Discover the Art of Conflict Management.

Written by
Alyssa Lefever
Sisu - Alyssa Lefever
  • Article
  • HR & Finance
  • 03 min. reading

Conflicts are an inevitable part of the business landscape. In any organisation, diverse personalities, differing opinions, and competing interests can often lead to disagreements. However, conflict management plays a crucial role in maintaining a harmonious work environment and fostering productivity.


What is a Conflict?

A conflict arises when two or more individuals have contrasting objectives, perspectives, or approaches. It is an inherent part of human interaction, and in the business world, it can manifest in various ways. Conflicts can arise due to: 

  • differences in communication styles
  • power struggles
  • resource allocation
  • personality clashes

Dealing with conflicts is also known as conflict management. Especially in working environments, conflict management is crucial in order to keep and maintain a good ambience, productive employees and the best results.


Types of Conflicts in the Workplace

Understanding the different types of conflicts that can occur in the workplace is essential for effective conflict management. 

Conflicts can arise between individuals, often due to personal differences, conflicting values, or misunderstandings for example. They are called interpersonal conflicts. Yet, conflicts can also be characterised by internal conflicts within an individual which can impact their work dynamics. In this case, we talk about intrapersonal conflicts.

Besides interpersonal – and intrapersonal conflicts, disagreements between different departments of an organisation can also emerge. This can hinder collaboration and overall progress.

Finally, organisational conflicts involve broader issues, such as strategic decisions, company policies or organisational changes. They can have a significant impact on the entire workforce.


Resolving Conflicts Effectively

When conflicts do arise, resolving them promptly and efficiently is crucial to maintaining a positive work environment. Here are some approaches to consider:

  1. Collaborative problem-solving: encourage conflicting parties to work together to find mutually beneficial solutions. This approach promotes teamwork and strengthens relationships.
  2. Mediation: a neutral third party can facilitate discussions and guide conflicting parties towards resolution. Mediators help identify common ground and assist in finding win-win outcomes.
  3. Compromise: sometimes, finding a middle ground is the most feasible option. Both parties may need to make concessions to achieve a satisfactory resolution.
  4. Conflict avoidance: in certain situations, avoiding conflicts altogether may be the best approach. This strategy works when the conflict is minor or when emotions are running high. However, it's key to address underlying issues to prevent future conflicts.


Enhancing Soft Skills for Conflict Resolution

Resolving conflicts effectively requires a set of essential soft skills. By improving them, individuals can navigate difficult situations with finesse.

A few key soft skills to focus on are: 

  • listening actively and showing empathy
  • communicating clearly and concisely
  • being able to negotiate 
  • adapt to your environment

Practising open communication helps build healthy relationships and fosters a collaborative atmosphere. Moreover, it allows for finding common ground and reaching mutually beneficial agreements.

Along with this set of skills, being able to solve problems is a strong asset in today’s business world. It enables individuals to identify root causes, explore alternative solutions, and make informed decisions to resolve conflicts.

Keep in mind that conflicts are not always negative. Conflicts can lead to innovative ideas, improved relationships, and enhanced team dynamics when managed effectively. So, embrace conflict as an opportunity for growth and development.


How Strand Plays a Role in Conflict Management

At Strand, we recognise the importance of developing soft skills effectively. Our comprehensive training program equips our consultants with the knowledge and tools to foster a positive work environment. We organise trainings on a regular basis to provide them with the necessary skills to feel at ease in the workplace.

Be part of a dynamic team of experts and level up your knowledge by joining Strand!