When to let go of workplace conflict

Workplace conflicts are inevitable, but not all battles are worth fighting. In this blog, we explore key considerations to help you determine when it’s time to let go of workplace strife and move forward.


Is it actually work-related? 

Ask yourself if the issue is going to impact the team’s performance at work or if it’s more emotionally driven. While hurt feelings are valid, is it worth causing tension in the workplace? If possible, try and take it on the chin and move on gracefully. 


Can you deal with the confrontation? 

If the situation isn’t worth addressing face-to-face, then there’s no point mulling it over and over in your head. This is how grudges are born and it’s not fair on the other person (who may not even be aware they’ve done something wrong) nor is it fair on yourself. So, if you’re not willing to spell the issue out then simply forgive and forget. 


What kind of person are you dealing with? 

Whoever you’ve had a tiff with, it’s worth considering how receptive they would be to talk things through. Do they take responsibility for what happened? Are they willing to sit down and resolve it? If, on the other hand, you’re dealing with a stubborn colleague who is only going to make your life harder if you raise an issue then it’s really important to consider if it’s worth it. Sometimes it’s better to swallow your pride than create a toxic enviroment in the workplace. 


Is the problem ongoing? 

Having an isolated disagreement is one thing but if the conflict is ongoing or even bordering on bullying/harassment then it’s definitely worth addressing and/or reporting. Speak to your manager about the situation so that you can come to a professional resolution that doesn’t result in your mental health being damaged, or worse – feeling like you have to leave your job. 


If the conflict is resolved, what will the outcome be? 

Realistically, if nothing is going to change when you address the conflict then it might be worth sitting out. Using your best judgment, you must decide whether hauling your colleague up is going to do more damage than good. If you feel you cannot move on, then be strategic when raising your concerns (e.g. outside of busy work hours, away from others and calmly delivered). 


Final thoughts

Consider writing the answers to these questions down so you can structure your thoughts and feelings in one place and decide on the best course of action. 

Need someone to talk to? Vetlife offers a free and confidential helpline which you can call anytime on 0303 040 2551 if you are struggling. 

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