3 Rules for Handling Workplace Friction (Copy-Paste to Your Onboarding PPT!)
A series of articles motivating you, a Monday at a time!
Friction has a funny way of budding in workplace. Disagreements, suggestions, moving desks, being a jerk, anything can lead to people rubbing each other up the wrong way. Sometimes things escalate to a point where managers or HR can intervene but mostly they remain unspoken.
In any case, whether you have a problem with someone or it’s the other way around, you have to keep the friction from affecting your work and behaviour.
3 Golden Rules to Deal with Workplace Friction
1. Don’t be a Jerk — Introspect genuinely to see if you are rude, cranky or cheeky.
Having a bad day, going through a rough patch, arrogance coming from years of experience, etc. are no reasons to screw with other people’s time. If you’re irritable about unappealing body language, certain way of dressing or speaking, don’t make it someone else’s problem.
2. Self-control — An eye for an eye can put you in a bind.
Protocol to handle a discord the right way:
- Retaliating on impulse is not the best way to deal with such situations. Control your reaction. Resist the urge to shrug your shoulders or roll your eyes.
- Instead, gracefully and logically agree or disagree if you are in an argument to get yourself out of an agitating situation.
- Afterwards, if you are uncomfortable with reporting undesired behaviour to your manager, report it to the HR.
In a scenario where you have to report an uncalled-for behaviour, you should not be held responsible for having retaliated with the same.
3. Emotional Intelligence. No Drama.
(1) Don’t let emotions get in the way of getting things done in a fast paced environment. When the pressure is too much and deadlines are close, your colleagues and bosses can get worked up.
Nobody is trying to upset you on purpose. At such times, to-the-point communication makes everyone’s job easier. Don’t let your emotions do any calculations for you here.
(2) Learn to discern between a disagreement and unconstructive discord. Talk it out with the other person confidently, professionally and respectfully. No Drama.
(3) Do not resort to comforting practices like bitching, keeping score or making sly innuendos. Also, involving unconcerned people into the picture further fosters friction and negativity.
4. Bonus Rule: If you can sense unaddressed friction in your team, just casually share this article with your teammates. For the sake of someone’s mental peace, do it NOW.
If workplace friction is an uncomfortable topic for you to bring up, let me do it for you.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences in comments. Do share this article to promote a healthy work culture.