Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

On workplace conflict

QUESTION:

Question on workplace conflict: For the past 4 1/2 years I have been targeted for "making my co-workers look bad" because I do the job that is put before me with a smile and a servant's spirit. It has resulted in three of the five ladies I work with to completely quit speaking to me.  I continue to help them in any way I can.  

One of the three was recently relocated due to downsizing, she began talking to me again and even asks for my assistance even though she is in another area.  Other reasons I have been given in addition to my making them look bad is that I keep my private life to myself, one of the ladies was allegedly told that she could have my job, by boss even told me I might want to look for another job, and that she wants to be like me.  The remaining two ladies withhold information necessary for me to do my job correctly, and on several occasions i have been "set up" to see how I respond.  

By the Grace of God I make it through each day.  My boss told me to just say "I'm sorry and that everything is my fault."  I asked what i had done and he said it doesn't matter. Slanderous things have been said about my character and the remaining two ladies in my area talk to me only when the other two are not around.  What else can i do?

Tenna

ANSWER:

Tenna:

Wow! Talk about real workplace conflict! You are in a hard position. It is difficult for me to answer your question, because I don’t have enough information about your situation. I would need to see how your boss, and co-workers viewed the problem. So, based on your information, and a lot of guessing on my part, here are some general suggestions on how to deal with workplace conflict.

1. First, you need to sincerely, consistently pray about your plight, and have some trusted Christian friends pray with and for your situation. You can pray for wisdom (James 1:2-6), courage, and anything else you can think of. Pray for your tormentors and boss. Study and prayerfully and apply Romans 12:14-21. Take the verses seriously. Don’t use the prayer time to gain a following of people who will take your side. Sincerely look for solutions.

2. Try to see things from their point of view, and monitor your own attitude and behavior. Try to honestly figure out what is making them so hostile toward you. You might be unaware of behavior that turns off your co-workers. You might even ask them why they dislike you so much. Ask individually.

3. I would also suggest that you purchase our ebook on conflict management, and carefully study the principles in it. You can find it under the ebooks 4 sale in this website. You can read carefully the articles under personal relationships. Just go to the table of contents, and scroll down to that section.

4. This might seem strange, but I would also recommend that you purchase and read the secular book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Another great secular book is, “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury. Both books are cheap paper backs, but are worth their weight in gold in the information they give.

5. If you cannot get help and good advice from your boss, you might want to go to your human relations department – if your company is large enough to have one.

6. You can also go to your pastor, and get instruction and help on how to relate to the difficult personal relationships in your workplace. 

7. It would be important for you to start keeping a diary to record all the incidents. You may need it to defend yourself, and also it will you insight on what is happening in various situations. Document all of your work, and the incidents where information is withheld. If you have the paper documentation with you, you can easily defend yourself when accused. 

8. This may seem like a hard decision, but you can always quit if the situation cannot be resolved. Remember, you cannot fire your boss or your co-workers. Don’t look at your tormentors as enemies, but as potential allies that you are trying to gain their cooperation.

Tenna, I hope that this will help. Not being there and observing what is happening makes my advise very limited.

All the best, and God bless.

Dr. Newman

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