Demetria Gilkey

How to manage a workplace relationship after a disagreement

How to manage a workplace relationship after a disagreement

Have you ever had a disagreement at your job? Sure, you have! The dispute may have occurred between your manager or co-worker. It may have been big or small. But, nonetheless, you had a disagreement and now things are awkward. How do you move forward after the dust settles? After all, you still must work together. Check out these tips below should you find yourself in this situation.

Stop dodging the person. It is natural and human nature to disagree with other people. One of Dale Carnegie’s best principles is to disagree agreeably. Yes, it may feel a little uncomfortable after the fact. But, hiding behind desks, scheduling your breaks opposite of theirs is non-productive. It is a waste of time and energy. Stay on your same schedule and routine. It will be obvious if you begin to hide from the individual. It also shows a lack of professionalism and maturity.

Don’t hold grudges. Words get taken out of context, feelings can sometimes get hurt, and relationships possibly could change because of an argument, depending on the severity of it. One thing that you should avoid doing is holding a grudge. Grudges are not positive and can weigh heavy on an individual. In fact, grudges can begin to affect your work, life, and health.

Clear the air. The day after a disagreement has occurred, many people take the approach of dodging the person and holding a grudge. But why not just clear the air. Be the bigger person and address the other individual in a respectful, professional manner. You can mention a statement like this, “yesterday, we both had a disagreement regarding (whatever subject it was). I would like to move forward and start a new day. Does that sound fair to you?” It is simple and, in some cases, necessary if the tension is still high and you will know if it is.

Do not gossip about the other individual. I know that it is easy to share your grievance with a co-worker, but it is best to not spread your anger, distrust, and resentment to your cubicle buddy. What is said in secret may eventually become exposed. Instead, confide in a friend or significant other who is not employed at your organization or department, who is wise and will tell you the truth and will not add gas to the fire. You don’t want to create an issue between others; instead, create harmony.

We all have our good days and bad days. Quite frankly, everyone deserves a pass. The lesson in all of this is that disagreements will happen in the workplace. It’s human nature.  If you feel yourself getting “heated,” take a deep breath and excuse yourself before you say something that you do not mean. It is up to you to handle conversations professionally. Be careful how you react and avoid burning bridges. You just may need to cross them again one day.

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