The Workologist’s 6 tips to resolve workplace conflict, get a raise

From:  Minnesota Public Radio, The Daily Circuit, November 16, 2014

By:  Rob Walker: Author of The Workologist column for the New York Times

On today’s installment of our Monday work series, New York Times Workologist Rob Walker joined The Daily Circuit to take questions about navigating tough situations in the workplace.

The Workologist’s 6 tips to resolve workplace conflict

1. Step back from the conflict and don’t take it personally.

2. Figure out what the actual problem is. What do you want to change and how can you get to that solution without harming others?

3. When you approach your manager or human resources department about the problem, make sure you frame how your proposal is best for you and the company at large. It’s also important to read over your company’s employee manual to find policies that support your argument.

4. Find others experiencing the same conflict. You’re more likely to get the change you want if others are experiencing the problem too. He said it’s important to consider this a “fact-finding mission” and not using it to stir up emotions in the office.

5. Suing isn’t the easy way to win in a conflict. The process can be painful, difficult and emotionally costly, he said. He advises talking to a lawyer about the issue to see if you have enough evidence to make a case. If you think it’s a discrimination case, he recommends filing with the EEOC to bolster your case in case there is retaliatory action later.

6. If you want a raise, approach it as a performance conversation. He recommends meeting with your manager and asking for a review of your work and advice on how you could be doing your job better. If your manager is mostly positive about your performance, you can use that in your case for a raise. You can also use the improvement suggestions as concrete evidence in the future to show progress that deserves more pay.