Handling a conflict with a co-worker

Work carries with it expectations and hopes; it is a realm where values clash, and it exposes us sometimes to dissatisfaction, disappointment, even anger... becoming in this way a realm of conflict. A realm of constant movement in which the manager must nonetheless find a way to orient himself, at least temporarily.
Recognize, if necessary, the gravity of the situation
Playing down the situation is rarely wise; nothing's worse than "it's not a big deal." Actually, if things are close to a point of no return, it is better to formulate this clearly. Not to aggravate the situation, but on the contrary to show that you accept the fact of having "reached that point" and that this awareness will allow things to move forward.
It is often necessary as well to recognize one's own measure of responsibility (not having intervened earlier, having acted clumsily...)       
Show that you are ready to hear grievances
Showing that you are ready implies that you truly are ready! Hearing grievances is a phase which is unavoidable but emotionally disagreeable for it means pushing on uncomfortable questions, and really hearing the responses without interrupting or offering justifications, let alone counter-arguing. Hearing - truly - is the first step to a mutual cooling off: if the other perceives that he is heard, there is no more need for conflict.       
Exchange views on the issues under conflict
Proposing a solution too quickly is a common error: we wish to resolve the problem, even to the point of silencing opposition. It is more constructive to envision with the co-worker different possible outcomes to the conflict: what does he see happening next? With what aim? What does he think of your positions and propositions? ... Finally, what is your common interest?       
Each question has only one correct response, but be careful: among the possible responses there is one that is "almost correct" and might make the choice harder!
1 / 3   Communication stalemate
For the last few days, you have been in conflict with Jules: you refused his request for a day off which coincided with an important team meeting that had been planned 2 months earlier. He doesn't say hello anymore and answers your questions simply by yes/no. What do you do ?
You count on time and wait for him to return to his natural self.
Not a good idea if the situation has already lasted several days. Time is not always an ally. 
You say to him:"I find it regrettable that since I refused your day off, there has been tension between us. How do you see the situation?"
Yes, you open up a dialogue: clearly present the situation without accusation or irritation, and then listen to his point of view.
You take it with a pinch of humour: "you have become really sulky lately!"
Risky. There is little chance your light tone will ease the tension.
I understand you may be upset, but sulking won't solve anything.
Pointless giving him a lesson! It would be better to talk clearly about the problem.
2 / 3   Frosty reception
Sylvie, had hopes of obtaining the manager's position which has been offered to you. Right from the first meeting, she confronts you "In any case, we know that cronyism can work miracles here!" What do you do?
You consider that the team meeting is not the place for this type of attack and prefer to ignore it.   
Risky. The team may think that you accept these remarks and/or that you are not capable of dealing with them.
You reply to Sylvie:"I am not here because of cronyism but because I have the necessary skills".
Argumentative response which could be seen as defensive and Sylvie will seise the opportunity to argue back. 
You answer, firstly addressing Sylvie and then all the team members: "So, you don't see me as a legitimate person for this position?"
Yes, clearly formulating what has been implied shows that the subject doesn't intimidate you and that you are ready for the discussion.
Thank you for your warm welcome!
Not sure using humour is the best solution in this particular case.
3 / 3   Straight to the point
Mathieu made a very unpleasant and incomprehensible remark towards you, in front of the entire team. You initiate a one-to-one with him. What do you say ?
I really didn't appreciate what you said to me in front of the whole team.
It would also be useful to understand the meaning of his remark.
Why did you confront me in front of the whole team?
Mathieu will probably say that he didn't confront you.
Your remark in front of the whole team surprised me. What exactly did you want to say?
Yes your approach is open, without accusation. You should then suggest that Mathieu address his remarks directly to you. 
Your score is
You finished!
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