If you manage people, projects or processes, you most likely experience near constant workplace conflict. Conflict is normal and will always be a part of any professional setting. Where there are people, there is always conflict. What makes conflict productive or unproductive is how it is managed. How leaders choose to deal with conflict has a widespread ripple effect throughout their teams and organizations. 

According to research commissioned by CPP Inc., warring egos, workplace stress and heavy workloads are the top three catalysts for workplace conflict. Other sources of conflict include:

  • Poor leadership from the top of the organization
  • Lack of honesty and openness
  • Poor line management
  • Lack of role clarity
  • Lack of clarity about accountability
  • Clash of values
  • Poor selection / pairing of teams
  • Taboo topics (e.g., office affairs)
  • Poor performance management
  • Bullying or harassment (read: 30 Signs of Workplace Bullying)
  • Perceived discrimination

When these symptoms of workplace conflict are managed poorly or left unattended entirely, conflict festers into resentment, withdrawal, fighting, loss of morale, loss of creativity, and loss of cooperation and collaboration — all of which result in decreased productivity, decreased work quality and, ultimately, employee retention challenges. Let’s face it, top talent will not tolerate disfunction in the workplace for long.

Leaders and managers with effective conflict management and dispute resolutions skills are critical to developing a sustainable business model. These leaders are capable of building high-performing teams that …

  • Work effectively with one another
  • Develop loyal and trusting relationships with clients
  • Innovate for solutions effectively and collaboratively

Small investments in training reap huge organizational benefits as employees deepen their trust in one another, increase collaboration and performance as well as experience their contributions and value in more meaningful ways. Invest in conflict management training and experience the ripple effect of positive change.

Managing Workplace Conflict

Register for “Managing Workplace Conflict” to gain a deeper understanding of you are in conflict and learn techniques for leveraging your innate conflict style.

Robyn Short is a mediator with expertise in transformative mediation and restorative justice models for dispute resolution. Whether in a corporate, nonprofit, academic or home environment, Robyn assists parties in discovering the root causes of their conflicts, so they may transform their relationships and create new and productive paths forward individually and as teams. Robyn helps organizations through mediation, facilitation, onsite conflict training seminars, leadership training and dialogue circles. Learn more at www.RobynShort.com.