5 Steps to Managing Conflict in the Workplace

If you asked people what causes conflict at work, you would end up with a very long list because of course what causes conflict can be different from person to person. We all know what causes conflict but how best to deal with it.

There are a number of strategies which can be helpful – you just need to choose the right one.


The accommodating strategy essentially entails giving the opposing side what it wants. The use of accommodation often occurs when one of the parties wishes to keep the peace or perceives the issue as minor. For example, a business that requires formal dress may institute a "casual Friday" policy as a low-stakes means of keeping the peace with the rank and file.


Collaboration works by integrating ideas set out by multiple people. The object is to find a creative solution acceptable to everyone. Collaboration, though useful, calls for a significant time commitment not appropriate to all conflicts.


The compromising strategy typically calls for both sides of a conflict to give up elements of their position in order to establish an acceptable, if not agreeable, solution. This strategy prevails most often in conflicts where the parties hold approximately equivalent power.


Competition operates in which one side wins and other loses. Highly assertive personalities often fall back on competition as a conflict management strategy. The competitive strategy works best in a limited number of conflicts, such as emergency situations and crisis management.


This strategy if not very productive but sometimes by using avoidance the problem will resolve itself. It is also useful if you don’t want to become embroiled in others conflict or want a confrontation.

Key points to take away

  1. Guide people through challenges, don’t assign blame and seek constructive solutions.

  2. Communicate openly and share information to demonstrate integrity.

  3. Work with others to gain consensus and learn to compromise.

  4. Build good relationships and listen– put yourself in other people’s shoes.

  5. Use Assertive Behaviour.

At Spalding Associates we have been running Dealing with Conflict Programmes for a number of year’s.

If you would like more information please call 07807416211 or use our short contact form to send an email by clicking here.

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