How to Manage Conflict at Work

Conflict is a serious disagreement and argument between two or more people. The key to conflict resolution is finding a way to come up with solutions that meet the needs of everyone involved. Conflict can also be a great opportunity for growth, but only if we let it.

Some people are energized by conflict, and thrive on the debate and discussion that may ensue. Others prefer to avoid conflict, and hope that the issue will resolve itself. The problem is that unaddressed conflict almost always intensifies. In fact, a common cause of workplace stress is the conflict that arises from poor communication and the failure to manage it effectively.

In a story, conflict occurs when the protagonist wants something but there is a person or force that stands in their way. This obstacle can be someone who wants the same thing, or it could be a person or situation that is in direct opposition to what the protagonist wants. Conflict can also result from the character’s own internal struggle with their emotions or a fear of failure.

Difficult People

One of the most common sources of conflict at work is dealing with difficult people. These are individuals who have a habit of crossing the line into unethical business behavior such as bullying, harassment, discrimination and other forms of unfair treatment. This can lead to a toxic work environment and can seriously impact business operations.

People who are prone to these types of behaviors often lack clear boundaries and do not communicate effectively with others. This can make it difficult to identify when a conflict is developing, and leads to the situation escalating out of control.

When confronted by a difficult person, it is important to try to remain calm and to approach the situation in a respectful manner. It is also important to talk directly to the individual about what the problem is and how it affects you. It is best to do this in a private and quiet place where you will be uninterrupted for as long as the conversation takes.

It is also important to listen carefully to the other person’s point of view, and to try to understand their perspective. Many times conflict is fueled by the desire to be “right,” but seeking the truth can trap us in our own narrow positions. In addition, it is often more productive to focus on the group’s interests rather than arguing about the particulars of their position.

In most cases, a negative feeling about someone does not stem from a single event, but is a cumulative buildup of annoyance. It is critical to recognize this when attempting to solve conflicts, and to separate the person from their problem. This will help to keep conflict from escalating into personal attacks and blame. It is also helpful to think about the positive traits of the individual, and look for ways to support them even if you do not agree with their stance on an issue.