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6 tips for dealing with a workplace dispute


Guest articles > 6 tips for dealing with a workplace dispute


by: Joe Shervell


In an ideal world everyone would get along flawlessly in the workplace. However, back in reality workplace disputes do happen. How you act when a dispute arises could be the difference between resolving it and keeping your position or leaving lingering tension which could later escalate to further conflict.

It is in your best interest to know how to deal with such a dispute maturely, honestly and professionally. Below are 6 tips to dealing with a workplace dispute:

Know your rights

They say knowledge is power – and with good reason, do you know your rights? There is a wealth of official and free information on the web regarding your rights and procedures to adhere to when a workplace dispute arises. It would be good etiquette and personal courtesy to research these, so if one does arise you are fully aware of how to handle it. No one likes to be taken advantage of. Moreover, you should be aware that not knowing your rights could dig yourself into an unnecessary hole resulting in a worse outcome; knowing your rights could stop these from happening.


Inaccurate information (or lack of information) is a recipe for disaster in the workplace; work cannot run smoothly and productively without a clear ending. Deliver information which is clear and concise and always make sure the information you are receiving is the same otherwise speak up! Communication is a two-way street and is vital in workplace functionality. Being aware of the importance of communication could save you from a future conflict. Always remember misinformation leads to more misinformation and consequently more conflict.


If you want a complex life, bring your emotions to work. For the vast majority of us bringing emotions to work inevitably leads to disaster and clouded judgement. In a dispute a level headed, clear minded individual will always win the race; slow and steady. Let’s be truthful: you can’t . The more diffused the dispute is kept the better, can you imagine a collision of emotions from both parties?


Being professional and positive in your attitude and your actions, towards a workplace dispute involves the ability to understand and display actions to productively react to the situation, which will greatly help with a dispute in the workplace. Just the fact that you are a positive person gives an overall good atmosphere at work and displays evidence towards a solid grounding. Use of the two P’s will help resolve the workplace dispute in a mature manner, which is the ideal outcome for everybody.

Be open-minded

There are two sides to every story, try and understand the problem from somebody else’s perspective even if you have to bite your tongue. It will be worth your while if the dispute get resolved. The art of compromise is negotiation and coming to a mutual understanding will in turn resolve the dispute. You may also find that you gain respect from other colleagues for this mature understanding which could prevent disputes in the future.

Learn from the dispute

Always take away something positive from any negative situation; the differing opinions within the dispute could have an upside to them. Use it as a learning curve turning the bad situation into an opportunity: aiding your self- growth and building on your wisdom, you never know… next time a workplace dispute arises you may handle it even better.


This article was supplied by Joe Shervell, a blogger and negotiation enthusiast. He writes for, experts in all types of business negotiation training

Contributor: Joe Shervell

Published here on: 16-Jun-13

Classification: Conflict


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