A Surprising Way to Handle Workplace Conflict


In every workplace in every industry, conflict is inevitable. Whether there are only two people working together or 200, not everyone will see eye-to-eye on everything.

While a little healthy debate can be incredibly beneficial, genuine conflict can be detrimental. It harms productivity, damages morale, and hinders the development of a functional team dynamic, so addressing it quickly is a must.

But, when you are in the midst of a workplace conflict, figuring out how to navigate the issue can be tricky. After all, you may be completely certain your perspective is correct, making it hard to put down your feelings during a disagreement.

Luckily, there is a simple, yet surprising, approach that can make handling workplace conflict easier. Here’s what you need to know.

Be on the Same Side of the Problem

In most cases, conflict occurs when multiple people are trying to solve an issue and don’t agree on the approach. The differences led to debate, then debate led to anger, and both parties began striving to prove their perspective was the right one.

As the situation continues, both parties lose sight of a critical point; they are both on the same side of the problem. Being on the same side, in these instances, isn’t the same as agreeing. Instead, it’s the realization everyone has the same goal; the desire to find a solution to a specific issue.

When you remind yourself that you and the other party actually share the same objective, it can make the situation look less contentious. You’ll realize that you have to fight together to navigate any obstacles, meet a particular deadline, or achieve the desired result, which can make realigning your efforts easier to visualize.

Assume Everyone Has Good Intentions

Since you are both trying to solve the same problem, allow yourself to assume everyone involved has good intentions. They aren’t necessarily trying to attack you. Instead, they want the goal to be reached, and that is a positive thing.

Unless your environment is genuinely toxic, most professionals aren’t striving to harm you when they disagree. By using that point to adjust your mindset, you can be realistic about what the other party’s motivations are, making it easier to move forward.

Keep It in Mind When You Talk

When you realize everyone has the same goal and their intentions are likely good, it increases the odds you’ll communicate effectively. The next time you speak, confirm with them you are both working toward the same goal, ensuring everyone is on the same page in that regard or, if you aren’t, you have the opportunity to discover their goal and see if that is the source of the disagreement.

Then, you can proceed with a better understanding of the core objective, increasing the odds everyone will work together to make sure the goals are achieved.

If you are interested in learning more about handling workplace conflict, the professionals at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our conflict management expertise can benefit you.






Looking for hard-to-find talent? Need a great temporary employee? We’ll help you find the people you want faster.

Job Seekers

Staffing Company works with dozens of local employers, and we can shorten your search for a great job.