How to Manage Conflict in the Workplace


Conflict is a natural part of life and a necessary process for growth. However, conflicts can create problems if left unaddressed. They can cause stress, distrust and damage your reputation. When they are managed well, conflicts can lead to new opportunities for discussion and strengthen your relationships.

In fiction writing, conflict occurs when your protagonist wants something but something or someone is standing in their way. This could be another character, a natural event or even their own personality traits. Often, this opposition comes from an antagonist or arch-villain but can also be a person or thing that is in direct contrast to what the protagonist wants.

There are many different ways to manage and resolve conflicts. One option is to defuse the situation through active listening and open communication with the parties involved. Another way is to ask for help from an impartial individual, such as the ombudsperson or a manager with experience in conflict resolution. Many institutions and organizations have a conflict management team that can provide one-on-one coaching or mediation to address workplace conflicts.

Ultimately, the best way to address conflict is to prevent it from arising in the first place. This can be achieved by fostering a workplace culture that is tolerant of differences and respectful of people with different opinions, perspectives and lifestyles.

You can also train your employees to recognize and avoid common sources of conflict, such as the competition for limited resources. For example, if your organization has a limited number of cutting-edge laptops and gadgets that are given out on a need-to-have basis, this can cause conflict among employees who want access to these devices. Another source of conflict is dependency on common resource pools, such as a single department’s budget or a shared pool of funds for a specific project.

The final way to prevent conflict is to deal with it as soon as you can. Ignoring problems will only cause them to fester and resurface at inopportune moments. If you have an issue with a coworker, try to schedule a time to meet and talk about it, rather than burying the problem and hoping it will go away.

Finally, if you do have an ongoing problem with a coworker, it is important to separate the person from the problem and view it as a behavior or set of circumstances that needs to be changed. Avoid blaming and making personal attacks, which can make others defensive and limit their ability to listen actively. Finally, focus on the needs that are being unmet and use this information to brainstorm solutions. When you have a solution, communicate it clearly with all parties and make sure everyone understands your decision. If possible, escalate to a higher level person for assistance with difficult situations. Having support from outside the department can be especially helpful in defusing a difficult situation and avoiding unnecessary escalation.