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Sustainable Conflict Management

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Chatham chapter.

Note: Opinions are solely those of the author.

While we try our hardest to avoid it, sometimes a conflict occurs with another person. Perhaps a coworker said something offensive, or a friend made an insensitive comment, or your buddy just doesn’t seem to be listening. Whatever the case, we’ve got your back with 5 tips for effective conflict management.

1. Talk to the person directly. Most issues with others occur because we don’t like to confront them head on. By talking directly to the person, you will avoid excess stress (and possible save your friendship!).

2. When necessary, bring it up to your supervisor/boss. Depending on the severity of your problem, it is 100% okay to bring something up to your boss concerning a coworker. Is she not doing her job at all? Yes, bring it up to your boss. Did she use an inappropriate word or call you an inappropriate name? Yes, bring it up to your boss. Did she take your parking spot? No, don’t bring it up to your boss.

3. Avoid gossip. While venting to your bestie definitely relieves stress, be aware of what you are saying. “She made me feel…” vs. “She’s such a….” are two very different phrases.

4. 24-Hour Rule. Bring your issue up to the other person within 24 hours of the incident. If it’s not important enough to bring up in the next day, let it go.

5. Learn to let it go. Once you’ve addressed your issue, you have to move past it. In a work setting, you won’t be an effective team member if you still can’t stand your associate. In a friend setting, you’ll mess up the group dynamic if you’re ticked off at your pal.

In the words of John Bender, “The world is an imperfect place.” Issues happen all the time, and no matter if it’s inside or out of the workplace, we’ve got you covered! 

  Mara Flanagan is entering her seventh semester as a Chapter Advisor. After founding the Chatham University Her Campus chapter in November 2011, she served as Campus Correspondent until graduation in 2015. Mara works as a freelance social media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She interned in incident command software publicity at ADASHI Systems, gamification at Evive Station, iQ Kids Radio in WQED’s Education Department, PR at Markowitz Communications, writing at WQED-FM, and marketing and product development at Bossa Nova Robotics. She loves jazz, filmmaking and circus arts.