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Resolving Workplace Conflict? Don’t Skip These 2 Steps

Workplace conflict can turn a calm, level-headed employee into an angry T-Rex. We’ve all seen it happen. But why is conflict so difficult to deal with and manage?


How People Deal With Workplace Conflict

  • Avoidance
  • Denial
  • Walk away
  • Get angry
  • Get sick
  • Take stress leave

Let’s Define Our Topic

Conflict exists when one person has a need of another and that need is not being met. The pathway to resolution starts with these 2 steps…


Express the need.


Find out if the need can or cannot be met. 

YES, the need can be met = RESOLUTION

NO, the need cannot be met = NEGOCIATION or MANAGEMENT of CONFLICT

The Mistake Most People Make

Most people go from having an unmet need straight to managing conflict, bypassing STEP 1 & STEP 2 because they’re afraid of confronting the people who can do something about their unmet need.

What Does Management of Conflict Look Like?

  • Sulking
  • Withdrawling
  • Getting sick
  • Silent treatment
  • Backstabbing
  • Gossiping
  • Shouting
  • Blocking
  • Being aggresive
  • Getting angry

If your conflict has escalated to the point where it’s too difficult to handle on your own, then you should consider involving a neutral mediator to help you settle the dispute.

The Role of the Mediator

The mediator’s ultimate role is to do anything and everything necessary to assist parties to reach agreement. In serving this ultimate end, the mediator may take on any or all of the following roles:

  • Convener
  • Educator
  • Communication Facilitator
  • Translator
  • Questioner and Clarifier
  • Process Advisor
  • Angel of Realities
  • Catalyst
  • Responsible Detail Person

Sources: and

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