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How to Deal with a Hostile Work Situation

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hostile work

Summary: Getting along with everyone is impossible, and hostile situations tend to arise at some point. Follow these tips to be prepared in case a hostile situation happens to you.

There is always a right and wrong way to handle hostility at work. While we all hope that issues will never arise at work, the reality is that they will so we need to be prepared for when that time comes.

  1. Leave the office – Take a moment to get away after a hostile moment occurs. If you stay in the environment while you are upset, you may do something you regret such as write an email that is rude or unprofessional. Go for a walk around the block or wherever you can cool off a little.
  2. Keep a record – Keep track with an email or document keeping concise details of what happened. Include your actions and what happened with dates and times of all incidents.
  3. Talk about the incident – With either a mentor or trusted friend, discuss with them the events that have been happening to make you so upset. Venting is effective when it is done to those that are supportive of you instead of a random coworker or manager. Think of ways to handle the situation and the different outcomes that could occur from each solution. Doing so will help you calmly and collectively present them to your manager.
  4. Speak with your manager – Now that you are more level-headed about the situation, go to your manager as soon as you can arrange a meeting. Don’t wait weeks for the hostility to build into something even more devastating. If your manager is the problem than arrange a meeting with human resources or your manager’s superior. HR will help to make sure everyone is treated fairly and feels safe and welcome at work.
  5. Stay positive – It is easy to let the world come crashing down around you when things aren’t so great at work. Work is a big part of our lives, so when it is a negative part, it is hard to keep it from affecting the other parts of our life.
  6. Keep your emotions in check – You are at work so stay professional. Don’t be overly sensitive or defensive. Don’t try to be the victim or the martyr.
  7. Reflect – Now that you have spoken with others about the incident, you can reflect on how those conversations went to determine any further actions. Still keep track of the conversations and any future situations that come up.
  8. Look for a new job – If you have given ample time for the situation to change but they haven’t, start the search for something new. You may just have to start over with a clean slate at a new company to be rid of the problem.


How to Deal with a Hostile Work Situation by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin