Ways to manage conflict at work

Ways to manage conflict at work
Whilst the workplace, for the most part, is a safe and productive environment, it is important to know that no one will agree with you 100% of the time.

As you interact with and work alongside different personalities who you wouldn’t normally choose to interact with in your everyday lives, it opens you to possibilities of conflicts and disagreements. 

However, how you manage conflict is a testament to how much of a team player you are, and it is an essential factor in how hirable you are in a working office environment, and how you resolve conflict is key skill potential executive search firms and other recruiters for new opportunities will check for. 

Below we have listed key tips to keep in mind and have with you when dealing with conflict within your workplace. 


Conflicts are a natural part of human interaction. They happen in all organisations, but they’re especially common in those with many people working closely together on shared goals. 

Conflict is frustrating to deal with, but it’s important to remember that conflict is not always bad—it can actually be a sign of healthy relationships and an organisation whose employees respect each other’s perspectives and care about the work they produce.

Whilst, for the most part, your office shouldn’t have constant disagreements, it’s important to note that it is a part of office culture, and sometimes there is no avoiding it.

Avoid Assumptions

We make assumptions every day, but in the office, it’s important not to avoid assuming anything. You never know what someone will say or do because your relationship with that person might be very different from their relationship with someone else.

It can be tempting to think you know what another person is feeling based on how they behave or how long they’ve been at the company. But if someone has just started working for you, or if their job description has changed recently, then that might not be true of them at all!

Asking open-ended questions like “How was your weekend?” can help you learn more about others’ lives without making assumptions about how things are going for them personally (or professionally).

Communicating Is Key

How you act when dealing with conflict is extremely important in helping dilute the conflict. Responding calmly and professionally at all times is key to helping diffuse rising tensions.

Ways to do this are as listed.

Active listening

This means listening carefully to what the other person is saying, even if they’re ranting or upset, without interrupting them or giving advice. It’s important to listen carefully to know exactly what they want or need you to understand. Also:

  • Don’t interrupt when someone is talking.
  • Don’t argue with their ideas or opinions.
  • Don’t defend yourself or make excuses for your actions.

Body Language

Looking at the person talking, nodding your head and making eye contact shows that you’re paying attention and understanding what they have said, how we hold ourselves while speaking can reveal a lot about how we feel about what someone else is saying (or doing).

Voice Tone

Try not to speak too loudly when communicating with others—this can come across as threatening or intimidating.

Learn & Grow

If you find yourself in a conflict situation, it’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes. You’re human, and no one is perfect. 

The problem is not in the mistake itself but in how we choose to deal with it. Instead of dwelling on our failures and letting them become bigger than they are, try learning from them.

If you get into conflict, use this as an opportunity to gain insight into how your actions affect others—and what steps you can take next time to avoid hurting other people’s feelings.

The best way forward after any conflict is to move on quickly— to show you have moved on and don’t near any ill will or grudges. 

Overall, it’s important to remember that conflict is a natural part of any team and shouldn’t be avoided. It can be difficult to deal with, but there are strategies for managing it. When you know what to expect from conflict in the office and when tensions arise, you can keep your cool under pressure and work through them without letting them get out of hand.


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