Kill The Beef: Interpersonal Issues At Work

If you have beef with someone, you’re not enjoying hamburgers ? on your lunch break — you have issues with someone ?.  How you handle these interpersonal issues at work affects you, the people around you, and your potential future opportunities.  Here are 3 tips to help you kill the beef at work, check it out!

You’ve either been there before or are in the midst of issues at work right now.  So, let’s dig into a few lessons I’ve learned the hard way, but have proven to be beneficial in the end for everyone involved.


1.  Get Over Yourself. ?

I understand that the issue you’re having may not be your fault, but if you don’t want it to negatively affect your career, you have to take responsibility for fixing it.

“get over yourself” is harsh, but it was almost too late before someone finally said that to me — and I don’t want it to be too late for you!

Okay, they didn’t actually say to me, “get over yourself”, but my supervisor at a past job told me I was not getting promoted if I didn’t fix an issue between me and another co-worker, “Ben.” Here’s the thing, Ben had an issue with me, I didn’t have an issue with him.  I was doing what I was supposed to and getting great results! So, up until this point, I thought this was Ben’s problem — not mine.  Obviously I was wrong.

After that specific conversation with my supervisor, I realized really quick that I had to get over myself and the attitude that it wasn’t my problem.  That obviously wasn’t getting me anywhere.  If I was going to move up in the organization I had to own the responsibility of making things right.

What issues at work are you facing that you could fix if you just choose to own them and make it right?  If you don’t, what opportunities could you be missing out on?

2.  Figure Out The Root Issue. ?

Now that you’ve got the first step — choosing to get over yourself and own the responsibility to make it all right — the next step is to get to the heart of interpersonal issues at work.

The thing is, symptoms of issues can show up in different ways: a rude comment in a meeting, a lack of communication between departments, disengaged co-workers, etc.  But, you can’t fix an issue if you only know what the symptoms are.  You have to get down to the root of it all or else you’ll keep spinning your wheels putting bandaids on things that are actually much deeper.

Through my years of experience working in multiple management roles, in multiple industries, with multiple generations, I learned that the best way to get to the heart of an interpersonal issue is to approach it privately, with humility, and kindness.

If you have an issue with someone, or if you know someone has an issue with you, ask to have a private conversation with them.   Once you’re alone, tell them you genuinely want to understand why you are not jiving and you will do what it takes to make it right.  Remember to use kind words, a kind tone of voice, and have a kind demeanor.   Doing this will help create an environment where the other person feels comfortable enough to let their guard down and open up.   Once that happens, you both can get down to real issue at hand so you can move on — and move up!

3.  Be The Solution to Interpersonal Issues at Work. ??

To get rid of interpersonal issues at work once and for all, ask them how you can fix it — wether its your fault or not.

If the solution is not going to sacrifice your professionalism, then do it.

(Yes this may mean you put your phone away more.  It may mean you lose the messy bun.  You might have to show up to work earlier, check and respond to your email and voicemail more often, take on more responsibility or even keep your mouth shut, etc.)

Don’t be fooled by pop culture telling you that you should #doyou and never adapt to what other people want.  That approach might work if you’re Cardi B, but I am talking to people like you and me.  The people who are working in banks, hospitals, plants, mines, schools, restaurants, stores, and offices.   You have to get along with people if you are going to be successful.  You have to be willing to bend even when you don’t like it.  This is the crossroads for the successful path and the unsuccessful path, so buck up buttercup!  It might be tough, but so are you!  You are meant for more, so be part of the solution.

Less Drama = More Opportunity ?

If you’re easy to work with and take responsibility for fixing interpersonal issues at work as they come up, your name will start rising to the top of the list for the next opportunity.  Maybe that opportunity is to gain more dedicated followers at work.  Maybe that opportunity is a promotion. The possibilities are endless!  If you want more professional opportunities, kill the beef at work.


Need Help Improving Communication Among Your Leaders & Teams? Let’s Talk About It.

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You might also like this: 7 Potential Communication Issues

Alyson Van Hooser
Author: Alyson Van Hooser
Alyson Van Hooser, Leadership Keynote Speaker, Trainer on Millennials, Gen Z & Women in Business With the grit that only comes from tough experiences, Alyson has learned a thing or two about personal and professional success. From her management experience with Walmart, as an elected city council member, bank manager — all before the age of 30 — Alyson has wisdom well beyond her years! Her podcast, Stake: The Leadership Podcast, offers a fresh perspective on leadership and helps multiple generations successfully work together! Connect with Alyson on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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