How To Handle Conflict With A Coworker In A 17-Steps Plan

Written By Aleena

Conflicts with coworkers can happen to anyone. You should know how to handle conflict with a coworker most smoothly.

Conflicts are a part of life. It’s not always the best thing in life to happen, but it’s a part of life, and we have to deal with it.

How To Handle Conflict With A Coworker In A 17-Steps Plan

Conflicts can be personality clashes, work styles or even who makes the coffee. They are challenging to resolve these problems without clear communication.

Follow this 17-step plan to take control of any conflict that may arise at the workplace.

1. Give Yourself Time:

When emotions and frustration are high in the heat of the moment, it can be challenging to think straight.


Take a deep breath and give yourself some time before approaching your coworker. A big argument with a coworker can lead to hours of going around in circles.

Take some time to cool off, reflect on what’s happened and plan out how you want to talk about it productively.

2. Define The Conflict:

Take a minute to figure out the conflict between you and your coworker. Differentiate between types of competitions such as:

– Personality clashes

– Work styles vs not telling each other apart because everyone wears black polos at work.

To resolve this issue, you should be able to define the problem.

3. How To Handle Conflict With A Coworker – Identify Who’s At Fault:

Once you have a better understanding of what exactly is going on, it will help you figure out if:

– That coworker person does indeed have a different work ethic than yourself

– He screws up things they’re supposed to do

– That person lies about everything because they think you’ve been spying on them.

It can be all of the above as well. Finding a resolution that works for both parties will help identify who is at fault.

4. Work On Your Tone Of Voice:

If someone is being difficult or being too harsh with you, it can be hard not to retaliate back. You have to train yourself to respond when presented with these accusations.

You have to do so to ensure the conversation moves forward smoothly. The tone of voice is essential, so try to calm and even tone when conversing with your coworker.

If you’re using the wrong words, it will escalate an already heated situation.

5. Wait For A Response:

When you present your coworker the problem at hand, wait for his response. You must wait for them to explain themselves before taking any action.

How To Handle Conflict With A Coworker

Give them time before taking action, even if it has been an hour since you’ve presented them the problem. Sometimes people need time to think.

6. How To Handle Conflict With A Coworker – Be Clear About Your Expectations:

Clarify your expectations if you’re having this problem with a coworker for a long time. It can be like getting frustrated because they come in late every day.

Everyone has to wait for them half an hour before starting the day. Be clear about your expectations.

Tell him/her/them what they need to do or how to fix this issue. If you’re not clear enough, of course, it won’t help at all.

7. Stick To The Point:

You can’t talk about the company’s shipment during an argument about false-work ethics. That’ll make things worse. Be specific with your complaints and problems.

Please don’t go on social media to complain about it. No one wants any more drama in the working environment than there already is. Sticking to the point is essential if you resolve any coworkers’ issues.

8. Work On Your Timing:

Another factor for why relationships between coworkers don’t always work out is timing. It means who makes the first move.

You must complete the first step to resolve any problems between you and your coworker. It’ll be too awkward if the other party makes the first move.

If they don’t want to talk about this, who knows how long it would take before they do?

9. How To Handle Conflict With A Coworker – Be The Bigger Person:

This is a general rule for life. When resolving issues with people, please don’t be mean or rude about it.

Everyone has feelings, even though they might have given you every reason in the world to hate them. To begin with, you can say something nice.


It won’t feel as bad when confronting them about what’s going on between you two.

10. Be Patient:

It takes a lot of patience to resolve a conflict with someone. Any disputes between you and your coworker will take a while before it gets decided.

You cannot solve this problem by talking to other people or venting on social media. It is something to work out privately. So make sure both parties are willing to resolve the issues at hand.

If everything else fails, it’s time to do something about the situation. Work towards an appropriate resolution for all parties involved.

11. Realize That You Were Wrong:

Now, this is a big one. Realizing that you were wrong will play a huge role in resolving the conflict. It is essential if it’s over something significant.

Be honest about your feelings and say whatever you have to say to that person. Being honest might help them/realize their fault as well.

12. How To Handle Conflict With A Coworker – Work With The Other Person:

Once you resolve the issue, both of you could still be coworkers. Thus why not work with them instead of against them.

Once there’s no more conflict, try talking to him/her/them like he/she/they were before and see how it goes.

This might take a while. It’ll make a better relationship than when everything was terrible between you two.

If this doesn’t work either, then you might want to start looking for another job. That’s not cool at all if your current coworker hates your guts 24/7.

13. Think About Why You’re Upset:

People can’t resolve their issues because they don’t think about why they’re upset. Once you’ve done that, it’ll be much easier to figure out how to resolve this issue between you and your coworker.

You won’t have confusion about what to say or do. If you can’t pinpoint what’s wrong, this might take some time before getting resolved.

14. Ask Yourself Is It Worth It?

You need to ask yourself if the problem is significant enough to work together for a resolution.


If it’s something huge, like something that has happened many times over, you need to take action. It’s time for one party (most likely you) to move on and find a new job elsewhere.

15. Consider All Options:

If none of these steps works for whatever reason, consider all options before leaving. There are other jobs out there, so don’t feel stuck in this one place.

It’s not healthy to be around people who always want to fight. Moreover, if you leave now, things will change for the better between you two, so it might be worth looking into!

16. How To Handle Conflict With A Coworker – Leave:

Finally, if everything else fails, this might be the last resort. Leaving isn’t that simple either. You’ll need to find another job somewhere else ASAP.

Otherwise, your bills won’t get paid, and you’ll still get stuck in the same position as before. But if it’s something huge where things are always negative, it’s time for one of you to leave so things can calm down.

17. Think About Friends Or Family Members:

It might help to think about others who have gone through the same thing when dealing with other people. This helps provide a better insight on what to do next to resolve.

No other friends or family may have gone through this before. It might be time to think about starting fresh with someone else in your life. It’s not worth being around people who make you mad.

Why Handle Conflict With A Coworker – 5 Reasons

You can not escape the conflict. Conflicts happen in every aspect of your life, and work is no different. Here are five reasons why it is essential to handle a dispute with a coworker:

1. It Can Turn Into A Huge Problem If Unresolved:

Conflict is a part of our lives, but it is essential to deal with it. If you don’t handle conflict, it can become a huge problem and unpleasant office life.


Handling conflict is a crucial component of your career. A huge problem can lead to people losing their jobs and even lawsuits and legal actions.

2. It Is Necessary For Growth:

Conflict provides us with the opportunity to learn. When we step into a row, we are aware that it is a part of life, and we need to work with people.

We know how to deal with difficult conversations. Become more creative in finding solutions, and practice our communication skills.

3. Why To Handle Conflict With A Coworker – It Teaches You How To Communicate Effectively:

When you are in a conflict, it teaches you how to communicate effectively. When you are under pressure, your true colors come out.

This allows you to see where other people’s breaking points lie and make adjustments.

For example, do they like confrontation, or would they instead communicate indirectly? Knowing these preferences can help improve future interactions between you both.

4. You Learn About Yourself:

Conflict provides us with opportunities to learn more about ourselves. It allows you to explore your values, needs, and boundaries.

How To Handle Conflict With A Coworker (2)

You become less concerned with the other person’s schedule. Conflict shows us what we can and cannot tolerate in behavior or situation.

5. You Get To Know Others:

You get to know others during the conflict as well. For example, how do they behave under pressure? What is their preferred method of conflict resolution?

How do they communicate when confronted with complex issues? Asking these questions will help you understand people better and strengthen future relationships.


Conflict with a coworker can be an insensitive thing to deal with for some people.

You can try steps that involve talking or working with the other person to resolve the conflict. Also, it’s essential to consider why you’re upset, or else it might be harder to resolve the issues at hand.

You could also think about whether the issue is worth resolving. There are other jobs, so this is an excellent option if things don’t go smoothly.

Last Updated on 3 months by Shahzaib Arshad


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