Consider this quote by Albert Einstein, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

Think about a time when you had a conflict at work. It may have been about who’s going to do what, an oversight or a difference in opinion.

oftentimes, we misunderstand conflict as problematic. In fact, conflict is a chance to be empathetic, understanding and find new opportunities. Instead of ignoring conflict, you should try to manage and resolve it.

Managing conflict in the workplace can help organizations overcome challenges and recognize opportunities. Let’s see how you can find a way to resolve conflict in the workplace and connect with your coworkers.

 

What Constitutes Organizational Conflict?

 

Organizational conflict can be any disagreement between parties. It may be employees, teams or even departments. Conflict is often a result of a difference of opinion, personality clashes or different interests. This is one of the reasons why organizations encourage employees to align personal goals with organizational goals. 

Whether you’re frustrated about something or you have different interests, it can lead to a conflict in the workplace. 

Here’s how conflict can impact collaboration at work:

  • Workplace conflict can hamper productivity, affecting your performance

  • Achieving goals may become difficult in the event of a conflict with your team

  • It may impair your ability to think objectively about people or situations

  • It can lead to poor decision-making as a consequence of emotional outbursts

  • Push people into a corner, leaving them unmotivated and unlikely to work proactively

How To Resolve Conflict

 

Learning how to manage conflict can help you engage with your colleagues. It’s the people that make an organization successful. So, if you’re on good terms with your team members—and management—you’ll be motivated to perform better. Managing conflict in the workplace is effective for better results, building workplace relationships and improving job satisfaction.

Here’s how you can manage and resolve conflict in the workplace:

  1. Don’t Avoid Conflict, Work With It

Not all conflict is bad; sometimes conflict can lead to creative, lucrative ideas for your team. We tend to avoid conflict and view it as something that should never see the light of day. But what we don’t realize is that people always remember how they were treated. So, rather than letting it fester, it’s important to find a solution. Start by identifying the source of the conflict. Then, work it out with your colleagues to avoid bad blood.  

 

  1. Sleep On It

Many times, our moods and emotions dictate how we respond to conflict. You may be irritated about something entirely unrelated to your work. Try to separate your personal feelings from your work. The best way to do this is to take a step back. Sleep on it, reflect on your emotions and come back to the conversation. This way you’re less likely to say something you’ll regret.

 

  1. Learn How To Empathize

Being empathetic is an underestimated workplace attribute. If you can understand where your colleagues are coming from, why there’s a conflict and give them the benefit of the doubt, you’ll find solutions much faster. Learning how to empathize will close the gap between you and the other party. Think twice before you say anything and gauge the implications your words might have.

 

  1. Find Common Ground

Managing conflicts in organizations is all about finding common ground. This means that you should identify how you can meet each other halfway. For instance, if your coworker wants to do something by Friday and you want to take more time, you can probably divide the tasks in a way that helps create a win-win situation.

 

  1. Negotiate To Reach A Viable Solution

For successful negotiation, you need to arrive at a win-win outcome. For instance, say you’re unimpressed with your colleague’s behavior and you take it to Human Resources. They can then discuss what’s bothering you and inform your colleague of the same. Instead of overthinking and overanalyzing, it’s best to involve a third party and address the issue. Negotiating a solution can help save both time and effort.

Resolving conflict in the workplace is one of the simplest ways to encourage collaboration. Creating an open and approachable organizational culture is good for productivity and job satisfaction. If you’re unhappy about something, you should take it up with your manager or HR. Managing your conflicts is better than letting them fester unchecked.

Harappa’s Navigating Workplaces course will teach you everything you need to know about collaboration, conflict management and cutting through office politics. Recognize the need for conflict resolution and handle it like an expert to distinguish yourself as a valuable professional. 


Explore topics such as the Importance of Managing ConflictTypes of Conflict, The Thomas-Kilmann Model & Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict from Harappa Diaries and build an approachable organizational culture.

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