Workplace Topics

July 10, 2013

Q&A: Fighting co-workers need an intervention

Q: In our department, there are two people who disagree about everything. Their constant arguing makes the rest of us uncomfortable. Our manager is a nice person, but he avoids dealing with conflict. How can we stop these fights?

A: Since your wimpy boss isn’t doing his job, the rest of you should meet as a group with your quarreling colleagues and clearly explain the problems they are causing.

For example: “Although you may not realize it, the two of you make life extremely unpleasant for everyone else. Your arguments are distracting and create tension in the office. We don’t care whether you like each other, but we do need for you to figure out how to work together.”

If this intervention leads to a productive discussion, perhaps the problem will be solved. But if not, then ask your timid boss to intercede. Maybe a direct request from his staff will finally motivate him to start acting like a manager.

Submit questions to workplace coach Marie G. McIntyre at

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