The Four Most Common Work Conflicts
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to working with other people is dealing with conflicts of all kinds. It’s necessary to work as a team to achieve individual objectives. However, tension is normal and to be expected. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the most common work conflicts.
Resolving these conflicts is fundamental if you want to avoid or minimize the possibility of workplace problems. You’ll be able to use the knowledge we give you to push conflict away. If you understand the logic that lies behind the conflict, you’ll have the power to manage whatever problem is at hand.
Most common work conflicts: Why they happen
These conflicts arise due to differences in opinions, goals, ways of doing things, or ways of thinking. In an environment where it’s necessary to collaborate with people who are most likely very different from you, it can be quite challenging to avoid arguments or confrontations.
In general, the four most common work-related conflicts have the following origins:
- Need for interdependence.
- Differences in the way you work.
- Individual differences.
- Leadership problems.
Let’s take a close look at each one of them.
1. Need for interdependence
Interdependence is essential for a team to function properly. When a group shares the same objectives and collaborates to achieve them, it’s easier for each team member to adopt a collaborative attitude. This way, we reach our goals more quickly and effectively.
However, in real life, most work teams don’t always have this foundation. There can be a lack of collaboration. Sometimes we have teammates who only look out for themselves and their future. These people take advantage of others’ work.
Therefore, if you sense that there’s a team member who has an attitude problem, you should talk to them and make it clear how important it is for them to work with the group. Whenever you sense a problem, analyze the situation and be assertive.
2. Differences in the way you work
On the other hand, all your teammates can have great attitudes. However, conflicts and tensions can still arise. What could be the cause of this? One of the most common explanations is that you and your teammates have different ways of working.
Some people prefer to be calm and pay close attention to detail. Others are more comfortable working quickly without stopping to review what they’ve already done. Some people like to procrastinate and hold things off until absolutely necessary. Although these approaches may all be valid in different contexts, conflicts become inevitable because of work style differences.
To avoid this, it’s best to talk in advance with your colleagues about your preferred ways of working. This way, you’ll put the cards on the table beforehand and hopefully minimize the probability of a work conflict.
3. Individual differences
Another common work conflict is related to differences in personality, background, gender, or age among the team members. Although it’s perfectly possible to work well with people who are different from us, the reality is that it can be a challenge.
For example, a team of people over 35 and under 25 will experience problems due to the differences between these two generations.
All we need to solve this problem is a simple key: communication. Despite having very different ways of seeing life, people should put themselves in the others’ shoes and learn from different perspectives.
4. Leadership problems
The last common work problem is a lack of a clear or competent leader. When there’s a lack of direction in a team, we can pretty easily predict that the team won’t meet its goals. This will most likely happen because the team members will feel frustrated and unhappy.
Luckily, leadership is a skill that people can learn. If you feel that there’s no clear leader on the team, you can always fill the position yourself. You can also speak with a manager about the issue you’re dealing with.