3 ways to Deal with Conflict at Work

Apr 3, 2023

Conflict is inevitable in the workplace, and it can arise from almost anything, from the sound of a person’s voice to their work etiquette. In a workplace, often it is 3 people who are crucial to conflict resolution; a manager, the person who is annoyed, and the person they are annoyed at. In this article, we will explore how to effectively deal with conflict from these 3 perspectives, to foster a positive and productive environment at work.

Here are 3 ways to Deal with Conflict at Work

As a Manager


1. Encourage Communication

It is important for co-workers with tension to communicate with each other, so provide a space for them to do so. It can even be something as little as getting into a room and encouraging them to get everything off their chest, only then productive resolution can occur.


2. Mediation

As a manager it is essential to remain impartial with your employees. Your goal is to understand both sides and help find a solution. It may be necessary to bring in a neutral 3rd party such as a HR representative to assist creating a fair solution.


3. Conflict Training

If this tends to be a continuous happening, it may be of interest for the company to look into conflict resolution training. This can equip staff with strategies to deal with these conflicts quickly and effectively, resulting in less energy spent on finding resolutions.

When you’re annoyed at a co-worker


1. Go direct

One of the first things you can do is go directly to the person that is annoying you. Be open and honest with how you feel and have a productive conversation with your co-worker. This isn’t always a viable option for the situation but when it is, it is usually the most effective


2. Listen!

One of the most important skills to have when dealing with conflict is active listening. It’s easy to get caught up in our own thoughts and feelings, but it’s important to listen to the other person’s perspective. Voice your concerns and listen to what the other person has to say.


3. Document it

For more complicated work matters, sometimes it helps to document what is happening. This is way you take your opinion out of it and display facts. It also means you can take the information to a 3rd party who isn’t directly involved to voice your concerns.

When someone is annoyed at you


1. Address the Issue

If you feel uncomfortable, it may be worth addressing the issue with your co-worker if they haven’t brought it up with you. Try to approach them and express your desire to work together effectively. Ask them if there’s anything specific that is causing tension between you two and see if there’s a way to resolve the issue.


2. Be open to criticism

Sometimes it can be difficult to hear criticism, especially if it’s coming from a co-worker. However, being open to constructive feedback is an important part of personal and professional growth. Instead of becoming defensive, try to actively listen to the feedback and consider how it can help improve your relationship with the person.


3. Be Positive

Although conflict may be stressful, it is important to focus on maintaining a positive attitude and continuing to do your job to the best of your ability. If you feel like the way the person is treating you is un-called for, you can always complain to someone as well.

To conclude, we’ve all had conflict in the workplace. However, it is important to approach it with a positive mindset and focus on finding a resolution that benefits everyone involved. Whether you are a manager or a colleague, focus on effective communication, listening, and open-mindedness to foster a productive work environment. It doesn’t have to end in a fight!

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Kearin Lowry

Meliorist & Director

Kearin Lowry

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