3 Tips for Managing Conflict at Work

It has taken me a while to realise that conflict is a part of work. I am not talking about dramatic conflict rather low level differences in how to approach work.

I have been indoctrinated to believe that a high functioning team would be conflict free and all work well together – all in sync. Well part of that scenario is correct – we just all work well together. The other part – that we are conflict free is incorrect. There will be conflict because we are all individuals and we all have different approaches and views that may challenge other people. 

Hence where conflict comes in. 

Conflict can be good and it can be bad. I believe that you should expect conflict to arise and be ready with a plan on how you are going to manage it.  

For me I have worked in highly productive teams. There has been conflict in those teams – some of the good,  some of it not so good. 

Here are my top tips for resolving conflict that you have with other people: 

Tip #1: Understand the situation and what’s causing the conflict 

Questions to ask yourself are: 

  1. Is it you that causing the situation?
  2. Is it the other person?
  3. Is it a combination of both ?
  4. Why do you think it’s happening?
  5. Was there an event or situation that inflamed the situation? 

Tip #2: What strategies can you put in place to resolve the conflict?

Questions to ask yourself are: 

  1. Is there a way to fix the situation?
  2. What do the other people involved in the conflict, want to achieve? 
  3. What are your options for fixing the situation?

Tip #3: Realise when the situation is not going to get better 

There are situations where you have to accept that things are not going to better and you need to get out of the situation. 

Take time to examine your options:

  1. Can you move teams?
  2. Is there other work available that will remove the conflict situation?
  3. Can the other person involved in the conflict be moved to another team?
  4. Do you want to leave the organisation? 

I hope you have found these tips helpful in dealing with any conflict you may be facing at work.