Conflict with an officemate is inevitable especially if you work in a high-stress and fast-paced company, but that doesn’t mean that you have to resort to snarky comebacks or cafeteria drama. Keep the riot to a minimum by staying professional with these tips:
1. Keep calm.
Probably the first and most effective thing you can do when tempers start to rise is to be the bigger person and rein your anger in. This doesn’t mean that you’re allowing yourself to be at the receiving end of a rant. Rather, it shows that you respect yourself – and yes, even your annoying officemate – enough to think about what you’re about to say. At the very least, he or she won’t be able to claim that you blew your top or that you were being unreasonable.
2. Don’t resort to gossip.
It’s can be very, very tempting to talk about your issue with another officemate, and we’ve all been guilty of doing this at one point or another. However, hold your tongue if you can. Unless your work is compromised, there’s really no need to add fuel to the fire. If you really have to speak with someone, open up to a person who can be objective or someone who doesn’t work with you.
3. Listen and compromise.
When the right time comes for you and your colleague to discuss things, have an open mind when listening to explanations. Sure, your opinions may be wildly different, but that doesn’t mean that you can't find common ground. If worse comes to worst and you really can’t stand each other, form a truce if only to keep the peace and to stay productive.
4. Make escalation your last resort.
Do the best that you can to sort things out between the two of you without having to pull your boss or HR into the picture. The sooner you patch things up, the better. Escalate your problems only if your workflow is compromised or if your issue breaks several rules on your employee handbook. Other than that, be mature enough to try and make things better on your own.
5. If all else fails, ignore.
There are people who are just naturally crazy makers, and who are not capable to be and stay professional even if their lives counted on it. If you find that your difficult officemate doesn’t seem to want to fix things between the two of you and you’ve tried everything on your end, just ignore him or her and do your job. Sometimes, doing nothing and focusing on your tasks could be the solution to your problems.