Kimberly King has great insight on being a change agent and Monster.com's Jon Simmons addresses handling workplace conflict.
The most important thing to remember is managing emotions in the workplace. We are all human and make mistakes, get upset and sometimes even get angry but the most important thing to try to remember is to balance our emotions as evenly as possible. Especially as women, you run the risk of being called "emotional" and/or worse if you show too much at the office. It is a tough balancing act to smile and be professional if you are angry or upset. However, I think it is best to try to be on an even keel each day in the office. Save the reactions for when you are alone, write up a nasty note and then rip it up (I would say draft an email but this is too dangerous - I have heard of many people who have used their email to draft a nasty response or sound off and then accidentally sent it so be careful with the email drafting).
Kimberly King's advice is stellar about being a change agent - I have filled that role before and it is one that is treated by others as the harbinger of death, doom and destruction. Being a great communicator is so important for these types of roles and being a planner because you do have to plan for the worst (and expect the best, definitely, but just plan for the worst). Organizations resist change more than a five year old boy resists bath time - there is so much that is scary about change and people will reject it and /or try to undermine it in the hopes of the change being rejected. However, organizations need change and innovative ideas to survive and thrive. If you are a change agent, be prepared to grow a thick skin, try to handle workplace conflicts with grace and great communication. And definitely keep planning for the worst.
Jon Simmons talks about the 4 most common workplace conflicts and he talks about how NOT to react and he mentions being in 6th grade - as an educator from K-12 in addition to a college-level professor, I can agree with this. Younger students are always honest and reactive with their feelings but as we get to the older groups, there is a general consensus that you cannot yell and scream about what bothers you - there is a way to communicate that does not involve raising your own blood pressure.
A good piece of advice in the article is, âManagers don't like to get involved in workplace drama unless absolutely necessary, so only resort to this if talking to your colleague on your own isn't bringing fruitful results.â Instead, try compromise with those who do not agree with you and see if you can find common ground. For dealing with a competitive teammate, try to learn from them and see how you, too can learn to work faster and/or smarter. This is a big one - dealing with a "lazy" coworker - I agree that you should not take over doing their work because that will lead to resentment. However, this is a tricky one because as project based employees, you might need those pieces done and this is something that maybe should be escalated tactfully especially if you are dependent on that piece being done by said lazy employee before you can do your work.
What do you think about the advice in these articles? Are you a change agent? Have you had workplace conflicts? How did you handle them? Happy Hunting!
Fortune Get Buy In for your Idea
Monster.com How to Handle Most Common Workplace Conflicts
Lisa Vento Nielsen