Whose Responsibility is it to Solve a Workplace Conflict?

Published on 31/12/2021

When a conflict arises in the workplace, who should solve it?

That’s a question that has long gone unanswered and as a result, conflicts have been level unresolved. The truth is, there is no actual solid answer to it. It really depends upon the conflict, who is involved and whether they’re able to simply put their differences aside for the sake of their work and carry on as normal.

Sometimes, people say they’ve solved a conflict, but they never really sat down and talked about it. Instead, they just say “it’s okay” and carry on. Yet, underneath the surface, resentment is bubbling away and that can erupt at a later date. For that reason, it’s always far better to sit down around the boardroom furniture and talk about what’s on your mind. That doesn’t mean being rude or starting another argument, but simply putting your side across, listening to the other person put theirs across, and then either coming to a mutual piece of agreement or agreeing to disagree. Then, a lid should be put on the issue and it should be forgotten.

But, what if employees can’t do this? What if they struggle to end the conflict and other colleagues start getting pulled into the mess? This can happen and in that case, it’s up to the manager to step in and start being a mediator.

Check out this infographic which has some very useful tips on how to manage conflict at work.

Source - https://elearninginfographics.com/how-to-manage-conflict-at-work-infographic/

It’s totally unrealistic to expect conflicts to never occur. There are all manner of workplace problems that arise during the course of a year and there are bound to be disagreements and upsets along the way. Dealing with those in a positive way is the difference between the issue being resolved and people learning from it, and it simply bubbling away in the background, waiting for a chance to burst free and cause chaos again.

Conflict resolution training is a good option for all. Both employees and managers should attend this type of training periodically, to update their skills and bring awareness to what a conflict can do when left unresolved. This type of training arms everyone with the skills they need to sidestep major problems and ensure that everyone has the capacity to solve workplace conflicts. It should never fall upon one person’s shoulders alone.

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