Conflict within the workplace is inevitable, yet it doesn’t need to be an insurmountable burden. With knowledge and practice of effective resolution strategies, leaders and employees in today’s business environment can gain invaluable conflict management skills to help create a productive work culture that fosters cohesive teams with healthy relationships.

At The Soft Skills Group, we understand the importance of teaching these conflict resolution skills through tailored workshops for managers and their staff members. Here’s how your team can develop conflict resolution skills.

What Is Workplace Conflict?

Workplace conflict refers to disagreements or hostilities that arise between employees, managers, or departments in a business setting. This type of conflict can manifest in various ways, from passive-aggressive behaviour and simple arguments to unhealthy competitions and power struggles.

Conflict at work can impede productivity, hinder communication and create an unfriendly atmosphere for everyone involved. As difficult as it may be to recognize and resolve workplace conflicts, however, managing conflict in the workplace helps ensure that team members can work together harmoniously while meeting the same goals.


Types of Workplace Conflicts

Workplace conflicts can take many forms, from the seemingly insignificant to major ethical issues. Here is a brief overview of how conflicts occur between employees and leaders in an organization.

Workplace Conflicts Between Employees

Workplace conflicts between employees are not uncommon and can significantly impact employee morale and productivity. These conflicts can arise for a myriad of reasons, including differences in working styles, personal disputes, and job competition.

Poor communication is often at the root of workplace conflicts and can be the source of misunderstandings, rivalry, and negative associations.

Workplace Conflicts Between Leaders and Managers

In any workplace, disputes between leaders and managers can arise over organizational and individual goals. For example, both parties may disagree about how to approach a certain task or project, with one believing an aggressive strategy is necessary while the other favours a more moderate approach.

Leaders may also take issue with how a manager is enforcing certain rules or regulations within the organization, potentially leading to a difference of opinion on how best to motivate their staff.

Different Levels of Workplace Conflicts

In addition to conflicts between employees and leaders, there are also different levels of conflict that could arise.

  • Intrapersonal conflicts are issues that you might experience within yourself about a particular workplace problem.
  • Interpersonal conflicts can occur between two or more employees; issues such as competing ideas and interests are common here.
  • Intragroup conflict takes place between groups of workers, often related to conflicting strategies on an individual or team goal.
  • Intergroup conflict refers to competition between different teams, with both sides wanting their perspective to be acknowledged as valid.

How Workplace Conflicts Between Employees and Leaders Affect Organizations

Workplace conflicts between employees and their leaders can be detrimental to a company’s success. Below are some of the ways conflicts can affect an organization.

Decreased Employee Productivity

Conflict can divert focus away from the work at hand, slow down decision-making processes, and lower morale as one or both parties avoid interaction with each other. This distracted state results in lower job performance and decreased overall organizational efficiency.

Poor Communication in Employees

When employees and leaders do not communicate openly and clearly, misunderstandings can arise, leading to conflicts ranging from minor criticism to serious disagreements. These conflicts can create divides among team members, leading to decreased overall morale within the organization.

Employees Resigning from the Company

In some cases, employees that feel unjustly treated may resign without any prior warning, leading to added stress in the workplace and possible financial losses due to the hiring and training of new recruits.

Negative Impact on Employees’ Mental Health

In any workplace, having good working relationships between leaders and employees is essential in cultivating an atmosphere conducive to productivity and creativity. Stress from a poor or broken relationship with a leader can impede an employee’s ability to perform to their potential.

Benefits of Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

Managing conflict in the workplace is incredibly important. It can mitigate minor issues before they become full-blown problems and create a healthier, more productive work environment. In addition, conflict management skills for leaders can provide the following benefits:

  • Protect employee morale
  • Foster collaboration between teams
  • Save time and energy
  • Strengthen relationships within the organization
  • Establish trust among peers and team leaders
  • Create better communication between employees
  • Promote understanding throughout all departments of the company
  • Improve job satisfaction for everyone

How to Develop Conflict Resolution Skills

Managing conflict in the workplace takes an essential set of skills. Developing conflict resolution skills can help create a healthier work environment and improve communication between colleagues. Enrolling your team in a conflict management workshop is a great way to kickstart this process.

At The Soft Skill Group, our conflict resolution skills training workshop will provide an opportunity to learn and apply effective strategies for resolving conflicts in professional settings.

During our conflict management skills workshops, participants typically learn important strategies such as handling difficult conversations with colleagues, assessing various personalities in the workplace, and anticipating potential problem areas in advance. Additionally, participants discover effective ways to listen more intently and communicate more clearly to better resolve disagreements.

Contact The Soft Skills Group to Enroll in Our Conflict Resolution Workshops

The Soft Skills Group takes conflict resolution to the next level by offering customized in-person and online workshops and classes. No matter the group size or learning preference, our team is well-equipped to give participants the guidance they need to develop strong conflict management skills in the workplace.

We also offer customized soft skills workshops based on your requirements, whether you have a small board of directors or a large organization. Simply give us a call at 416-877-4688 or contact us today to learn more or get a free consultation.

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