How To Solve A Disagreement With A Coworker – 10 Solutions

Written By Aleena

Disagreeing with a coworker is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or difficult. So let’s see how to solve a disagreement with a coworker in the best way.

Right from the start, it’s important to remember that you’re on the same team. You’re both working towards the same goal, so keeping that in mind is essential.

10 Tips To Solve A Disagreement With A Coworker

But to explain these steps, let’s first see an example of a disagreement between two coworkers.

Example:

You and your coworker are both working on a project. You’re both trying to get it done as quickly as possible. But you have different ideas about how to do it.

Your coworker wants to take the easy way out. And want just to do it the way they’ve always done it.

But you think that’s a bad idea. You want to try something new and see if it works better.

Your coworker is frustrated with you because they think you’re just being difficult.

But you’re getting frustrated with them because you think they’re not open to new ideas.

It’s important to remember that you’re both working towards the same goal. So try to keep that in mind as you solve the disagreement.

1. Talk It Out:

The first step is to talk it out. This is usually the best way to solve a disagreement.

Explain your point of view and why you think it’s the best way to do things.

Disagreement - How To Solve A Disagreement With A Coworker

And listen to your coworker’s point of view. They may have some valid points that you didn’t consider.

Such as :

“I think we should do it this way because…”

“Have you considered doing it this way? I think it would work better.”

“I understand you want to do it as you’re used to. But maybe we can try something new and see if it works better.”

When you’re talking, it’s essential to follow some basic communication rules:

1.1 Do Not Use “You” Statements:

For example, don’t say, “You’re being difficult.” Instead, say, “I’m having difficulty understanding your point of view.”

This will make the conversation more productive and less likely to become an argument.

And if an argument does start, it will be easier to diffuse.

1.2 Avoid Assumptions:

Assumptions will only make the disagreement worse. They lead to misunderstandings and can make the other person feel attacked.

For example, don’t assume that your coworker knows what you’re talking about.

Instead, explain it in a way that they can understand. And don’t assume that they know how you feel.

Instead, explain how the disagreement is affecting you.

1.3 Be Clear:

Clarity is essential in any communication, but it’s critical to a disagreement. This is because misunderstandings can quickly happen when people are angry or upset.

So make sure you’re clear about what you’re trying to say. And ask your coworker to clarify anything that you don’t understand.

For example, you could say:

“I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to say. Can you please explain it again?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you. I want to make sure we’re on the same page.”

2. Compromise:

If you can’t agree, you may need to compromise. This means you agree to do things a certain way, even though it’s not your first choice.

For example, if you want to try a new way of doing things and your coworker doesn’t. Then you could agree to do it for a certain period. 

And if it doesn’t work out, then you can always go back to the way you were doing things before.

Usually, it’s best to compromise on something that’s not essential. This way, you’re less likely to have disagreements in the future.

And if you do have disagreements, then they’re likely to be less severe.

3. Set A Time Limit:

If you’re having difficulty reaching an agreement, you may need to set a time limit.

This means that you’ll agree to disagree for now and return to the issue later.

Setting time limit  - How To Solve A Disagreement With A Coworker

This can be helpful because it gives you time to calm down and think more objectively about the problem.

And it will also give you more time to come up with possible solutions. You can take a break and return to the disagreement when you both feel more open to compromise.

4. Get The Third Opinion:

If you still can’t reach an agreement, you may need to get a third opinion. This means asking someone else for their opinion on the matter.

Such as :

– A manager

– A coworker who’s not involved in the disagreement

– An expert on the subject

Getting a third opinion can be helpful because it can provide a new perspective on the issue.

And it can also help you to reach a compromise that you both agree on.

For example, if your manager says you need to do it the way your coworker wants.

Then you may be more likely to agree. And if your coworker’s opinion is the same as yours, then you’ll know that you’re not being unreasonable.

5. Jot Down Pros & Cons:

If you’re still struggling to reach an agreement, then you may need to write down the pros and cons of each solution.

This can help you to see the issue more objectively. And you can find a solution that’s best for both of you.

For example, if you’re trying to decide whether to start a new project on Monday or Tuesday.

You could write down the pros and cons of each day.

– Starting the project on Monday means you’ll have more time to work on it. 

But it also means that you’ll be working on it during the busiest time of the week. 

– Starting the project on Tuesday means you’ll have less time to work on it. 

But it also means that you’ll be working on it during a less busy time of the week. 

After you’ve written down the pros and cons, you can decide which solution is best for you.

In this example, it might be best to start the project on Tuesday.

6. Create A List Of Priorities:

A priorities list can help you reach an agreement by clarifying what’s most important to each of you.

For example, if you’re trying to decide whether to start a new project on Monday or Tuesday.

You could each write down your top three priorities for the project.

Such as:

– Having enough time to complete the project

– Starting the project at a less busy time of the week

– Not having to work on the project during the weekend

After you’ve written down your priorities, you can compare them and see where you both agree.

In this example, you may both agree that starting the project at a less busy time of the week is more important. Having enough time to complete it is the second priority.

Then you can compare your lists and see where you agree and don’t.

Once you’ve done this, you can work on a compromise acceptable to both of you.

7. Create A Win-Win Solution:

A win-win solution is acceptable to both of you. For example, if you’re trying to decide whether to start a new project on Monday or Tuesday.

You could create a compromise where you start the project on Monday. But take a break on Tuesday.

Prevent hard feelings.

Or you could start the project on Tuesday and work on it for a more extended period each day.

In both ways, you’re both getting something vital to you. And you’re both making a concession.

A win-win solution is often the best way to solve a disagreement. It can help to prevent hard feelings.

And it can make it more likely that you’ll be able to work together in the future.

8. When You’re Ready, Move On:

Once you’ve discussed the disagreement and come to an understanding, it’s time to move on.

This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with each other. It just means that you’re willing to work together and move forward.

For example, you could say:

“I’m sorry for getting upset. Let’s move on and finish the project.”

There will be some disagreements that you can’t solve. In these cases, it’s best to agree to disagree.

This doesn’t mean that you have to like each other’s ideas. It means you’re willing to respect each other’s opinions and work together.

In these scenarios, try to find common ground. For example, you could say:

“I can see that we have different opinions on this issue. But we both want what’s best for the company. So let’s agree and work together to find the best solution.”

9. Consult A Professional:

It might be best to consult a professional if the matter is huge. You can go to a mediator or arbitrator.

They can help you to talk about the disagreement and come to an understanding.

This can be a good option if you’ve tried to solve the disagreement on your own, but you’re still unable to reach an agreement.

Arbitration is a process where an arbitrator decides the disagreement.

This decision is binding, which means that you have to accept it.

Mediator or arbitrator

Mediation is a process where a mediator helps you to reach an agreement. The mediator doesn’t decide the disagreement.

They help you discuss the issue and find an acceptable solution for both of you.

10. Seek Help From Human Resources:

If you’re still unable to resolve the disagreement, you can seek help from human resources.

Human resources can talk to both of you about the disagreement and try to find a solution.

They can also provide you with information about the companys policies. And they can help to mediate the situation.

If you’re unsure how to talk to human resources, you can ask your manager for help.

Conclusion:

Disagreements are a normal part of working with others. But they can be challenging to deal with.

Following the tips in this article, you can learn how to solve a disagreement with a coworker.

You’ll be able to find a solution that’s acceptable to both of you. And you’ll be able to move on from the disagreement.

Last Updated on 5 months by Shahzaib Arshad

Aleena

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