Workplace Conflict

conflict resolution strategies on napkinConflict at work may cause unhappiness, reduced productivity and morale.  Some conflict is expected as colleagues work together from different perspectives.  When it becomes unproductive, chronic or depressing, you or your colleagues may want to seek additional information or consult with:

When Conflict Escalates

Violence in the workplace takes many forms, from raised voices and profanity or sexual harassment to robbery or assault. Violence can also happen at home or in your car or parking lot. For your personal safety, being proactive can prevent many potentially violent situations from escalating.

Some indicators of a potentially violent individual may include:

  • A history of angry or abusive behavior
  • Serious medical or personal problems
  • Finger pointing
  • Verbal threats
  • Pacing, extreme restlessness
  • Verbal expressions change (stop talking or start talking endlessly)
  • Red face or neck
  • Body gestures change (arms waving, hands clutched, fists formed, etc..)
  • Talking about weapons

If an individual becomes agitated:

  • Watch for warning signs and maintain professionalism
  • Remain calm and treat individual with respect
  • Maintain a means to escape at all times
  • Report the incident to your supervisor and complete an incident report

Keep your workspace safe

  • Lock work areas
  • Don’t allow persons to piggy-back into secure areas
  • Report suspicious behavior or persons to Public Safety immediately

Be alert

  • Don’t isolate yourself with a potentially violent person
  • Always keep an open path for exiting – don’t let the potentially violent person stand between you and the door.

What can you do if you witness a violent situation

  • Remove yourself from the situation
  • On the Medical Campus, call Public Safety at 617-414-4444
  • Call BUPD at 617-638-5000 on the Medical Campus or 617-353-2121 on the Charles River Campus
  • Report the incident to your manager