How to effectively deal with workplace conflicts

| July 24, 2019

Work can be many things; hard, exhausting, rewarding, exciting and even draining. Every day is a little different, but considering we spend so much of our lives in the workplace such a myriad of emotions is not all that surprising. But, the negative certainly become more prevalent when a conflict arises in the workplace. Regular, unneeded, conflict can quickly drain an employee’s motivation. 

Which is why you need to keep the following in mind when you are looking to effectively deal with workplace conflict. 


Typical workplace conflict can arise for a number of reasons; clashing personalities, poor work ethic, or simply as a result of poor communication. In fact, the latter can be the cause of all too many conflicts in the average workplace. For that reason, honing and understanding where your communication skills may be lacking is of vital importance. In doing so, you can help to curb the issue before it gets a chance to truly escalate. 

Ways that you can improve communication, even during a contentious situation, include the following:

  • Use a respectful attitude and tone in everything you say. 
  • Listen well, the better you listen the better your communication skills. 
  • Use the communication channels at your disposal (messenger, call, etc.) to get your message across. This can be especially important if face to face communication is difficult. 
  • Over communicate, therefore eliminating any confusion. 
  • Start all conversions with key points, then end it just the same. This solidifies everything in memory. 
  • Keep a record of any communication you’re unhappy with, to solidify any points you may have when discussing the conflict with superiors. 

Seek Mediation Early 

If a situation escalates quickly or seems to be stretching out for a long period, then seeking intervention at an earlier interval may be important. It can certainly help to prevent any long-term escalation that may result in one or both parties losing their jobs. 

In some scenarios, you may need the assistance of mediation solicitors in order to bring the situation to an amicable conclusion. Especially if the issue is clearly escalating quite negatively. The worse it gets, the better it may be to have a third party moderate the attempts to mediate. As anyone involved in the company will likely have some vested interest in the outcome one way or the other. 

Understand Company Policy 

Do you know how your company deals with employee conflicts? If not, you may need to quickly assess your company policies in order to find out. As they may have important points about who to contact, how to file a complaint and even the way in which it will be investigated. All of which could impact the outcome if done against or differently to the set policy. 

Don’t Draw Too Much Negativity 

Conflict is a negative scenario at the best of times, but it can be even worse when you’re overly negative about the situation as well. Negativity breeds more negativity, after all. In the end, being continually negative about an already negative situation is bound to make you feel worse about it. So, working to rid yourself of this negativity should be your main goal. Think positive

And, surprisingly, the less negatively you view the situation, the less important it becomes. What may seem like the end of the world one minute can easily reveal itself to be a simple inconvenience. Only as soon as you take off the negative-tinted glasses. It is hard, there’s no denying that. But, at the very least trying can showcase your ability to be mature in such a workplace conflict even when the other party fails to do so. 

Final Thoughts 

Ultimately, conflict in the workplace is natural. A workplace is a mixing pot of all different types of people; with different backgrounds, personalities and work methods. Conflict is an inevitability in such a scenario. But, it doesn’t have to overtake or spoil your long-term work life. So long as you work to reduce and–eventually–remove the conflict entirely. 

Doing so is not always smooth sailing, but that doesn’t make it impossible. Weather the storm and you may find your work life is better than ever once the skies clear.