Resolving conflict at work

Conflict is often caused by disagreement or differences of interests and opinions. It results in lower morale in the work environment and a higher turnover rate. Although it’s sometimes considered in a positive way in which it can creates new ways of thinking and more innovative solutions to resolving problems. On the other hand, Negative conflict is may lead to production and performance shortages.

One of the biggest challenges facing both managers and employees is how to resolve conflict. It affects the progress of team work. The first step that needs to be implemented is to identify the reasons of conflict:

  • Value and personality differences: When there is lack of understanding of each employee differences. As each individual comes from a different background, having different needs, wants and preferences.
  • Variety of Interest: When each employee work for their personal goals and not taking in mind the whole organizational effectiveness and success.
  • Low performance: when one of the employees is not achieving his/her work effectively, conflict is more likely to occur.

Monitoring conflict closely can help in controlling the entire organization environment. There are many ways to control and resolve work conflict:

  • Avoidance: doing nothing and waiting for the conflict to fade away.
  • Collaboration: team work to find the best suitable solution that satisfies all parties.
  • Competing: waiting for the best person to win the conflict without doing anything.

It’s well noted that the best method here is Collaboration, as working together is the best win-win solution.

How to make a positive conflict solution

  • Identify the reasons of conflict and why you want to resolve them.
  • Communicate with the conflicting parties face to face as it’s the best communication channel to resolve conflicts and explains the reasons and solutions behind the conflict.
  • Identify the results of resolving a particular conflict.


Everyone receives criticism from time to time. It’s important to remain calm, listen with an open mind and turn this criticism into something positive.

  1. Consider the source.Does the speaker have the authority, knowledge, and expertise to give you this feedback? Does he or she have an ulterior motive (Be careful not to invent one; though, just to make yourself feel better)?
  2. Ask for specific examples.Don’t accept generalities such as “poor,” “disappointing,” or “lousy.” Politely ask the speaker to tell you exactly what is wrong. Questions like, “Exactly what was wrong with the presentation” or a request such as, “Help me to understand what you mean by ‘poor'” should help you to get some useful information.
  3. Evaluate the criticism.If it is valid, accept it gracefully and with a positive attitude. Tell the speaker you appreciate his or her comments and be enthusiastic about your willingness and ability to use the suggestions to improve your performance.
  4. Keep the useful information, but let go of the negative feelings.Don’t dwell on the embarrassment of being criticized. Hold your head up high and move on.





By Zahra Madan