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Conflict Management: How To Overcome Workplace Conflict (Bosses)

Regardless of the field, setting or even status of the team/company, conflict is a natural part of an operational group. Conflict will, in some form or another, hit every single team out there once in a while.

As a boss/team leader, the wellbeing of your team and productivity of your company is your chief priority and as such overcoming conflict within the workplace is an obviously important part of keeping your operations successful. Below are the ten best tips as chosen by leading experts for those hoping for a swift overcoming of any conflict between team members.

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#1 Facilitate A Conflict Management Class

Ask the training team to facilitate a conflict management class. Or, ask the group to complete a conflict assessment tool as part of a team building activity. Either way, schedule a follow-up session to talk through team styles, and perceptions. By doing so, you have the perfect opportunity to set ground rules on how the team and its members will handle conflict in the future.

Contributor: Dory Wilson from

#2 Organise A Survey

If you have obvious conflict in the group, create a survey so everyone, not just the most vocal can share his or her perspective. Keep it anonymous if you want to know the truth. You can summarize and share the results to begin a group conversation on the topic.

Contributor: Dory Wilson from

#6 Neutral Help

Hire a neutral outsider to transform the conflict and relationships. No matter how good and fair your human resources representative is, he or she is still generally viewed as your agent, not your employees'. A skilled mediator or ombudsperson can open discussions your employees might be afraid to have with your staff, and he or she can address emotions your employees might be afraid to show.

Contributor: Nance L. Schick from


#7 Act As A Mediator

Mediate, don't judge-unless the behavior at issue is harmful (e.g., sexual harassment, racial discrimination, safety violation). If the conflict is unlikely to require termination from employment, the employees involved will probably have to work together and with you. They will notice when you choose sides unnecessarily. You will benefit more from facilitating resolution than from maintaining the division between co-workers. Sometimes there doesn't have to be a winner and loser; look for the win-win opportunity.

Contributor: Nance L. Schick from


#8 Consider Your Role

Have you treated employees differently? Do you have preferences for certain ones and not try to hide it? Are you enforcing-and following-the rules you require your employees to honor? Are you consistently exhibiting the behavior you expect? Are you fueling conflicts by joining in gossip, oversharing, teasing, or complaining? Why? Do you have a mentor or coach you can discuss this with? How can you be a better leader?

Contributor: Nance L. Schick from


#9 Recognise The Different Skills/Strengths On Show

If one of your employee’s talents is Empathy they are typically more in tune with how people feel about decisions/products/relationships. If you have another employee who is an Achiever, they’re focused on getting things accomplished. Both can be huge assets to your team and the company, depending on the situation, but these differences can also be a source of conflict at times.

When you and your team know their strengths and those of their teammates, you have the power to better understand where everyone is coming from and honor those differences.

Contributor: Anne Brackett from

#10 Communication

Communication is so important in resolving conflict, but most people don't know how to do so effectively, especially when they're upset, anxious, or angry.

When supervisors know their team members’ strengths, they have an incredible tool to both resolve conflict and prevent it from happening in the first place. When conflict arises, you can speak to each person individually and help them understand where their frustration/anger might be coming from. You can help them see how each perspective is valuable to the team and encourage them to speak with the other person given this new information.

Contributor: Anne Brackett from


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Written by James Metcalfe

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