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Three Types Of Workplace Conflicts and How To Resolve Them

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No matter how much you enjoy working for a law firm, conflicts will eventually arise. It’s up to you to recognize conflicts early and take action to resolve them. Let’s take a look at three common types of conflicts that may arise at a law firm.

  1. Work style. How you operate individually as a lawyer and carry out your duties may have an impact other attorneys, clients, and your superiors. Since perfect harmony in any workplace is a rarity, there’s a good chance your work style or the work style of a colleague may create disagreement and friction. If you encounter friction, pause and assess the situation. Achieve a happy medium by compromising. For example, if you’re working on a case with an attorney who is more of a planner than you, try to come to an agreement that will take into account both of your work habits.
  2. Roles and Responsibilities. As a new hire it’s only natural for you to want to prove your worth by taking on more challenging work as you settle into the team. Proceed with caution. As the new kid on the block, others may doubt your abilities from the get go, creating some internal strife. Start off on the right foot by finding out what your superiors and colleagues need to see before they can trust you with more responsibility. Have respectful conversations about the needs of the firm and your willingness to do more and be open to the feedback you receive.
  3. Firm culture and you. Even after thoroughly researching and carefully choosing a firm law firm closely aligned with your personal values, conflicts between your values and the firm’s values may still arise. If and when this situation arises, take a beat – accept that there is a hurdle in front of you and come up with a strategy to tackle the issue at hand. Ignoring or failing to address firm culture conflicts can potentially result in your superiors’ dissatisfaction with your work and force you to leave a job you otherwise enjoy.

Accepting that conflict is a part of firm life – and really life at any workplace – and being willing to tackle those conflicts head on will enable you to thrive.

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