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Internship College: Dealing With Workplace Conflicts

Tyra Smith -- College internships are great opportunities to gain experience and work with people with differing viewpoints. So if you are faced with an employee you do not like, it can make for a tough situation.

It is probably inevitable that you will encounter people throughout your lifetime that you will not get along with for one reason or another. In some cases you will encounter someone like this and will easily be able to escape them because it was a passing situation. Unfortunately, if you meet someone you don't agree with in your workplace, it will not be so easy to get away from them.

If you are taking an internship college and are faced with an employee you do not like, it can make for a tough situation. No matter the reason for not getting along with someone at your workplace, no employer wants to deal with fights between employees at their company, especially if it is between a full time employee and you, the intern.

During your internship college, it is important to keep in mind that you are not a full time employee and will only be with the college internship company for a few months so an employer will likely not tolerate petty complaints regarding another employee. If you have valid reasons for submitting a complaint about another employee and the situation is disrupting your working environment, you should probably go to your supervisor and voice your concerns. No one should feel threatened or have their workplace disrupted by another employee.

Students completing an internship college are often asked to collaborate with other employees or interns on assignments throughout the course of their internship. If your employer pairs you with someone whose ideas differ from your own, try and approach the situation with an open mind. Effective collaboration with an employee who has different ideas about a project can be of great benefit. Each of you may think of ideas that had not occurred to the other and when put together, those ideas could take the college internship assignment into a higher level of creativity and productivity. When you are struggling to come to an agreement with someone you have paired with, it might help to try and approach the assignment from their viewpoint to see where they are coming from and hopefully they will do the same.

If, after attempting to resolve disagreements and communication problems, you and another employee still can not come together and complete an internship college assignment effectively, you may consider approaching your boss to discuss what can be done with the situation. Your boss may have ideas on how to improve the situation or may decide to split you up to end the situation and pair you with someone else.

Hopefully you will never have to deal with a major disagreement with another employee at your internship college. It is common to work with people whose viewpoints differ from your own and if handled correctly, this can actually make for an enriching college internship experience. Working with others who view the world differently from you can be a great opportunity to learn their viewpoints and expand your understanding of things outside of your perception of the world.


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© 2009 Tyra Smith

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