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Asked by Tanya on August 30, 2015

I am having a conflict with a co-worker. How do I go about resolving that conflict?

Answered by Jamie, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, on August 31, 2015

Great questions and kudos to you for trying to resolve it. It really depends on your working relationship and the issue that you're having. Here are my suggestions:
1) Start with the FACTS that you have observed (seen and/or heard)
2) Make sure you're not telling yourself a story about the situation
3) Ask yourself what you want long-term out of the situation and conversation
4) Create a safe environment by asking the person if they have time to talk about something that is bothering you/on your mind. 
5) Tell your story as a story and ask for clarification - i.e. Jamie, the last 3 times I've asked you to provide me your piece of the project, you committed to the deadline however you did not provide me the information until after the assignment was due. This makes me feel you don't care about the project or the impacts in may be having on me and my team. Can you help me understand what is going on?

I am a certified trainer in Vital Smarts Crucial Conversations. They have amazing tips & tricks on their website that could help if you are interested. https://www.vitalsmarts.com/

Good luck! 

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Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on September 4, 2015

There are usually multiple paths you can take to address this situation.  The first is to try to work through it directly with the co-worker.  There are resources that can help you have this conversation.  I would read a book called "Crucial Conversations' and investigate training that is available from the writers of this book.  If working directly with the co-worker does not resolve the matter, then I would recommend discussing it with you manager or a trusted mentor.  They can provide advice on how they have handled similar situations.  Lastly, you can also speak directly with your Human Resources department or many companies have a department that is dedicated to business practices or ethics that you can reach out to who can help resolve such situations, anonymously if necessary.

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on September 11, 2015

Conflicts are sometimes very hard to address with coworkers. It is a good idea to try to take a step back and review why the conflict has occurred and look at it from a different perspective. Taking this type of approach will allow you to view the conflict from a different angle and may aid you in figuring out how to resolving the conflict. If the conflict has gotten to a certain point that it is affecting your job satisfaction level or your ability to do your work; You could look to ask a mentor or someone within your company that may be able to give you advice or be the mediator between yourself and the other person. Lastly, you could ask your manager to be the mediator since he/she to help you resolve the conflict. I hope you resolve your conflict soon!

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