conflict management

Conflict Management In The Workplace

Conflict Management In The Workplace

What Is Conflict?

Conflict can be considered as a chance for growth, but if not handled properly, can become dangerous to relationships, especially in the workplace. Conflict can be identified as the disagreement of two or more ideas or interests that have the intention of meeting the same expectation or goal.

Though an organization employs many people to perform different tasks, they are all expected to meet the same goal which is the business of the organization. Workers are expected to work their different roles together for one common purpose, but at times when these different roles meet, the people in those roles struggle to reach an agreeable point.

Conflicts are common in a lot of places, but in this article, Sanam Naran gives a deeper insight into the subject, Conflict Management In The Workplace.

Two Aspects of A Conflict

Positive Aspects:

Allows people to voice their concerns

Bring about good change

Survival Strategy

Strengthen relationships

Sense of achievement


Negative Aspects:

Personal attack

Permanently hurts others

Becomes only way to communicate ones needs


Different Ways People React To Conflict In The Workplace


The teddy bear (Soothing)- Gives up goals to maintain highest possible level of relationship. Colleague feels strongly about something and you couldn’t care less.


The owl (negotiating)- Negotiates, aimed at making sure both parties reach their goals


The fox (compromising)– Gives up part of their goals eg: share a raise salary


The turtle (withdrawing)– You give up both goals and the relationship and avoid the person


The shark (Forcing)- Trying to achieve your goal at all costs, demand to get your own way no matter how it hurts the other person. Goal is important, not the relationship. Eg: buying a car, you may want to act like a shark.


Steps To Resolving A Conflict


– Define the conflict situation together (listen to one another, define what the person is from the other persons point of view)

-Exchanging reasons for positions (Say why you have the need and ask questions)

-Understand other person’s perspective (listen to all sides)

-Options for mutual gain (Look at possible options in which both parties gain)

-Reaching a wise agreement


3 ways of communicating





Benefits of being assertive – You are happy with self, internal control, better self-image and worth, prevent stress related problems, active participation, decision making.

Recipe: Communicate how you feel. When you (person specific behaviour) I feel (the feeling words Eg: anger) because (reason) I would rather (What you want).

Passive: Let the group brainstorm consequences of non-assertive behaviour. Anxiety, depression, anti- social aggressive behaviour, low self esteem.

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