How to Deal With Conflict in the Workplace


Conflicts can be caused by a wide range of factors. Some may be very simple such as a misconception or simple miscommunication. Other situations may involve a lack of coordination, limited resources, or a lack of communication. The conflict can also be caused by the perceptions and needs of the people involved.

In the workplace, conflict can occur between supervisors and subordinates, co-workers, service providers, or clients. Depending on the situation, the best course of action is to address the issue and seek to resolve it.

The first step in resolving a conflict is to establish what each party needs and wants. This should be done by asking questions that reveal what the interests and needs of each person are. These questions should be asked in a manner that allows each party to make a clear decision and to clarify the reasoning behind their positions.

Another method for conflict resolution involves working with a neutral third party. This can be a facilitator or a mediator. They are usually good at listening, analyzing, and resolving conflicts. However, you will need to find a way to get each party to open up to you.

If you are not able to work with a mediator, you can try a competing conflict management style. This is a less assertive approach that does not give in to the opinions of the other parties. It can be effective in some unpopular circumstances. It may lower morale, though, and lower productivity.

When a conflict begins, you should use care with language, body language, and other forms of communication. For example, do not insult or threaten someone. You should use appropriate body language, and do not make judgmental statements that could hurt another party.

A common problem in inter-group relationships is a clash of goals. This occurs when two or more parties have different expectations of what the organization should achieve. An example is when an employee argues with their supervisor over how to do their job.

A clash of moral values can also lead to conflict. If an individual’s sense of fairness differs from that of the other person, the person may feel as if they have been wronged. Similarly, an individual’s moral values can differ based on their religion, politics, or cultural beliefs.

Finally, consider the level of severity of the conflict. A small conflict can result in major unrest, while a large disagreement can lead to a war. Before acting on the matter, take time to assess the seriousness of the matter and to consult with the HR department.

Ultimately, the best way to manage conflict is to focus on the facts. Be sure to listen to the other side of the story, to ask for clarification, and to listen for signs of anger and frustration.

It is important to realize that even if you believe you are right, you do not necessarily win the argument. Conflicts are often not pleasant, but they can be a force for good.