Solving Workplace Conflict: Some Do’s & Don’ts

Published: November 14, 2022 | Last Updated: August 8, 2023by Kent McGroarty

There is no getting around workplace conflict, given the variety of personalities most professional environments feature. However, solving workplace conflicts does not have to be extra-challenging, depending on how you approach the issue. To help you get better and better at dealing with workplace conflicts efficiently, review the following suggestions.

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Do: Tackle the Issue as Soon as Possible

The sooner you address the problem and find a way to solve it, the less chance there is for the problem to worsen. By failing to discuss the issue in a timely manner, resentment and frustration have the chance to build. The workplace can become an increasingly tension-filled place that employees are not excited about, because they do not want to feel nervous all day. By addressing the problem as soon as you hear about it, you are demonstrating your commitment to a healthy work environment. Doing so also indicates your respect for your team and the desire to help them enjoy coming to work. Employees always want to feel respected and valued by their employers.

Don’t: Think the Problem Will Go Away on Its Own

Ignoring the conflict does not make it disappear. Solving workplace conflict requires discussing the issue and finding ways to solve it, not dismissing the problem and allowing it to fester. What’s more, if one employee makes serious allegations against another, such as those regarding sexual harassment or bullying, you could find yourself in trouble. Ignoring severe issues like these can be viewed as condoning them and risking the company’s reputation. You might be served with legal papers and have to testify in front of a judge, get fired, or both.

Do: Practice Active Listening

Active listening means giving your undivided attention to the person speaking to you. It typically requires eliminating distractions, such as phone and other portable device notifications, and concentrating solely on the person’s words. Active listening is another way to demonstrate your respect for your team and interest in promoting workplace wellness. Your team members will appreciate your dedication to helping them solve workplace conflict and likely have glowing things to say about you during company reviews. Your company’s reputation is likely to improve as well, because word will get around that the business respects their employees and wants them to feel good and productive instead of frustrated and anxious.

Don’t: Schedule the Resolution Meeting When You’re Super-Busy

If you cannot immediately address a workplace conflict because of a crazy schedule, let the applicable employees know. You send an email with something like, “I am dedicated to helping [x employees] solve this conflict, but today’s schedule does not allow it. I am free at the [following times] later in the week, let me know what works for you and we will settle the issue as soon as possible. I appreciate your patience with me this week!”

By solving workplace conflict when you don’t have 15 other things to do that day, you can dive into the heart of the issue and hopefully find a satisfactory resolution. No one wants to feel like you are “squeezing them in” when there is a conflict to resolve. Employees will know that you are distracted and perhaps rushing the resolution, which can cause further tension and resentment. Find a day and time that works for everyone and focus solely on what can be done to mitigate the problem.

Solving workplace conflict is not always easy, but it is always the right course of action. It shows that you are a dedicated business leader who wants to create a harmonious work environment.

For more about conflict resolution, please contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today!


Kent McGroarty