Top 5 Tips for Managing Conflict in The Workplace


Where there are employees, there will be conflict.

No one person is the same, and when you take such a mixed bag of personalities and put them in the same room, problems often arise. As natural as conflict is in the workplace, too much of it or unresolved conflict can lead to bigger problems down the line.

In this article, you will learn important things to consider when attempting to resolve issues between your employees. Below are the top five tips for managing conflict in the workplace:

  1. Degrees of Conflict

There are degrees of conflict, with some not being worth the emotional energy it would take to resolve them.

The thing is, everyone is different, and so is their tolerance to unpleasant situations.

Some issues are not worth discussing unless they keep rearing their ugly heads. For conflicts to be resolved, people need to be willing to compromise.

Understand the various degrees of conflict and come up with a plan to resolve the ones that count and walk away from the ones that do not.

  1. Active Listening

When people stop listening to respond and start listening to understand, many workplace conflicts will resolve on their own.

Observe the verbal and non-verbal messages and provide the appropriate feedback to your employees. To truly understand the issue at hand, you must genuinely listen to all sides of the story.

By actively listening, you will quickly be able to work out whether the issue is personality or task-related.

  1. Find Common Ground

Work together with the parties involved to find common ground.

A good starting point is to get everyone involved to agree to something within the conflict, such as agreeing that the issue needs to be resolved or that everyone should be compensated fairly.

It may not seem like much, but it is at least a step in the right direction.

Once you understand the problem, bring the parties together and work towards finding a solution. Remember to act as a moderator in these situations.

If that does not work, seek outside help to handle your disputes – that will help get an expert’s opinion on how best to address them.

  1. Identify Recurring Themes

When problems keep cropping up, there is a bigger issue in play.

Recurring themes for workplace conflict often quickly spiral into serious conflicts between departments.

The resolution process of a conflict relies on identifying commonly occurring issues and resolving the disagreements surrounding those as quickly as possible.

Be mindful of the language you use during the resolution process, as triggering phrases are often the catalyst for overly defensive behavior.

  1. Be Empathetic

To be a great leader and resolve workplace conflict like a pro, you must be empathetic towards both parties.

Only focusing on how a problem negatively impacts one person is unfair toward the other, and it is the wrong way to approach the process. Consider why each person would be upset, angered, or hurt by the situation.

Remember that you are trying to resolve a problem and make all employees feel comfortable and happy.

To End

When attempting to resolve a conflict between your team members, keep the tone of the conversation calm.

Encourage others to listen to where the other person is coming from and brainstorm solutions together so everyone can play a part in the resolution process.