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What are the main causes of workplace conflict?

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When we think of workplace conflict and the causes thereof most people will automatically think it has to do with one of the diversity issues such as race, religion or politics. A survey of 427 working Americans disputes this common viewpoint. They found those account for a minority of conflicts.

More than half of workplace conflict issues stem from work problems according to the survey by Workplace Options of Raleigh, N. C. Fifty-two percent cited things like gossiping, rude, uncommunicative, inconsiderate or disrespectful supervisors and peers as the root of their conflicts.

Surprisingly in these heavily partisan times, only 17% say politics causes workplace conflict while just 9% cited religion and 7% said it was race.

Workers at a Detroit area automotive plant agreed with the survey.

“I’m a republican in a place where the union wants everyone to be a liberal democrat,” said one employee in a workshop. “Nobody really cares.”

“I don’t care about race and religion,” said another. “We are all working toward the same goal so we can put those differences aside. But whatever you do don’t play your radio too loud.”

Upon further questioning the second clarified that loud radios are a distraction and distractions can lead to mistakes.

© Max Impact, used with permission.

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