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 | By Cynthia Kaan

How Do I Handle a Disagreement With a Co-Worker?

“Mom! Danny’s not playing fair!” This approach may work for arguing siblings – not so much between co-workers. So how do you address an issue while remaining professional?

1. Give yourself and the issue time to breathe. Reflect on what the disagreement is really about. Is it truly the issue you first thought it was – or is it a personality conflict? Those are obviously two separate issues and warrant different action.

2. Pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Reflect on how your co-worker typically handles disagreements: Open to direct communication? Or would it be best to have another individual present? If at all possible, go the direct route. It may be a simple misunderstanding and you don’t want to escalate unnecessarily.

3. Connect with your co-worker, privately or with a third party. Be pleasant, polite, professional, and do not use attacking words. Remember – a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of vinegar.

4. Humility first. Make it your goal to remain genuinely humble throughout the conversation. Be willing to accept your part in the issue and be open to honest feedback.

5. Call on the fruits of the Holy Spirit to navigate the conversation. Gentleness in tone. Patience in attitude. Kindness toward your co-worker. Love overall.

At the end of the day, we are called to love our neighbor, which includes pesky co-workers. Be sure to keep Christ in your workplace, and he will be your guide.