Preventing Conflict

Conflict is inevitable in the business world. The chances are that you’ve most probably had to deal with it at some point in your career.

The best way to prevent conflict would be to avoid it in the first place. However, this can be extremely difficult and not always be a possibility, as it could’ve easily of become a problem before anyone realising.

Conflict is not a constant – so why not solve it before it becomes one?

Each circumstance is different and unique and therefore will need to be addressed appropriately, using a suitable approach for the particular conflict. An easy place to start, would be using effective communication and mindful listening, among other methods.

An environment of open communication is essential for both preventing conflict and managing it. Making sure there is an easy network for communication is an effective way of avoiding any scale of conflict; from small misunderstandings and mistaken assumptions and interpretations, all the way through to big disagreements amongst a board of directors.

First and foremost, individuals’ mannerisms can reveal the root of the problem. If everybody within a workplace adopted the following, conflicts would struggle to surface;

  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • Respect
  • Clarity/Conciseness
  • Diplomatic speech
  • Non-confrontational
  • Non-judgemental
  • Openness
  • Perceptive manner
  • Mindful listening
  • Positive body language and Voice tone


Having said this, conflict is an obvious result when different people with different personalities, are working closely together. Thus, it eventually comes down to addressing the problem successfully, and reaching a common ground.

Conflict can easily get out of hand within a business environment, if not managed correctly. Once the problem has been identified by all parties involved, they then all need to be on the same page in terms of ‘facts’ and ‘figures’. From here, a range of solutions can be explored and subsequently be addressed with the best outcome possible.

Dealing with complications effectively can sharpen relationships within a team, which at the end of the day, is only going to reflect positively within the workplace and is an opportunity to take a step forward as a stronger unit.

Positivity is key when managing conflicts – negative emotions are completely avoidable, and reactions, such as anger, should not dictate how you address a situation. This comes down to emotional intelligence and attentional control – in other words, managing and regulating emotions.

Conflicts, disagreements and disputes can result in expensive consequences for a business, such as damaging a departments output or vividly lower morale within a team. Therefore, the earlier they are dealt with, the better.

All in all, it comes down to how you manage conflict as and when it arises - Using a valuable method, understanding the bigger picture, and focusing on the problem, not the person. Seeing beyond conflicts and building on existing relationships is essential for better group cohesion in the office and team based work, with the only outlook being effectiveness and productivity in the workplace.