Resolving Conflict to Improve Team Performance

By Macie Edwards

At some time or another, whether large or small, everyone has experienced a conflict with a co-worker. In fact, you probably had a certain co-worker come to mind as soon as you read that statement. There are various factors that can cause a conflict in the workplace, but the most common causes for conflict are lack of communication, different personalities, different goals and competition. Most conflicts in the workplace seem to be minor, but if these minor conflicts are left unattended they can develop into major conflicts that begin to impact the overall organization. 

The good news? Organizations can learn ways to handle conflict and effectively resolve it before it impacts the productivity of the company or employees. Handling conflict in the workplace is a big challenge for employees and managers, but being able to manage conflict effectively can turn differences of opinions and ideas into innovation rather than conflict.

The advantages of learning how to successfully manage and resolve workplace conflicts include:

  • Increased productivity and motivation: When conflict is managed effectively, organizations can make better decisions based on multiple perspectives.
  • Improved employee relationships: When conflict is handled correctly, employees learn to work well together and generate ideas collaboratively. 
  • Reduced employee turnover: When conflict goes unresolved, employees feel a greater sense of tension at work and are more likely to leave their jobs.
  • Decreased stress: When the causes of conflict are not addressed, it can lead to stressful work environments for employees, increasing absenteeism.
  • Improved communication skills: When conflict is resolved, employees learn to communicate their ideas to others in a healthy way.

Learning strategies to effectively manage differences and prevent conflict in the workplace will play a vital role in the productivity of your organization.

Check out our Workplace Conflict workshop to learn more.

About the Author

Macie Edwards is a Management major at the Culverhouse School of Business and a frequent blogger for the College of Continuing Studies at The University of Alabama.  

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