3 Steps to Resolving Workplace Conflict

When you’re working with others—whether you’re in a large company or a small office— it’s inevitable that some type of conflict will arise from time to time. Some conflicts will be more sensitive than others and, therefore, more difficult to manage. But what often matters more than the conflict itself is the way in which you handle it and what you learn from it.

There are many different ways to resolve conflict in a workplace setting. With an online Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Creighton University, you’ll learn some of the most effective ways of resolving conflict in the workplace, regardless of the reason for the dispute.

Simple tools, effective steps

If you’re trying to resolve workplace conflict, there are some basic “rules” or steps that can help. Let’s look at three simple ways you can diffuse a tense workplace situation and find resolution, whether the argument involves you directly or if you’ve been brought in as a neutral party.

  1. Wait a little bit. It’s natural to want to try to resolve a heated situation immediately, but that will not usually yield the best results. Taking on a tough topic in the heat of the moment makes it easier for all parties to respond emotionally— which means logic can go out the window. Wait until everyone has had a chance to cool down, clear their heads and collect their thoughts before trying to find resolution.
  2. Change the way you listen. It’s normal to want to voice our concerns and try to get the other person to “hear us out,” but you can often learn more about the bigger picture by letting everyone involved explain their perspective. Keeping the conversation focused on the topic, rather than on what someone said or did, and discussing only what is needed in order to resolve the conflict, can make the situation less personal—and makes everyone more willing and able to help find resolution.
  3. Ask the other person looking for a way to resolve the situation to participate. Sometimes, this is all it takes for someone to realize how their actions might be affecting co-workers. By giving the individual a chance to participate in resolving the issue, rather than making demands that might make them feel constrained, you can help them become part of the solution. This can also help build a sense of teamwork and is satisfying for both parties.

Change for the better

Conflict is inevitable, whether it’s at home or in the workplace, but it also provides an opportunity for growth. It’s a chance for co-workers to learn more about themselves and their colleagues, and to use their creativity to successfully resolve disagreements.

Through working together to reach mutually beneficial solutions, employees can strengthen bonds with one another and they can also make use of those skills moving forward, which can result in a more content workplace environment overall. 

With an online Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Creighton University, you can learn some of the essential tools for resolving conflict. You’ll learn to tap into your innovation and creativity to find results and dissolve conflict in the workplace while at the same time improving employee communication and satisfaction.