Managing conflict at work

At some point in your life at the workplace, there will be a conflict. We experience conflicts at various levels at the work and without a lack of professionalism in solving them, they may end up escalating into something that might affect our work.

What is workplace conflict?

Workplace conflict or organizational conflict are conflicts that occur when two or more people in an organization disagree due to differing interests or ideas.

Some conflicts are actual while some are perceived out of selfish interests, lack of teamwork, poor communication, bullying or harassment, stress, poor leadership or many other pressing issues.

The fact that people come from various denominations and backgrounds, conflicts will always be there and we can’t ignore them.

Establishing a conflict resolution program at the workplace is one step towards solving conflict instances at the workplace.

Hr cloud says, conflict resolution is integral in the corporate world as it helps distinguish a good business from a bad one.

Why should we manage conflicts at work the workplace?

Conflicts, when they occur, will have either a positive or negative impact on both the individual and team performance and if not solved amicably, will affect the growth of the organization.

When conflicts are not solved, personal and professional relationships suffer from unresolved arguments which later on translate into explosive behaviours and resentment.

They also tend to affect team performance as they tend to stand in the way of team productivity.

Here are some of the approaches to managing conflicts at work

Use clear communication

Communication is key in all aspects of business, thus conflict management can be no exception. Lacking clear communication can cause a multitude of problems in the workplace. For example, if communication is unclear, an employee might not understand what type of behaviour is expected, or they might misinterpret another’s intentions as malicious.


The best way to manage a conflict between two people be it at work or anywhere else is to listen to both parties without taking sides. Hearing their story without injecting yourself into it lets them open up to the route course of the conflict which lays a foundation to amicable solve it.

Discuss and don’t debate

When driving open and honest dialogue to resolve an impending conflict, emphasize that the purpose of getting together is to discuss, not to debate or disagree further.

You can set up discussion rules so that no one intentionally bypasses them to be superior to the other.  Setting up discussion rules is important so conversations don’t take a turn for the worse.

Train your team on conflict management

Some conflicts arise as a result of poor leadership or simply having leaders who are poor at solving problems.

There is little doubt that workplace conflict is a major business issue that needs to be effectively addressed by company leaders. To be best placed at this, ensure leaders are equipped with the experience and skills necessary to facilitate conflict resolution whenever they occur.

Found this interesting? subscribe to our blog for more.