Friday, March 14, 2014

Conflict Happens

What is conflict?  Conflict is simply two or more people with different perspectives.  This definition does not assign a judgment to conflict.  Inherently, conflict isn't negative or positive.  Conflict can be productive, useful and beneficial for an organization. 
Think about it.  If you have a difficult problem to solve, isn't it better to talk through all the different options to come to the best solution?  Without different opinions, you might not recognize, address or deal with potential issues.  Those opinions are conflict, but are necessary to get to the best solution.
So, conflict isn't a bad thing.  Whether or not conflict is productive is determined by how its handled.
The article below provides three ways to manage conflict in the workplace.  These ideas work for a variety of circumstances. 
  1. Honest and open communication - Tell the truth in a respectful way by sharing what you noticed, felt, wondered about, think, etc.  Share your perspective as your story.
  2. Avoid triangulating - Address issues and concerns directly with the person you are concerned about.  Don't involve other people.
  3. Resist making the other person wrong and being judge, jury and executioner - Listen to the other person and don't jump to conclusions.
Don't be afraid of conflict.  See it for what it is and use it to build a stronger organization.


  1. Thank you for the post. Workplace conflict can become destructive when anger, jealousy, and other strong emotions turn the focus away from problem solving and toward personal attacks. Destructive conflict can ruin relationships among workers, interfere with productivity, destroy teamwork, and contribute to employee absenteeism and turnover.

  2. Great post. thank you. It remained me to go back to the basics. I will make this my own and apply it to my daily as a student. This is great advice when conflict occurs. Conflict can not only destroy people but also businesses.

  3. Great post, Thank you. It remained me to go back to the basics. As a student I will apply it to my daily routine. I will make it my own and it will prepare me for any real life situation. Conflict does not only destroy people but also organisations.