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3 Ways to Break the Tension in Your Office



3 Ways to Break the Tension in Your Office
You know what they say about tension; that when it's thick, you could cut it with a knife. It's uncomfortable enough to deal with this kind of situation in social situations, but add that kind of tension to a work environment, and you have a whole new level of awkwardness on your hands.


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Ignorance is Bliss

Sometimes things get heated in the office, and people lose their temper. It happens when people are working hard and trying to do their best. 

If you trust your team and know your colleagues well enough to recognize something as just out of character, it might be best to just let it blow over before addressing it any further.



Evasive Maneuvers

Sometimes, things don’t seem to calm down on their own, and some sort of intervention is clearly needed.

If you’re fairly in tune with your colleagues and can pinpoint a relevant segue, jump on that chance. You’ll help get the discussion back on track and help save your colleagues from saying something they might regret.



When you feel a conversation heating up—fast—it’s probably time to step in and help mediate. 

Pay close attention to the argument, and try to find some common ground between the two (or more) battling it out. If you can’t find anything, then come up with a suggestion of your own.  Try to ease the tension, not add fuel to the fire.



Tension can be positive

In a business, conflict and tension, if well managed, can be positive and allow employees to grow. 

A business that has no conflict and tension is often stagnant; people are not c...

There are three sides to every story

... “my side”, “your side” and the truth. 

It is often helpful to take each party aside separately to find out their concerns, but over and above this try to find a neutral party who may have witnessed or seen the conflict from a different angle.

Talk it out

Once you have addressed the parties separately, tension will not be resolved until the parties are able to talk face to face. 

This must always be done with a mediator who can remain objective. The mediator would have heard both sides and can better portray the feelings of each party to the other.

4 more ideas

4 Reasons Giving Constructive Criticism Goes Bad

  1. You’re not offering anything constructive if all you do is point out problems. You can still direct attention to an issue, but make sure that you follow up with a helpful su...

Start With A Casual Conversation

You’re trying to make the relationship better, so don’t jump to conclusions, be petty or accusatory. State what you’re experiencing in a non-threatening way and follow it wit...

Ask For A Private Discussion

Instead of avoiding the person, seek to address the issue head-on because, if left unaddressed, it’s only likely to get worse. 

Ask for a private discussion with the other person to express what you’re experiencing as pleasantly and agreeably as possible to avoid damaging the relationship further.

Always Be Direct

All people deserve to be treated professionally and with dignity. Remembering that being direct is not in contradiction with professionalism is imperative. Be direct, brave and respectful.