There is one thing in particular that we share with nearly everyone close to us at some point in our lives, whether that someone is a parent or sibling or is a wife or children, and this one thing is Conflict. But often we also deal with conflicts in the workplace, and these can be the most difficult conflicts to resolve. We are better equipped to handle familial conflicts because of the foundation of relationship that is already in place, both before and after the conflict. In the workplace, however, conflicts often deal with people we hardly know (or, at least, with people we wish we hardly knew!), and this can make them much more explosive. There is no magic elixir that can make workplace conflicts go away completely in an infallible manner, but there certainly are specific things you can do that will enable you to diffuse workplace conflicts before they spin out of control, no matter how close they are to spinning out of control already.

There is one major mistake people make when trying to resolve conflicts, especially in the workplace, and this is the mistake of assigning blame. If you tell someone, “You don’t do any work,” they are less likely to react the way you might like for them to react than if you say, “I feel like I am doing all the work here.”

A great approach to take in resolving conflicts is the “us versus the problem” approach. This approach essentially aims to allow both individuals involved in the conflict to work together against the problem, instead of the two individuals being pitted against one another. By working together against the problem, you can also easily avoid placing blame, as the problem has now become the issue in question, rather than it being one person or the other.

Finally, make sure you always think twice (maybe even three times) before involving your superiors in an argument. While this can settle an argument for good, it also can create bitterness between yourself and the coworker in question. Furthermore, even if you are in the right and your coworker is in the wrong, no one looks very good when a conflict is brought to the boss.

Conflict resolution is often necessary, even if it is not always easy. Once you learn how to resolve your conflicts, you will be able to diffuse them before they get any worse.