How to Manage Conflict in the Workplace

Workplace conflict is unavoidable and can be a time-consuming and costly problem if it is not managed correctly. Despite this, many managers lack the ability to confront conflict and manage employee relationships in their organisations. When broaching the subject of workplace conflict it is important to remember that conflict never works in isolation and thus can quickly spiral out of control if not managed correctly. This is why it is so important to understand what causes conflict in the workplace and have a conflict resolution plan in place to address it when it happens.


Effective conflict resolution often includes micromanaging individuals in order to get to the root of the problem. Being able to then effectively move from micro- to macromanagement is an essential part of successful conflict management and requires that you manage the team after the conflict has been addressed with the individual.


When addressing conflict within a team it is important to understand the dynamics of teamwork. This will lead to better communication, better decision making and the establishment of firmer relations which in turn leads to early identification of possible conflict areas. It is often assumed that individuals understand what is meant by the word “team” and that they understand the principles that underlie effective teamwork. However, as this is often a false assumption, teams are frequently unable to analyse their processes and intervene with strategies that promote team health. Rather, individuals tend to believe that if certain team members resign or are removed, the team will be operational and the problem resolved. This is counterproductive and as a manager or supervisor you will not be able to manage the situation the next time around.


For successful team health and effective conflict management managing both the team and the individuals that make up the team is therefore crucial. Unresolved conflict can result in feelings of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, hopelessness, depression, and other negative emotions. It can result in behaviour such as aggression and even violence. For this reason it is critical that you, as a manager, understand the entire cycle from latent conflict to eventual resolution and the maintenance thereof to effectively manage your team.


Should you require more information on how to manage conflict in your organisation please contact Compuscan Academy 021 888 6000 or email to enrol for our Conflict Management Programme. Our Conflict Management Programme covers: Understanding Team Dynamics and Setting Team Goals and Objectives,
Participative Decision-Making and Team Empowerment, Establishing Workplace Relationships
Interpreting and Managing Conflict


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