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3 Effective Methods for Managing Workplace Conflict

Managing Conflict - E-Learning

Workplace conflict is probably more common than most organizations would like to admit and many of us have been affected by it at some point in our careers.

It affects productivity, morale, judgement, other relationships, and at its worst, can even lead some personnel to quit a role they love because they can no longer cope with the tension.

While there is no way to avoid workplace conflict completely, it is possible to manage it, resolving issues before they become ingrained and improving relationships for everyone.

The following 3 methods help to manage workplace conflict, giving individuals and team members a solid foundation from which to build positive workplace relationships.




1. Don’t Ignore it!

Workplace conflict can be ignored by some for a short time without too much trouble, but in the long term, it is never a good idea to bury your head in the sand, hoping the problem will go away.

Ignoring tense situations or relationships will cause them to build up over time, compounding the problem, often leading to an flareup at some point in the future.

Dealing with conflicts as they arise helps to avoid awkwardness developing, and ensures that there are no further misunderstandings or hard feelings.

Leaders have a duty to observe their team, notice potential problems, check in with individuals, and act accordingly to resolve issues before they become a major problem for everyone.




2. Communicate Constructively

Choosing not to ignore conflict and to deal with issues as they arise requires effective communication by all involved parties.

Effective communication – that which is constructive, positive and productive – is essential when dealing with conflict in a professional way.

Team leaders can be a real catalyst for change here, by mediating, exploring issues with those involved, and suggesting strategies for change and resolution, leaders can encourage effective communication between team members and restore unity.

Another point worth making here, is that poor communication is often a key factor in causing workplace conflict.

When team members are clear on their individual and collective roles, understand what they need to achieve, and have knowledge of the overall objectives, conflicts are reduced.

Those in leadership roles have a responsibility to ensure communication from the top down is clear, concise and correct as this will eliminate many causes of conflict before they arise.




3. Promote Collaboration

There are numerous ways to promote collaboration and help avoid workplace conflict before it even begins.

Having an open plan office, providing opportunities for teambuilding, promoting equality and inclusion, and offering ‘soft skills’ training, all actively encourage collaboration and help boost team trust.

Similarly, providing opportunities for a little fun and humour within the working day can really help to lighten people’s mood – just because it’s work, it doesn’t mean it has to be dull, and if team members understand it is okay to relax, they are likely to be more productive and communicative.


Further information about managing workplace conflict can be found here, or you can view our other soft skills courses here.

If you’d like to share your experiences of managing workplace conflict, please feel free to comment below, we’d love to hear what works for you!