5 Steps Managers can take to manage conflicts at work

Any team environment, be it large or small, is bound to be affected by various amounts of conflict. As a leader or a manager, it may often fall upon you to manage conflict and solve the problems created because of it.

Leading corporate trainer and event host in Mumbai, Gaston D’souza is often posed with queries about managing conflict situations at work and the following 5 steps prove to be effective in most situations:

Address the conflict

As a manager, understanding the exact reason of conflict is extremely important. Similarly, identifying the people involved, the timelines and the outcome of the conflict till now. Plan for a conflict resolution process and visualize the positive outcome you plan to achieve by doing so.

Work with others:

As a manager, if you think conflict resolution is a one-man job, you are mistaken. Ask others how they see the conflict situation and given a chance, how they would solve it. Speak to concerned parties and find out their wishes as this could prove to be a sensible approach towards solving the problem at hand.

Choose your response:

There are four response styles one can choose from while responding to styles i.e.: Analyzer, Relator, Director and Socializer. Let us see the main characteristics of these styles:

  • The Analyser loves to have the facts before taking a decision and arriving at a specific conclusion based on facts. They follow a systematic style and reach a logical decision.
  • The Relator is empathetic when it comes to problem solving while approaching interpersonal relationship problem. They bring out the best in others by trusting the other concerned party.
  • The Director is straightforward and do not display a lot of emotion. His decision making is direct and does not compromise a lot during conflict situations
  • The socializer is able to strike the perfect balance between managing human relations and being assertive at the same time. Since socializer love to be in the midst of things, they bring an enthusiastic and optimistic approach to things.

Create a working plan:

Remember that it needs two parties to settle a dispute and without compromise, a satisfactory settlement may not be possible. Ask the involved parties to agree towards resolution of the issue by taking specific steps. Get them to commit to a solution that has been validated and agreed. Summarize the actions that both parties take and agree to the same so that there is no bad blood between them later.

Learn from the experience:

Just as any party anchor in Mumbai will not commit the same mistakes twice, make sure you learn from conflict resolution. Improve on the time taken to resolve issues and always evaluate your performance.


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