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Managers Need to Manage Workplace Conflict

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Conflict is inherent to the human condition, but understanding how to navigate conflict peacefully isn’t.

Manage Workplace Conflict

When groups of people spend eight hours a day, five days a week together, there are bound to be times when tensions get high, annoyances step over the line, and issues bubble over. Conflict is inherent to the human condition, but understanding how to navigate conflict peacefully isn’t. Therefore, it is up to those in leadership positions to take action in managing workplace conflict.

Managing Workplace Conflict Benefits

Workplace conflict can quickly tear down a budding or successful business. What may seem like a simple butting of heads can create a hostile and toxic environment that hinders innovation, decreases productivity, and sabotages morale. When an individual, team, or entire staff is hijacked by conflict, it can wreak havoc on workplace relationships, bring collaboration to a screeching halt, and even result in high turnover rates that cost the company considerably.

Yes, conflict can be destructive, but peaceful approaches to conflict management can restore positive productivity to the workplace. For example, studies show that “Organizations adopting conflict resolution processes, like mediation and arbitration, report 50-80 percent reductions in litigation costs.” However, what if you could take preventive and active action through your leadership in managing workplace conflict to avoid it getting heated in the first place? When managers learn how to incorporate conflict de-escalation skills into company culture, they benefit from the following.

Teaching Staff How to Manage Workplace Conflict

As we said, conflict is natural, but the engagement is not. When managing workplace conflict, leaders can take preventive measures by empowering staff with training on the dynamics of conflict, navigating tough conversations, and even the neuroscience of conflict. Managers can train staff on how to address issues appropriately when they arise, listen genuinely to their colleagues, discuss rather than debate their points, avoid blaming and basing thoughts on biases, and treat everyone fairly.

Create Effective Workplace Conflict Procedures

There will be times when staff, even after training, cannot find a resolution themselves. At times it is necessary to bring in a neutral third-party to support individuals and teams in navigating difficult conflicts. This might be a workplace mediator who supports individuals in coming to the table to talk through challenging differences. Sometimes teams need a facilitator to support them in leading high-stakes meetings. When conflict has led to workplace harm, a restorative justice facilitator can help employees transcend harm and restore healthy working relationships.

Building a Better Work Culture

A workplace’s culture can achieve compounding benefits when workplace conflict training and workplace conflict experts are integrated into the culture. Leadership will see higher levels of engagement, increased productivity, greater collaboration, stronger relationships, and substantial profitability. It also helps to minimize turnover, decrease absenteeism, increase retention, and attract talented individuals who believe in the business’s positive image and healthy work culture.

Most management is put in place due to their skill on the subject, not always their skill with people. Unfortunately, solving conflict is rarely an inherently natural skill. Instead, it takes extensive training and practice to become skilled in identifying, analyzing, and finding solutions to problems. When managing workplace conflict, employees, especially those in management positions, must learn useful strategies to navigate successfully.

Workplace Peace Institute – Managing Workplace Conflict Successfully

At Workplace Peace Institute, we offer workplace conflict courses to support professionals in navigating conflict peacefully. The Brain in Conflict & Connection course provides insight into the critical role the brain plays in conflict, emotion, collaboration, and connection. Participants learn how instinctual responses can be tempered by connecting these crucial elements with valuable strategies that can be applied to any conflict.

The Conflict Dynamics course provides awareness about the human and financial costs of workplace conflict and teaches participants how to develop a conflict-competent approach to leadership. Participants will learn how to deal with highly conflictive personalities, build collaboration, increase emotional intelligence, and communicate in a style that gets results.

The Navigating Tough Conversations course utilizes proven techniques to teach professionals how to develop communication competence and navigate difficult situations confidently and purposefully. Students of this course learn tactics to manage their own emotions during high-heat moments, as well as how to de-escalate tense situations, leading to constructive outcomes.

The Restorative Justice in the Workplace course provides an introduction to the principles of restorative practices and their application to the workplace. Students of this course explore the needs and roles of key stakeholders to a conflict and the uses of restorative practices to address workplace conflict. This course is designed to build skills in knowledge, analysis, critical thinking, communication, and implementation of restorative practices and principles.

These courses are ideal for existing leaders, emerging leaders, human resource professionals, and anyone interested in developing conflict resolution skills. Learn more about the Workplace Peace Institute Leadership Academy here.


Workplace Peace Institute is an organization systems design and research firm that is singularly focused on creating workplace cultures where people thrive. Workplace Peace Institute supports small to mid-sized businesses in optimizing employee engagement, maximizing organizational productivity, and improving profitability by infusing human security and dignity as foundational attributes of their business model. Our Leadership Academy supports leaders in honoring basic human needs and dignity needs in the workplace, so they can actualize human potential in the workplace. The online Leadership Academy optimizes competencies in human behavior, communication skills, conflict resolution, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging to create highly engaged workplaces where basic human needs and dignity are consistently honored. All our courses are offered online and can be customized for in-person workshops and seminars.


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