Clash: how to handle conflict between colleagues

OVERCOMING WORKPLACE CONFLICT

(NEWS CENTER) -- They are often seen in politics, whether online or on camera: conflicts between colleagues. They happen on capitol hill, and also here in Maine.

For example, last year's release of a voicemail Governor LePage left for Democratic Representative Drew Gattine that was full of profanity.
 
The latest example of tense relations on display comes from a city council workshop in Portland on Monday night that was broadcast live online. Mayor Ethan Strimling and City Manager Jon Jennings had some strong words for each other:
 
"It is clear the city manager wants to point fingers rather than talk about how to handle the big problems facing Portland," said Strimling.
 
"If I'm going to be directed by this council to violate the charter, you will have my resignation immediately," said Jennings.
 
Workplace tension may be seen more often in the political sphere, but it happens everywhere; and human resources professionals suggest getting ahead of it before it gets confrontational.
 
"Don't even get to that point. Step back before you butt heads and get to know one another," says Kristen Kellner, HR Consultant for KMA Consulting.
 
KMA has clients from all types of companies, from restaurants, to medical offices, to manufacturing plants. Kellner says conflict in the workplace is very often something that can be talked through. She say being accusatory won't help get anything resolved, but building relationships will.
 
"Addressing it early, quickly, making sure your addressing it in a way that you're comfortable that doesn't put the other person on the defense, and owning what it is that you're saying," says Kellner.
 
Kellner also said that trying to handle conflict in a public forum is not a good course of action. She says if you take issue with a colleague, pull them aside and speak face to face to see if you can solve it together privately. If not, she suggests involving one other person to help you get to some common ground.
 
 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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