest Tristan Layfield of Layfield Resume Consulting talks about the measures he takes to address workplace conflict. Conflicts with coworkers are inevitable, always uncomfortable, and typically left unresolved, so be sure to utilize the three-step approach he shares!

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Tristan: What's going on, Living Corporate fam? This is Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting, and I've teamed up with Living Corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. This week, we're gonna talk about the steps I take to address workplace conflict. Conflicts with coworkers are inevitable, always uncomfortable, and typically left unresolved. Often times, this has an impact on our desire to show up and our ability to do our job each day. While this is always difficult territory to navigate, I typically take a three-step approach to address conflict head-on at work and to also cover myself. First, assuming the person isn't hostile, try speaking with the person directly in a face-to-face conversation, and if you're not in the same office, then get on the phone. Things can be easily misconstrued over email as there's no way to decipher someone's tone, so try to avoid addressing conflict over email wherever possible. Reaching out to meet or get on the phone is a simple gesture that shows you are invested in resolving this. It also helps ensure they actually are aware of what the issue is. Always follow up the meeting with an email outlining the conversation so anything that you or the other person said isn't misrepresented if you need to take it up the chain. Second, if that doesn't resolve the issue, make your boss aware of it and your attempts to resolve it directly with the person. This conversation can happen during a 1-on-1, or if it's truly a pressing matter, then get on their calendar. Use the email or emails you sent in step one to help shed light on the situation and even forward them to your boss if necessary. One quick note: if the conversation with your boss happens face-to-face or over the phone, be sure to follow it up with an email as well. Third, if your boss doesn't address the issue or the situation persists, then I suggest getting Human Resources involved. Very similar to what you did with your boss, inform them of the steps you've taken to attempt to resolve the issue, provide the documentation, and inform them of the impact of such actions on your ability to do your job. While I know it's difficult to speak up in these situations, it's imperative that we address these situations quickly and advocate for ourselves throughout the process. Just be sure to document every step along the way so when it comes time you have receipts. This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.

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