How Would You Handle Conflict at Work? Find Your Resolution Style

February 21, 2020by Vanessa Rose

How would you handle conflict at work? This is an important question to ask of essentially anyone who has a job. You might think that managers are solely responsible for handling disputes that arise between coworkers. However, every employee should be aware of their style when approaching drama at the office because it can impact you whether you’re prepared or not.

How Would You Handle Conflict at Work?

There are different conflict management styles in the workplace and whether you’re a manager or simply someone who works with other people, knowing which style you tend to operate in can help you navigate the treacherous waters of workplace conflict. How would you handle conflict at work? See if any of these styles fit your personality.


Dealing with coworker conflict might just be stressful enough to send you into a state of avoidance. If you find yourself staying away from those involved in a conflict, postponing addressing the issues at hand, or completely dodging the conflict when it arises, this may be your style. There are benefits to this conflict style which include not fanning the flames of a conflict that is better ignored, if you need some time to consider your approach before diving in, or if you’re worried about the consequences of addressing the conflict head-on.


Among conflict management styles in the workplace is compromising, which is to say you search for a solution that has something in it for everyone. You seek middle ground and try to address everyone’s needs. This style can be helpful when reaching a solution is more important than the quality of the solution or if you find conflicting coworkers are at a stalemate with no movement in either direction.


Collaborating is one of the best ways to resolve conflict in the workplace for obvious reasons. It can have long-lasting positive impacts to foster a solution that will meet the needs of everyone involved, not just as an order coming from the top, but as something that’s jointly agreed upon. This style helps those involved with the conflict feel as though they have some stake in the outcome. This is helpful when trying to maintain or grow the relationship between conflicting parties. When trying to avoid reputation blunders or the high cost of conflict in the workplace, this is a resolution style that may be most effective.


One of the ways to resolve conflict in the workplace is to forsake your own hope of the outcome in service to others. This can happen when you’re convinced you ought to, or when you don’t feel like there’s enough worth fighting for. This style can be helpful if you’re not really invested in the outcome or if you have no choice but to agree with another perspective.


When in a competing conflict resolution style, you might have a hard line when it comes to others’ perspectives. With this style, you’ll push your own needs and reject the ideas of others until they eventually give in. While competing style may have negative connotations in most conflict situations, it can have positive impacts when you’re advocating for your values or morals and aren’t willing to compromise on who you are or to prevent something egregious from being the final decision.

So with what you now know, how would you handle conflict at work? Every personality style may handle dealing with coworker conflict differently. If you’re struggling to find an effective style that works for you, professional support can help you hone your skills. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right coaching or resolution services for you and your workplace.

How Would You Handle Conflict at Work?

Vanessa Rose

Vanessa is a licensed psychotherapist and writer living in Los Angeles. When not on a mission for inner peace and conflict resolution, she enjoys making art, visiting the beach, and taking dog portraits. Always curious about self-improvement and emotional expansion, Vanessa also manages her own website which explores the unconscious and archetypal influences on how we eat, express, and relate.

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