Conflict Management

What Is Conflict Management in the Workplace?

Featured image by Mohamed_hassan on Pixabay

Every good leader wants their team to get along and work together effectively. Unfortunately, there are cases where conflicts arise when your team is working closely together. Although you can take preventive measures to try and avoid conflicts and even take a conflict management workshop to brush up on your skills, some conflicts are unavoidable. 

Thankfully, there are ways to manage conflict in the workplace. Conflict management involves handling conflicts between people in the workplace constructively. The aim of the team leader should be to manage the conflict respectfully and come to a solution for the problem occurring. 

Many different types of conflict management can be used in the workplace. Let’s review a few.


1. Establish Preventative Measures

One way to manage conflict in the workplace is by establishing preventive measures. If you can do specific actions to create a better work environment and predict problems that could occur, then you can avoid conflict altogether by being proactive. Reorganizing the workplace is a way to be preventative. When employees are cramped together, or the office is noisy, this can create conflict.

Also, if you notice that employees are not getting along in their job roles, consider switching the project role. Doing this can make things copacetic and avoid conflict. Lastly, this may be obvious, but providing the proper training can be a conflict management strategy that prevents issues from arising in the future. 


2. Active Listening and Discussion 

Another conflict management technique in the workplace is to establish the dispute and bring both parties together privately. Then, you want to make sure that you let each party say their piece and actively listen to what they are saying.

Active listening includes paraphrasing what they told you to show that you understand their point. Then upon discussing the matter, you can establish a solution to the problem. Active listening is essential when you are a team leader and shows your employees that you care about the matter at hand. 

3. Alternative Dispute Resolution

If for some reason, preventive measures and active listening do not work to help avoid conflicts among team members, then you can try alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution includes bringing in a neutral party to hear both sides of the problem and establish a solution. You can bring a mediator into the workplace to hear out both parties. This conflict management technique has been proved very effective in the workplace.

A mediator’s job is to stay calm, cool, and collected and develop a solution that satisfies both parties. Essentially, they are a neutral host that helps both parties come to a resolution. If bringing in a mediator does not work, you may have to hire an arbitrator. A lawyer will represent the team members, and the arbitrator will come up with a legally binding settlement. Of course, this is drastic, and most people can resolve their work issues without this. 

Final Thoughts

Remember, if you are having trouble with conflict management in the workplace, there are courses that you can take to help you master this skill. Managing conflict is an essential part of being a team leader but may be challenging to master when first starting.