Why You Get Stuck in Conflicts at Work, According to a Harvard Negotiation Expert

Why do even rational people get embroiled in conflicts they can't solve? The root cause, says Daniel Shapiro, founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, is an adversarial mindset called the Tribes Effect, in which conflicts turn into "me versus you, us versus them."

"People think, 'Let's just be rational and we can resolve our differences, we can resolve our conflict,'" Shapiro says. "Not true. Unless you deal with the core psychology to the conflict, the mindset that's driving you and the other side in the conflict, unless you deal with that, the conflict will persist."

How to Avoid Workplace Conflict

Almost everyone who has worked in an office has had to interact with that one co-worker or manager who just can’t help but make life difficult. Whether you’re asking for feedback or even just running into them in the break room, there always seems to be some sort of conflict -- even if its just over the coffee creamer. However, avoiding workplace conflict is actually quite simple. Here are a few ways to take a step back and take yourself out of the situation so your 9-to-5 can be much more peaceful -- and perhaps even enjoyable.

How to Deal With Conflict When You’re a Nice Person

Everyone knows that person at the office, the one who loves conflict: he's the one who's always butting heads with everyone, engaging people from the CEO to the summer intern on everything from the quarterly report to the outcome of last week's game. And then there's you -- the nice guy. The problem is, if you're too nice to deal with conflict at all, people are going to get Mr. Blowhard's perspective a lot more than they get yours.