How To Stay Out Of Office Arguments

The Argument Sketch
The Argument Sketch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Office arguments can get out of hand very quickly and sometimes the two (or more) parties that are arguing get others involved.  If you don’t want to be on the wrong end of an argument though, it is important not to get involved.  This is not your job.  If anyone is to get involved it should be the manager or the boss of the office.

So, when an argument is getting heated up, how can you stay out of it?

Don’t Take it Personally

The argument is not about you.  The argument may be about something that you are involved in but resist the urge to take it personally.  It is likely that the only reason this element became a factor in the argument is because it hit home for one of the parties.  Resist the urge to get involved when it involves work that you have had your hand in.  If you truly feel that it affects you or the project involved, bring it to the attention of the person who is in charge of the project.  If you are the person that is in charge of the project then you can request that the people in the argument address it with you directly.

Ask Them To Take the Conversation Elsewhere

If it is hard to resist getting involved in an argument because it is taking place in your work space (as it often is when you are the admin assistant), ask them to take their “discussion” somewhere more private.  Simply explain to them that you have an important project you are working on and that their debate is distracting you.  Most people will be happy to move their argument somewhere else but on occasion you might find that having the conversation in a public place is part of the reason for the argument.  One of the parties might be trying to get the attention of someone in the office and suggesting that they take their conversation elsewhere may make them stop and realize that they need to go directly to the source whose attention they are seeking.

Suggest Mediation

If your office has a mediator that is trained to get involved in disagreements, they are the one that should be getting involved, not you.  If there is not a person in the office that is trained for this and you have found that office arguments are increasing, this might be something you can suggest to the office manager.