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Use Your Unique Military Experience to Address Workplace Conflicts

As somebody with a military background, you are uniquely positioned to help civilian businesses. The training you received, as well as your military experience, make you well suited for a wide variety of jobs for veterans. However, unlike in the military, not everyone in private business has a single focus and shared background. 

Any given workplace will probably have people who seek to create drama or try to push others around. Thankfully, you can use the skills you acquired during your service to make your place of work better for everyone there. If you are worried about interpersonal conflicts or bullying at work, it may be time to step up and handle the problem.

Your Training Can Help You Identify Problematic Interactions

You know how to spot a bully a mile away. Despite the commonality of training, many groups in the military have to deal with one or two aggressive or abrasive people. If you know what to look for, you can spot problematic co-workers as soon as you meet them.

Keep an eye on these individuals, as well as how they interact with others. You may need to watch out for younger, older, or minority workers. These people may be less likely to stand up for themselves when dealing with a workplace bully or drama instigator.

Tackle Interpersonal Issues Directly

While a hostile interpersonal situation may sometimes require management or human resources, many times you can address it directly. For example, if someone on your team is bullying or haranguing someone else, you can politely and calmly call out the aggressor. Alternatively, you could speak with the person on the receiving end and provides support and encouragement to stand up for themselves.

It may even be possible for you to sit down with both of them in a neutral location, like the lunchroom or even away from work. Your background gives you insight into human nature and can create a sense of respect among your co-workers. Use those to your benefit and seek to facilitate peaceful conversations that address abusive workplace relationships.

Proper De-Escalation Can Improve Workplace Morale

Depending on your background, overt aggression and hostility could be triggering for you. In a situation where one co-worker is abusing someone else, you may need to step in and push for de-escalation. Separating the two parties or trying to calm them both down can help.

However, if one or both parties refuse to listen, you may need to involve management. If you are part of the management team, calling in someone from human resources to facilitate and calm down a hostile situation is also a good idea. While you want to use your skills and abilities to benefit everyone you work with, you should never place yourself in a situation that could be damaging or triggering to your mental health.

Interpersonal conflict will happen anywhere. As a former member of the military, you have special experience and knowledge about resolving conflict and addressing it. Using that training and experience can help you develop a brilliant career and keep your workplace healthy for everyone.

For more information about jobs for veterans and a regular listing of positions available, please visit our job board regularly. Follow our blog and social media profiles for helpful tips and advice on finding employment. 

By Lucy Wyndham