Restoring Order: Five Strategies for Resolving Workplace Conflict

It's a very fortunate leader, manager or employee who can make it from one end of their career to the other without at some point witnessing or becoming involved in workplace conflict. Whatever the underlying causes of a conflict it is part of a leader's or manager's role to address and tactfully resolve the situation before it can spread and harm team morale. Diffusing difficult situations and handling workplace conflict are just two of the subjects tackled by specialist management training provider Maguire Training. Their comprehensive and helpful course Conflict Management, for example, enables delegates to recognise and deal with the aggressive behaviour that can lead to conflict and acquire the knowledge and strategies required to defuse a variety of difficult situations. They'll also learn the emotional triggers that can elicit conflict situations and how to deal with them.

If you are one of the parties actively involved in workplace conflict it is important to defuse and withdraw from this unpleasant situation as swiftly and tactfully as possible. The fallout from workplace conflict which has been inappropriately handled can be the permanent loss of a relationship and ongoing animosity and significant damage to morale and team spirit. Here, Maguire Training offers five strategies for resolving workplace conflict.


    • Be big enough to apologise if an apology is warranted

      There are two sides in every conflict and there is nothing to be gained besides continued hostility by withholding a deserved apology. This must be delivered with sincerity and used as a starting point for conflict resolution and reconciliation.


    • Ensure that the other party fully understands your reasoning

      Misunderstanding or only possessing partial information can be major contributors to workplace conflict. It isn't enough simply to state your position repeatedly without giving a full and factual explanation of the reasons behind your stance. If both sides give their reasons in this way it is possible that a mutually acceptable compromise between the differing points of view can be reached.


    • Remember that the goal is of greater importance than the conflict

      Workplace conflicts generally arise when two or more people disagree as to how a particular objective should be achieved. In the heat of conflict, the focus placed on gaining the upper hand can cause the original goal to be lost. Winning a pointless and unproductive argument is unimportant, achieving the required objective is not and conflicting parties need to be reminded of this fact.


    • Consider your own part in eliciting or escalating a conflict

      Is this conflict situation entirely the fault of the other party? Can you honestly say that you are entirely blameless and had no hand in causing the problem? A critical self-appraisal and evaluation of your role or contribution to conflict - whether it was something you said or did can help throw a different perspective on things and suggest a way forward for resolving the conflict.

    • Count to ten and let it go

      Sometimes it's necessary to lose a battle in order to win the war. Sometimes conflict simply isn't worth pursuing if it's having a negative effect on your wellbeing, work performance or relationships. And sometimes, as hard to accept as it is, you will simply be wrong. When all other avenues of resolving a conflict between you and another person have failed, you?ll gain the greater long-term benefit simply by counting to ten and admitting that enough is enough.


Dealing with workplace conflict, challenging situations and difficult conversations are part and parcel of the modern business leader or manager's daily role. Possessing the skills and knowledge needed to recognise, address and resolve such situations quickly and effectively is vital if morale and productivity are to be maintained. This invaluable learning can be acquired through professional business skills training from Maguire Training. The good news for busy managers is that courses such as Conflict Management are provided as online training via Maguire Training's versatile E-learning platform in addition to being offered as conventional on-site training.

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