Resolving Workplace Conflict

Conflict will happen at some point when working with other people.  We may not realize that we may be the cause of it, but we do realize when we are the recipient of it.

Maybe it is a one time incidence that can be overlooked.  But when it becomes a regular occurrence that is upsetting your work world then it needs to be addressed.

There are three important steps to take place when trying to resolve conflict. Not one of them can be left out if you want to really get to the heart of the problem and work for total resolution.  You must stop, look and listen to evaluate the situation.

To totally evaluate the problem you need to ask three very important questions.  This cannot be done in just a few minutes as you need to take time to really think about what the correct answers are so you can make correct choices to resolve the conflict situation.

1. Is there a problem?  Sometimes it is easy to say there is a problem, but you need to actually be able to write down what the problem is.  By forcing yourself to write it down you will be able to really identify what the problem is, and if there is one.  If you are not prepared to talk to someone about what the exact problem is,  it is easy to get off track and not really address the right issue to resolve.

2. What does the problem feel like?  Is it irritating?  Is it distracting? Is it disrespectful?  Identify what the problem makes you feel like and write it down.

3. What is the result of how the problem makes you feel?   Does it make you angry?  Does it make you unable to perform your job?  Does it stress you out?  Does it make you depressed?  Do you actually feel ill?.  You need to write down how it makes you feel and be accurate.

By identifying what the conflict is and how it makes you feel you now have something concrete that you can take to the person who you wish to resolve the conflict with.

It is important to consider all of these pieces of the conflict puzzle or you may cause irreparable damages with your boss or co-worker.  Many times after sifting through these steps people will realize that the conflict is actually something petty, that it has been made to be a bigger problem than it is, or it is a conflict with personalities which can be worked out.

The point is to work through these steps to determine exactly what is the conflict?  Now identify what really needs to be addressed to resolve it?

Writing the answers to the three questions will help you sort out the issues. Once you have answered the questions, wait a day or two (if possible) and then go back and look at them again. You may be surprised at what you will change or disregard.

Taking time and effort to solve workplace conflict is a challenge but one that is well worth it.  The link below offers more information on solving workplace conflict.

Solving Workplace Conflict


11 thoughts on “Resolving Workplace Conflict

  1. I’d suggest adding a fourth question: what’s the worst thing that can happen if you don’t resolve this problem? Will you start taking “sick days” or look for other ways to avoid the person responsible for the conflict?

    • Great question, and you are correct as many people try to do whatever it takes to avoid the issue altogether. Facing conflict is very difficult and for some tremendously difficult. Thank you for your input. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Today’s Double-Feature: Micromanagement & Resolving Workplace Conflict « North Jersey Small Business Forum

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