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Old 06-21-2017

I feel in abit of a pickle at work, primarily in that I'm stuck in the middle of on-going disputes between two colleagues who don't particularly like each on a professional level (even personally, maybe)

One of my colleagues is someone who I respect both personally and professionally. She has been a major help to me since I started work at this place and we get on well.

Recently we had a new dude join the team who had worked with my colleague before. Safe to say, he didn't come with a glowing reputation but on a personal level, I get on well with him whilst in a work environment, there's mutual cooperation as you would expect in a small team.

Due to their previous history, they end up butting heads regularly​. Not a loud slanging match but they both challenge each other's views professionally.

What tends to happen is when the other person is not around then they tend to come to me to unload that tension which I don't mind if it helps them. My colleague who I've known longer I feel a stronger sense of loyalty to rather than the guy who started a few months ago. He's been very critical, bordering on sneery, on my colleague and his perceived professional limitations and I've tried to challenge him by addressing ways he can contribute on the aforementioned weaknesses of my colleague.

Of course I haven't told my colleague about the comments as that causes needless friction but I feel like I'm letting down my friend by not defending her vociferously enough or am I best to listen, make few points on her behalf and let that dude just go on and on?
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Old 06-21-2017
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I've been there. I think you're doing it right. Being stuck in the middle between 2 colleagues isn't like being stuck between 2 friends. It's not your place to get into a fight with a coworker because he's talking against another colleague that you like. However, it wouldn't be right to agree with him when he's bitching about her either so I think you're doing exactly the right thing if you're trying to point out constructive ways that they can work with each other instead of taking any side. It may feel like betrayal though if you keep listening to this guy talking in her back over and over without saying anything against it ever. I don't think it would jeopardize your professional relationship with that guy if, without falling into an argument, you would mention from time to time that you actually like working with that girl and you don't share his opinion about the quality of her work. This would also increase the chances that he will at some point stop b*tching to you about her, which could become very draining on the long run.
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