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TheStreet Open House

Those Workplace Conflicts May Be Your Fault

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you continually find yourself at odds with your colleagues, perhaps it's time you took a good look in the mirror. While having arguments doesn't mean you can't be a successful leader, it may be a sign you need to dial it back a notch. Here the top three questions to ask yourself to determine if you might be the real reason behind co-worker conflicts.

Are your complaints or frustrations with people always the same?

If you find you always have the same complaints about everyone, that's a sign the flaw may be yours, suggests Erica Ariel Fox, author of the New York Times Bestseller Winning From Within.

"If you always find yourself saying, 'These people are so rude,' or 'These people are so selfish,' but the people are in different situations on different projects at different companies, then that is a sign you are doing something that is eliciting that type of response -- you're just unaware you're doing it," Fox says.

For example, if you are a manager who sends emails to your team on a Saturday and they don't get back to you until Monday morning, that doesn't mean they are lazy -- it means you're a workaholic, Fox says.

"In reality, you're the one with the assumption that people should work seven days a week. What's happening is that you're overworking and expecting everyone else do to the same," she says.

Likewise, if you often feel your bosses micromanage you, that may be because you never follow through on projects.

"Your lack of execution may be the reason why your boss is constantly checking in with you," she says. "You may be forcing them to watch over your shoulder because they know you don't deliver on time. You are almost requiring them to treat you this way."

Do you have the same fights with your family and friends that you do with your colleagues?

If you sense that those around you are uncomfortable when talking to you, or that they openly avoid you, it could be a sign others are having issues with your behavior, says Robert Hosking, executive director at staffing firm OfficeTeam.

"Sometimes the behaviors that others find annoying outside of the office may be the same ones that are affecting colleagues, Hosking says. "Your friends and family can make you aware of your habits so you can make changes at work as appropriate."

Take a look at past conflicts, he suggests -- you may see some common denominators and red flags that you can address for future situations.

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