Coworker Conflict on the Road

by Howard Gerber on December 23, 2015

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travel assignment conflict coworkerYou have landed your ideal healthcare travel assignment and could not wait to hit the road. It seemed like the perfect assignment. But just as everything was going along wonderfully, you start having trouble with a coworker. There may be instances where your coworker’s behavior is so offensive or disruptive that you have no choice but to speak to a supervisor.

But sometimes the situation is not so cut and dry. Conflicts may arise that do not warrant getting a supervisor involved, but you still want the situation to improve.

Good working relationships improve morale and make work more enjoyable. Consider some of the following steps to resolve your coworker conflicts.

Decide If It’s Worth the Effort

Any conflict with a coworker should be resolved, right? In an ideal world, we would all live in harmony, and all coworkers would get along. But unfortunately, that’s not the case.  You are bound to come across a coworker you could do without. But in some cases, you may be better off just letting things roll off your back.

Keep in mind that you do not have to like everyone and they don’t have to like you. So when should you do something about a bad coworker? If a situation is interfering with your ability to do your job, you have to speak up. Also, if a co-worker is insulting or disrespectful, you should confront them.

Figure out the Problem

Before you can deal with the conflict, you need to figure out that the main issue involves. Is the problem just a personality conflict or is something else at the heart of the matter? Ask yourself honestly what role you have in the conflict. Have you been sarcastic or demeaning? You may be contributing to the problem more than you realize. Seeking advice from an unbiased friend may help you determine if you are part of the problem.

Consider your Approach

Instead of making snide remarks, be upfront without being rude. Consider asking your coworker to meet for coffee and talk about the tension between you both. Start off by saying you value the person as a coworker and want to have a better working relationship. Avoid blaming or using negative language, which may only put your coworker on the defensive. A person on the defensive cannot always hear what you’re saying.

Communicate Clearly

It may seem like a no-brainer, but some people avoid being upfront when there is a problem. Get to the main issue and don’t bring up things that are not relevant. Simply state the facts. For instance, if you’re upset because your coworker does not pitch in enough, or is always late getting back from their break, focus on that.

Find a Solution Together

Relationships take two. Whether it is a romantic partnership or a coworker, resolving a situation often requires both people to give and take a little. Brainstorm solutions to the problem. Talk to your coworker about what they feel is the issue and how you can help. Try not to take things personally, and be open to changes you may need to make in order to ensure that your travel assignment is as stress-free as can be.

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