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by Vault Careers | November 08, 2011


Even though the economy is showing some signs of recovery, many professionals are still worried about job loss and are anxious about their future. As a result, many employees are working longer hours, taking on new responsibilities and having to deal with their co-workers for longer periods of time throughout the day. Often times, added stress in the workplace can lead to office drama and can create an unhealthy environment.  Here are five tips for dealing with office drama...

1. Avoid

Even though it's easier said than done, workers should try to avoid office politics and confrontation in order to keep the peace, according to Dr. Robert J. Bies, author of "Getting Even: The Truth About Workplace Revenge and How to Get Even."

Bies told CBS Moneywatch that managers need to keep their promises in order to keep workers happy, but if they have to deliver bad news, they need to explain their reasoning behind their decisions. Doing so, said Bies, will help workers understand if the decision making process was fair and transparent.

2. Assess

If a situation is causing a worker additional stress, he or she needs to determine if it needs to be addressed in order to become fully resolved, according to Business News Daily. Before meeting with any drama-prone colleague, professionals must evaluate the potential risks of a confrontation and the potential for damaging repercussions.

3. Look for a third party

Getting help from an objective third party can be a good way to help defuse a potential heated situation. Whether it be from a manager, mediator and human resources personnel, Bies said it's always a wise idea to bring in a third point of view.

"Remember Don Henley’s remark that ‘there are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the cold hard truth,’ and let the ‘offender’ tell her side of the story," Bies suggested.

4. Try compassion

According to a Temple University Study, managers who gave support and compassion to angered team members found less tension in the workplace. The Fox School of Business study also found that when angry employees were met with threats of being fired or punished, it had no positive effect on office morale.

5. Take a break

In order for cooler heads to prevail, an angered worker should make sure they don't speak out in the heat of the moment. It's always best to take a break before someone says something they might regret later. Professionals can make sure they calm down by counting to 10 or taking a break by going for a walk to cool off before they address the situation.

--Published Courtesy of Brafton


Filed Under: Workplace Issues

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