Learn whether your practice's conflicts are out of control and how you play a role in easing on-the-job tension between co-workers.
Today on "Fight Night," err, a "Day at the Veterinary Clinic," in a blood rematch of old rivals, Passive-Aggressive Pam will be working to sabotage Screaming Susie, who will surely respond with howling complaints. Then Inattentive Inez will stumble into a skirmish of blistering words with Whatever Wendy, who always manages to exhibit her blasé attitude in front of clients.
This brutal description of workplace battles is admittedly over-the-top. But it’s no exaggeration that co-worker conflict takes a toll on your practice. Whether you're an instigator or a bystander, you can help prevent the sinister effects of daily employee dustups, both the silly and serious varieties. Take this quick quiz to test your team conflict smarts.
1. Gossip souring co-worker relations is the most common negative effect of co-worker conflict at veterinary practices today.
2. Which situation shows that conflict is overwhelming a practice?
A: Team members and doctors are always disagreeing about big changes the practice needs, such as ways to improve practice efficiency.
B: Team members and doctors sometimes seem angry at each other or they disagree about little things.
C: Doctors and team members often end up in screaming matches with each other.
3. Which of these is an example of potentially problematic gossip about another co-worker?
A: "I heard from Cindy that she's getting married. How wonderful!"
B: "I heard Cindy yelling at Sherri. I hope they can get their differences resolved."
C: "I heard from Lucy that Cindy made a mistake on a chart. Somebody needs to talk to Cindy about how careless she’s being."
4. Late starts and missed deadlines can cause team conflict. What's an appropriate level of employee timeliness at a veterinary practice?
A: Co-workers arrive on time for shifts and finish their work on time, so other team members don't have to pick up their slack.
B: Co-workers are sometimes late, but always call to let everyone know. They finish their work on time, missing deadlines only when they have a good reason.
C: Co-workers are frequently late, but always have valid excuses when they arrive. They seldom finish their work on time, but that's because the schedule is so busy.
5. If you feel a conflict brewing with another co-worker, the best thing to do is:
A: Address the issue with your co-worker at an appropriate time.
B: Ignore it and try to get your schedule changed so you don’t have to work with the person you’re in conflict with.
C: Tell your boss.