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11 Tips For Resolving Workplace Conflicts

Solve conflict at work correctly and avoid common problems with these essential tips.
by Rob Gillham | Nov 14 2022

Sadly, most of us are not strangers to conflict. People experience it every day – with their friends, their families, and more so in their professional lives.

Conflict at work leads to a great deal of frustration, pain, discomfort, sadness, and anger. This is a normal part of life.

In today’s world, organizations hire employees from all over the world with varied cultural backgrounds, intellectual backgrounds, and viewpoints. People with divergent perspectives on the same problem are bound to disagree in a working environment.

If you want to maintain positive professional relationships and work closely with others, you need to know how to resolve conflicts at work.

The goal of this article is to explain the best way to go about resolving workplace conflicts and the essential rules to follow to make sure they don’t happen in the first place. 

Are you ready to learn everything there is to know about resolving workplace conflicts? Let’s get started! 

What is The Importance of Resolving Workplace Conflicts?

In addition to the discomfort, conflicts can cause, there are several other reasons why it’s important to mediate and resolve workplace conflicts as soon as possible.

There are times when small disagreements are symptoms of a much larger, more pervasive problem. By identifying the big conflicts at work, everyone can work together more effectively.

Develop your ability to solve problems: Some conflicts require creative compromise, which improves your problem-solving skills.

Relationships should be strengthened and healthier when you learn how to advocate for yourself and others by resolving discomfort and addressing conflict. When you resolve an issue with a colleague, you can get back to work rather than worrying about how to resolve it.

Consider your own role in the conflict: The more you understand yourself, the better able you will be to manage additional conflicts in the future.

Aspiring to work in a managerial or supervisory role requires you to develop leadership skills, whether on a new project or resolving conflict.

Tips For Resolving Workplace Conflicts

Conflict is likely to arise at work at some point in everyone’s career. You may disagree over where to order lunch, or you may disagree about how to structure a big project.

No matter the cause, here’s how to deal with a workplace conflict. 

1. Make a plan

Consider creating an action plan to minimize disruptions and discomfort caused by the conflict. A third party may be able to help you develop a plan that helps both parties feel heard and understood if you have trouble creating one on your own.

2. Find a solution

After everyone involved in the conflict has shared their feelings and comments, work together to find a solution. There are times when a sincere apology is all that’s needed.

Occasionally, you’ll need to work together to come up with a creative solution that everyone can agree on.

3. Identify the problem

Conflicts can occur in a single incident or over time and often involve indiscretions by all parties. It is important to ask the other people involved how they feel, no matter how pervasive or intense the conflict is.

Identify the true cause of the conflict by giving everyone the opportunity to express their feelings.

4. Feel free to express yourself

In many cases, conflict stems from hurt feelings rather than disagreements over facts or figures. In conflict resolution meetings, use “I” language to describe how you feel, rather than “you” language that could make the other party feel criticized.

To avoid making the other party feel attacked, use yourself as the subject of your sentence whenever possible.

5. Let everyone have their say and listen actively

Once both parties have met in a secure and private place, let them air out their views and perceptions regarding the matter at hand. Give each party equal time to express their thoughts and concerns without favoritism.

During the meeting, adopt a positive and assertive attitude. Establish ground rules if necessary.

It will encourage both parties to speak openly and honestly, as well as to comprehend the causes of the conflict and identify solutions.

6. Schedule a private meeting

Whenever possible, hold your conflict resolution meeting in a private location. Let a third-party mediator join you if you think you’d both benefit from it.

When a meeting is private, everyone involved can be more honest and open about their feelings without fear of judgment.

7. Early conflict resolution is key

You should reach out to the other party once you’ve noticed the issue and examined it on your own. Discussing and resolving the problem as soon as possible will reduce the likelihood that it will become a major issue that has a negative impact on your productivity and wellbeing.

8. Analyze the situation

Evaluate the situation on your own first. Take into account whether your actions or behavior may be contributing to the conflict.

Make a list of what’s bothering you, including your own actions, if applicable. Take an objective look at the situation and consider what you need to address with the other party.

9. Determine the source of conflict

Clarifying the conflict’s source is the first step toward resolving it. In order to understand how the conflict developed in the first place, you need to identify its cause.

You will also be able to agree on what the disagreement is between the two parties. In order to do so, you must discuss the needs that are not being met on both sides.

It is also important to guarantee mutual understanding. Get as much information as possible about each side’s viewpoint.

You should continue asking questions until all conflicting parties have a clear understanding of the issue.

10. Establish an open door policy

It is important for managers to create an environment of open communication so employees feel comfortable bringing their concerns to leadership early. Implementing an open-door policy can facilitate this.

As a result of this policy, employees should feel free to discuss any matter of importance with management without fear of repercussions. The process involves active listening, asking questions, and utilizing teamwork.

Employees will be more likely to reach out when there’s an issue, which can prevent conflicts or keep them from escalating.

11. You can get insight from your employee handbook

When dealing with office conflict, your employee handbook should be the first point of reference. You can use this handbook as a guide to navigate disputes and to take disciplinary action, if necessary.

Your employee handbook should clearly define what constitutes unacceptable behavior at work. There should be little room for interpretation so there is no confusion about what is expected.

Leaders in your organization must make sure their employees are aware of the company’s policies, understand they are responsible for their actions, and understand they are held to the same standards as everyone else, regardless of their title or position. Employees should be aware that disciplinary action will be taken if guidelines aren’t followed.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, we live in a world that is filled with conflict every day. It is okay to disagree with your family, friends, or coworkers. The good news is that there are various conflict resolution steps you can take to ensure this issue is not manageable.

The ability to manage and resolve conflict at work is integral to the achievement of organizational objectives. If there are any problems or disagreements between your employers, look for ideal ways to handle them. 


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