I had the unfortunate turn around of seeing a coworker leave after it started to turn ugly. Now, I believe that any situation can be dealt with, and possibly turned around with the right problem solving skills. I have tried twice now to try and give these skills to other co-workers who have left angrily, upset about what they believe are horrible conditions, situations, and unbelievable stories. Instead of dealing with the situation, or confronting it, they end up ignoring it, acting and behaving inappropriately, and ending up fired, or leaving with such anger that they believe it was all everyone else fault. But lets look at what they could have done to confront the situation?
1) Write down all the issues, problems and situations that have bothered you, and why!
2) For each of the above written points, write down three ways to solve, fix, or change the situation for the better, not just for you but for everyone. Make sure these are plausible, effective, and for good effort, explain why this solution will work.
3) Now that you have some solutions, go to the person in charge, or the person(s) you need to confront. Ask them if they can sit with you, that the time is correct and effective, if needed bring in an unbiased mediator. Then sit, say you have some issues, and get at it. If needed, leave your notes with that person for them to think it over, and please ask them for a reply within a certain plausible amount of time.
4) Listen to their solutions, reasons, and answers. Actually take time to listen. Do NOT shut them down because they seem to be ignorant, or you feel you are not being taken seriously. They have listened to you, take time to listen to them.
5) If all parties are willing to come to an agreement, then work towards it! Find a goal, set the plan, and implement!
Unfortunately, sometimes not all parties can agree, sometimes the situation cannot be resolved and it is best to walk away, but try to do so without burning bridges or flying out with all demons loosed. To my co-worker that is leaving and doing so, I leave this message:
I am sorry that you felt you could not come to me with your concerns. I am sorry that you are so angry that you cannot see me as a friend. I am sorry you are leaving, instead of trying to work out this situation. Good luck with the next turn your path in life will take.