5

There is a conflict growing between people in other team. I cooperate with one of the persons involved in that conflict.

It was like a quiet conflict (kind of "there is an elephant in the" ... open space) but lately something went wrong and they started to yell at each other in from of everybody (open space).

How should other react? Their manager is not around (he sits in other open space). Should I report to my manager to talk to their manager? Should I report to their manager? Should we try to solve the problem without mangers?

  • 1
    @JoeStrazzere Being able to say that depends on the persons standing in the company. A junior might not be able to say that to seniors without some repercussions. – jmorc Jan 16 at 14:19
  • What's your specific, personal concern with their argument? Is it literally disrupting YOUR work? Or do you feel like you have an obligation to resolve or report this? – dwizum Jan 16 at 15:24
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    Throwing a bucket of water on them like that ought to make them come to their senses and realize what is happening. At which point, they are more likely to be sheepish than angry and unlikely to "take it out" on any junior. – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jan 17 at 8:43
12

You walk up to them and say

Please take your discussion to a meeting room, we can't work like this.

Similarly how you would react to any other people being noisy in the open space while you're trying to work, the content of the conflict is not your business.

If it continues, complain to their manager.

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    ^ this. I would advise trying to keep it informal when you approach them though. Informal but assertive. If I were in a loud argument and someone came over and ordered me around in an abrasive tone then it would aggravate me even more. Keep it kind and they might realise how they sound in contrast to your upbeat tone. – HelloWorld Jan 16 at 12:42
7

They are in another team, so I would advise to ignore it unless they do it again and it prevents you from doing your work.

If you really want to do something or have to, it really depends on your coworkers and how they react to humor, authority etc. With some people, I would be tempted to crack a joke to make them stop but with others it really won't help.


If you don't know them enough to know how to react and they start doing it again, I'd send him an instant message (Skype or anything your company have for this purpose) if they start again like :

Hi, could you come in our open space ? It seems there is a conflict between X and Y and maybe you could help.

2

There are still some escalation levels left for you, before taking this issue to the manager.

If it hinders you from executing your work properly, you should consider talking to them in a fashion that puts none of them up against the wall with their backs. In my opinion running straight to the manager is kind of putting them both against the wall with their backs.

Instead you could invite them to a cup of coffee and talk about it, mentioning that their behaviour affects others in a negative way. The speech should make politely clear that they have to resolve personal issues in their professional life in a fashion that they are no hindrance to the teams performance.

1

I cooperate with one of the persons involved in that conflict.

If you mean that he is a "work friend" you advise him/her later that it looks as bad on them as it does on the other person.

Their manager is not around (he sits in other open space). Should I report to their manager?

Going to someone else's manager about something is generally a bad idea (unless it is an emergency - if one person is threatening the other it is an emergency).

Should we try to solve the problem without mangers?

We? If you weren't involved, then you should stay out of it (see exceptions below).
Make a note to yourself about when it started, who is shouting and what the conflict appears to be about - then you can go for a walk around the block, go to the bathroom, or something else to remove yourself from the situation.

If it frightens you - you can talk to your manager about that part of it. And I mean if you are actually afraid of something, not just really uncomfortable (as most people would be).

If it continues to happen - you can talk to your manager about it.


This answer assumes two people of relatively equal power - if one is bullying the other then you can skip the rules and help your friend.

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