Q: I am having a problem with a colleague at work – who should I approach for help?
A: In any situation where people are working together, differences and conflicts can arise. It is important to address disagreements before they escalate and have a negative impact on you and your colleagues.
Who you approach depends on the problem and who it is with. If it concerns someone on your team, your line manager or supervisor would be the first port of call.
If, however, the issue is with your manager, you will need to find an alternative individual to seek advice from. In this instance, speaking to HR, another team manager or a more senior executive would be the best option.
Examine the issue and decide what action is most appropriate. Is it a serious matter or relatively trivial? Will it necessitate organisational discipline or grievance to be invoked? The severity of the problem should determine who you speak to.
Regardless of the problem, always approach it with a desired solution in mind. If you are constructive and positive in your approach, you are more likely to gain the help and support of your confidant. JO CAUSON, director, marketing and corporate affairs, Chartered Management Institute