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Resolving Conflict at Work – 5 Top Tips

Written by Andy Trainer – Wed 16 Sep 2009


conflict-at-workThere is nothing more destructive and unhelpful to a project or working environment than conflict and if not resolved quickly or efficiently it can often get out of hand and make working together very difficult or in some cases impossible. Here are some quick pointers in how to resolve conflict:

Organise a meeting.

Intervene! Don’t just stand by and let the situation get worse, nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand. Arrange a meeting between the two different sides, with you there, so that they can talk out their problems in a measured and responsible way.

Try to understand.

Make sure that you know what the cause of the confrontation is; the more you understand the more you will be able to help. You will be able to help resolve the problem more quickly and make sure it doesn't doesn’t recur.

Make them understand.

You should make it very clear that, although you may sympathize with their situation, the work place is no place for conflict. Make them aware of the negative effect they may be having on the team as a whole and the destructive capability of their actions.

Realise if the situation is unworkable.

If both sides are adamant and the situation is irresolvable then another solution will have to be made. This could mean deferring one of them to another area of the project or something along those lines. Whatever your decision, think carefully about what you do as the repercussions to the team moral could be big.

Monitor the situation even after the conflict has been resolved.

It is important to make sure that the problem does not recur, and that if it does it should be dealt with swiftly before it is allowed to grow. Even if the conflict has been resolved the same issues may still remain, it is your job to understand how to fix these reasons or any superficial peace treaty will not last.

You can learn in-depth conflict management techniques on our many Management training courses in Brighton.

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