office confrontations

Handling Office Confrontations from Superiors, Colleagues, and Clients

If you have colleagues at work, the chances of being compatible and working swimmingly with all of them are very small. Your colleagues or superiors might exhibit traits you find offensive or annoying. In other cases, they might be intolerable in more ways than you can handle. So, what can you possibly do when there is a confrontation at work? keep in mind, the office confrontations people encounter may not be pointed at them directly. Some people have indirectly become a part of office confrontations by just being mentioned in the heat of an argument or during a reprimand.

How you handle the situation will be entirely up to you, and you may not have an advocate to plead your case. Confrontations will not always be an aggressive experience. How these office confrontations come can be subtle. It could be a passive remark about sentimental matters, or it could be an unexpected sly comment. So, be wary of these when they come and do what is right. The duration of your stay in that office will significantly depend on how you handle confrontations. Before you have a public meltdown, stop and think.

Before you respond

You only have a very short period of time to think of an appropriate response to any encounter. This gives you enough time to either be impulsive and do the first thing that comes to mind or to restrain yourself from doing or saying something stupid and regret it later.

  • Assess the situation: You stand in a position to make things worse for yourself if you aren’t calm enough to think objectively. Ensure you are about to use the right tone of voice to address the person or situation you’re in.
  • Know who you are addressing: Learn to be polite even if you disdain the person in front of you. Letting emotions fly about during office confrontations will not help you in any meaningful way. It may put you in an unfavorable position in the end.

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Your response to the office confrontations

You can respond with all the calm you can muster or with as much aggression as your mental capacity will permit you and still come out of the confrontation a defeated office worker. You need to think carefully when responding.

  • Use empathy: Most office confrontations have a root source. Behind most confrontations are people who are really frustrated with one thing or another. Try to use any response you can produce to understand what the other person is feeling and tackle any underlying issue. Sometimes, the other person doesn’t really understand the real problem. They just want to vent and you were the unlucky nearest person to them.
  • Take time to provide a response: Do this if you’re sure that you have enough time to do so.
  • Hostility is not an option: Being hostile is bad for business, work reputation, and career progress. As aggravated as the situation might be, being calm is the best thing you can do.

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When the heat is over

It will counterproductive to dig up past issues that were sensitive enough to lead to office confrontations. Avoid office banter by resisting any urge to bring up those matters. It will help you a great deal to balance your mental and physical health.

If you can, avoid a repeat of those encounters. You don’t want to be that person in the office who’s frequently in the middle of office squabbles.

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