If a confrontation with a coworker is making it hard for you to get out of your bed at Meetinghouse when the alarm clock sounds, then this blog post is for you. When you’re working together for 40 hours a week, personalities will inevitably clash, so read these four tips to help you ease tensions in the office.

1. Choose your words wisely.
Start your discussions with “I” as opposed to “you.” Doing so will make the conversation seem like less of an accusation or confrontation. Leave personal qualms outside the workplace, and be sure your criticisms are only related to professional projects. If they’re not, tread carefully.

2. Talk face-to-face whenever possible.
Because it’s difficult to discern tone or intent over email, you may want to consider diffusing the situation face-to-face or over the phone. However, if you’re in a situation that you fear may at some point jeopardize your job, then written documentation of your correspondences, i.e. emails, could be to your benefit.

3. Minimize contact.
If personality conflicts are hindering your workflow, try to avoid the offending colleague as much as possible—while also minding your manners. Avoid inciting unwanted conversations by saying a simple “good morning” instead of “how are you?” Similarly, avoid engaging in office gossip. At some point, your words may come back to haunt you!

4. Just breathe.
Avoid acting on impulse. If a coworker has you seeing red, take a deep breath and excuse yourself from the situation. Take some time to calm down; do not invite altercation.

20 Ways to Deal with Difficult Coworkers [iVillage]
Ten Tips for Dealing with Difficult Coworkers [All Business]
How to Deal with Difficult Coworkers [Forbes]

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