Conflict Resolution Within the Workplace

While it is widely recognised that good conflict resolution skills are essential in industries that involve staff frequently dealing with difficult customers, the wider application of these skills is sometimes neglected. Conflict management is also particularly useful when used internally. Disagreements, divergent ideas and disharmony are inevitable in every workplace, but applying some conflict resolution techniques will help relieve pressure and prevent these types of situations arising.


Awareness of others

It may sound obvious, but it is important to recognise that we all process and react to situations in different ways. If you have a greater understanding of how your colleagues operate and respect that their values may differ substantially to your own, you will encourage harmony through diversity, rather than disunity and there will be less need for conflict resolution or crisis intervention.


It is important to recognise your own conflict management methods. Maybe you are a dominant presence or perhaps you avoid confrontation at all costs. Whatever your approach, it is likely that not everyone will respond in a constructive manner to your style. As such, there may be times when it is necessary to adapt your own leadership in order to minimise conflict.

Understanding emotional reactions

An overt facet of any conflict is a strong emotional response. Reason and rationale can easily be lost in the heat of the moment and if you are adept at recognising this, you can learn when to step away. One advantage of internal workplace disputes, as opposed to dealing with difficult customers, is a greater opportunity to step back from conflict and re-approach it when the initial anger has subsided.

Uncover the root of the problem

We often use pretexts in conflict situations. An unwashed coffee cup may appear to have triggered an office war, but the real reason is likely much deeper. Your conflict management strategy should include resolution of the source issue rather than simply dealing with the symptoms.

Create conflict resolution guidelines

You might want to draw up some communally agreed upon guidelines for dealing with conflicts in your workplace. If the staff themselves have invested their time in, and contributed to, its implementation, they are more likely to follow this protocol.

The techniques for conflict management listed above are just some of the many that Conflict Resolution Training & Consulting go into in great detail during our courses. Our goal is to ensure Australian workplaces are as safe as possible and the acquisition of aggression management and conflict resolution skills go a long way toward achieving that.

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