"What do I do when my co-worker treats me like crap?"
"How can I tell if someone is mad at me?"
"I feel as though my co-worker is talking about me behind my back, how do I take care of this?"
"Does my boss hate me?"
These are only some of the questions that present themselves in every employee's mind at some point in their professional career. Whether an employee’s job consists of waiting tables, working in a call center, human resources or even on an executive board, there will always be conflict between co-workers. It is a natural part of human interaction to, at some point, be in conflict.
The main attribute to conflict is a weakness in communication. Strong communication is of the utmost importance if an organization is to run smooth and effectively. When communication falters, the organization’s growth is stymied and it is important for everyone involved to take a proactive attitude in remedying this weakness.
If an employee feels that they are being treated in a negative manner by another employee, the first thing that needs to take place is to talk to that employee. This conversation should take place in a neutral environment and the attitude should be non-confrontational. For the most part, this will give employees the opportunity to learn of each other’s character and iron out any misunderstandings.
If the employee feels that this conversation is unproductive, then the employee should immediately approach his/her supervisor or the company’s human resources department.
A good tip to keep in mind is to avoid passive-aggressive behavior. Passive-aggressive behavior is defined by Wikipedia.org as "a category of interpersonal interactions characterized by an obstructionist or hostile manner that indicates aggression, or, in more general terms, expressing aggression in non-assertive, subtle (that is, passive or indirect) ways."
Acting in a passive aggressive manner allows an unresolved situation to fester and could permanently damage a potential healthy work relationship.
The best way to manage conflict in the workplace is to always remain approachable and assertive to fellow employees. This will garner a strong open line of communication.