Resolving Workplace Conflict

Workplace conflict resolution is commonplace in today's business world. Learn these tips for resolving workplace conflict.

Resolving conflict

Before you sit down to talk, make sure you are in control of your emotions. If the talk becomes combative or overly stressful, take a break or reschedule it for a time when emotions aren't in control of the situation.

  • Identify the issue. State your needs in a respectful and honest manner, but be aware of the needs of the other person involved. Communicate the problem without placing blame on the other person—you'll avoid angering your coworker.
  • Listen actively. Give someone else a chance to voice his or her own thoughts and feelings. Use your active listening skills, don't interrupt, and make sure your body language is relaxed, not threatening.
  • Explore the solutions. As a gesture of goodwill, be the first to initiate some sort of resolution. Try to generate some sort of compromise. Brainstorm possible options. Try listing pros and cons. Know when to agree to disagree.
  • Respond. After you've discussed the issue, do not let your frustration increase; act on the solution you and your coworker have agreed upon. Focus on preserving a positive working relationship.

Sometimes conflict isn't easily resolved between two parties. In order to resolve such conflict, a third unbiased party is often needed to intervene, clarify the situation, and suggest possible solutions. Talk to your supervisor before your conflict reaches a dangerous level. He or she may suggest taking the issue to a human resources mediator or attend a conflict-resolution workshop.