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5 Ways to Avoid Civil War in the Office

Like it or not, we'll be involved in some sort of argument or disagreement with our colleagues over the course of our career. It's a given that views on what's best for our companies and customers will vary from time to time. Even superheroes aren't immune to a difference of opinion every now and then; we're all waiting anxiously to see how Captain America, Iron Man, and the rest of The Avengers resolve their differences in what's likely to be the summer’s first blockbuster, Captain America: Civil War.

Like it or not, we’ll be involved in some sort of argument or disagreement with our colleagues over the course of our career. It’s a given that views on what’s best for our companies and customers will vary from time to time. Even superheroes aren’t immune to a difference of opinion every now and then; we’re all waiting anxiously to see how Captain America, Iron Man, and the rest of The Avengers resolve their differences in what’s likely to be the summer’s first blockbuster, Captain America: Civil War.

capt america

(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)

If you want to avoid duking it out with your co-workers — in the case of The Avengers, literally — here are five things you can do to avoid a workplace Civil War.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. Be nice

Treat your colleagues the way you’d want to be treated. Don’t involve yourself in gossip or office politics. Reply promptly to emails. Hold the door or the elevator for people. Let someone else use the coffeemaker before you. You know, all the basic stuff you do when you’re … being nice. And since science has proven that smiling actually makes you and the people you’re smiling at happier, smile!

Hulk_Smiling

2. Support your colleagues

Is someone on your team struggling with a deadline? Ask them if you can help. Think someone has a good idea in a meeting? Vocalize your support in front of the team. Listen, really listen, to your colleague’s ideas and problems, and see if there’s any way you can lend a hand. Even if they don’t accept, they’ll appreciate the offer.

Thor_Helps_Cap

3. Give credit where it’s due

Make sure you give kudos for a job well done. Send a congratulatory email to a colleague who just earned a promotion. Give a high-five to a fellow salesman who crushed quota. You’ll find the investments you make in the “emotional bank account” come in handy when you really need them!

IronMan_Hulk_FistBump

4. Celebrate teamwork

Buying your team a round of drinks at happy hour might sound pricey, but it’s nothing compared to the cost of missing a deadline. If your co-workers collaborated successfully as a team, celebrate as a team! Organizing low-key, out-of-office get-togethers is a great way to both show appreciation for a job well done, and a chance to build relationships as friends away from the stress of the office. And if that’s too expensive or time-consuming, you can always bring in donuts.

IronMan_Donuts

5. Don’t forget, you’re all on the same team

At the end of the day, everyone’s working toward the same goal: business success. Try not to forget that fact when meetings get tense, deadlines are looming, budgets are tight, and stress starts to show. And when you get right down to it, you’re not saving the world here. Unless…

Avengers_Team

(GIFs via Giphy.)

Tell Us What You Think

Do have your own tips for getting along with your co-workers? Tell us your thoughts on the matter by joining the conversation on Twitter, or leave a comment below.


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Christine
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Christine

I wish I could say this is my work place but it’s not I’ve given my company 6 years of hard work, and you don’t even get a thank you. As for my co-workers I would love to KICK 90% of them in the face, But all these Canadian Laws restrict me from doing so LOL… Anyways I wish people can just get off there high horses and be nice. One of my co-worker is being a A*hole right now.

LD
Guest
LD

I guess the point Sam S. is making below, is that poor leadership is often the cause for the “NOT NICE” to flourish. In many cases, the greedy “me first”, “hellish”, personalities are often the bosses favorites leading to “Hell on earth” for everyone else. I can identify with his statement because I’ve been unemployed for two years after dealing with that exact situation. Like Sam is saying, most bosses rose to their position by exhibiting the same behavior. So good luck complaining and taking a stand, because just like in the old cartoons, they’re going to bend the gun… Read more »

Pam
Guest
Pam

You can be nice and even diplomatic while still standing up and being counted. I had a real problem with younger mostly female staff standing around talking about social matters, taking long breaks etc so recently during real work hours I passed by their little chat group, saying with a smile and looking them straight in the eye as I passed ‘hey I’ve got heaps of work if you guys want to help me out!’ They very quickly scattered! And guess what, they still treat me with respect (well, there are some benefits to being an older person!) and their… Read more »

Irina
Guest
Irina

Unfortunately that is the truth.

Frustrated too
Guest
Frustrated too

Whatever happened to having to EARN your paycheck? These workers have no concept of what it is to work nowadays.

I must be the only stupid one in the office who is old school and gives the company an honest day’s work!

Frustrated
Guest
Frustrated

That’s all nice, in theory. We have a few younger women in our office who do nothing but talk about people, IM, text and chat ALL DAY LONG! They will chat with each other 45 minutes to an hour each morning, ON COMPANY TIME, take numerous smoke breaks, extended lunches, and are constantly walking around on their cell phones, etc. When at their desks, they IM each other and laugh out loud, to the point of being obnoxious. They talk about everyone and it’s not beneath them to F Bomb in the office on MANY occasions, even if guests are… Read more »

Artguy
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Artguy

@Sam S.

I agree that people in charge tend to rule with a manipulative manner thay balances fake “niceness” with grumpy, greedy attitudes. I disagree that people can’t change, though. It only takes one person to stand up to the deluge of negative attitudes and fight the good fight to make a difference. It is what we all want deep down anyway. Peace. Some of us just need more help seeing it.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power,
the world will know peace.”

LD
Guest
LD

Well said! If it were possible, I’d agree 150%.

Sam S
Guest
Sam S

#1 Be Nice – That is a nice dream but many people have developed NOT NICE personalities, attitudes and modes of operation in life that have given them success or filled their emotional needs. They won’t change, ever. I watched peoples personalities for over 30 years as a manager and I never witnessed one person change measurably. The greedy, me first types dominate and run over nice people all the time demanding and getting what they want while the nice people are once again trampled as they hold the door or attempt to get out of the way. Worst is… Read more »

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