How to Stay Sane When Dealing With Conflict in the Workplace

Published: October 3, 2022 | Last Updated: July 28, 2023by Kent McGroarty

One of the arguably most important aspects of being a business leader is dealing with conflict in the workplace. It is never something to ignore, since doing so results in unresolved issues that fester and become huge, extra-unpleasant problems. To help you remain calm and preserve your sanity when a workplace conflict arises, review the following suggestions. All help you stay positive and maintain relative peace of mind.

Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing from the diaphragm instantly relaxes the body and mind. If you find yourself stressing out because of work conflict you are currently unsure how to resolve, take a few minutes to focus on your breathing. You will likely notice how much calmer you feel, which can give you clarity on the situation, in addition to helping you relax. Even if you have to excuse yourself for a few minutes to take a few deep breaths, doing so is considerably more professional than having a frustration-related outburst.

Remember That You’re at Work

This might seem obvious, but it’s one that’s important to remember. It can be easy to let personal feelings take over, especially when a conflict results in inflammatory or untrue statements. By reminding yourself that you are at work, you will be less likely to say or do things out of anger, frustration, or shock. Maintaining a professional demeanor helps you stay calm, collected, and objective. It is not your job to judge a workplace conflict, no matter how much you might want to when “off the clock.” Keeping your feelings to yourself and focusing on the heart of the issue and what to do about it–that’s your job. You’ll win even more respect from your team and fellow managers when you make remaining professional a priority.

Realize That You Can’t Fix Every Issue

There are some workplace conflicts that go beyond what you can provide as a manager or supervisor, and that’s fine. There is nothing wrong with requesting outside assistance, such as a professional mediator who has experience with conflicts similar to what’s happening in your workplace. Mediators are wholly objective since they have no prior knowledge of the individuals involved in the conflict, which often makes it easier for employees to speak honestly. The more honest team members are about a recent conflict, the quicker the resolution. Professional mediators also know a thing or three about maintaining a calm environment that helps the affected team members relax and talk openly about the problem.

If your company has an HR department, you can notify them of the issue. They might decide to enlist outside help or deal with the conflict themselves, depending on the nature of the problem and who is involved.

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Consider Creating a “Wellness Room”

Depending on how much space your workplace features, you could dedicate a room or area to “workplace wellness.” This area can include anxiety-reducing features such as soothing music, stress balls, meditation and deep breathing videos, and oversized, comfy seat cushions. You could also have a massage therapist come in a few days a week. Accessing this room when you or anyone else in the office needs it can make dealing with conflict in the workplace significantly easier. For example, you could visit this room for five minutes to meditate and re-center before tackling the workplace issue needing your attention. You will feel happier, calmer, and more focused. It is always better to deal with any unpleasant situation with a calm mindset, as there is less chance of heightening the tension and frustration.

For more about dealing with conflict in the workplace, please contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today!

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Kent McGroarty