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5 steps to conflict resolution in the workplace

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, or at least, it should be. Managers should begin to worry as soon as they start noticing their workplace is free from conflict. You might be reading this and thinking, “Why should we invite conflict?” I’ll answer that by saying: you need to know the difference between good conflict and bad conflict.

If we take a look at the origin of the word conflict, we might begin to get a clearer picture of why it’s necessary in the workplace. Conflict is derived from the Latin words ‘com’- meaning ‘together’ – and ‘fligere’- meaning ‘to strike’. So conflict essentially means ‘to strike together.’ That means when you’re in a meeting with a colleague and you disagree on the best approach to solve an issue, you are in conflict, you are striking your arguments and viewpoints against each other. The problem is, oftentimes our work culture subtly tells us that all conflict is bad, and must always be avoided. However, the side effect of a ‘no conflict allowed’ approach in the workplace is a breakdown of communication, and you don’t need me to tell you that when communication breaks down, chaos ensues.

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