How to Resolve a Conflict at Work

Ah, the workplace. A cohesive, collaborative environment—and a breeding ground for conflict. If you’re going to work with other people, you might as well realize up front that disagreements are bound to happen. The trick is how you handle them.

Our Twitter #careerchat wanted to know: Is workplace conflict all about winning, or is it about agreeing to a resolution? Can there be a true win-win solution? How do you know when to respond and what to say, or when you should just walk away?

Key takeaways:

  • Work conflict occurs everyday. Your first step should be to determine how much value and attention the conflict truly requires. Small confrontations sometimes make the biggest messes.
  • Try to see the issue from the other person’s perspective. Taking your emotions out of the equation helps reduce saying or doing something you’ll regret.
  • Always be professional. You can control your own behavior, but you can’t control other people’s.
  • Don’t spend too much time over-thinking the issue and don’t wait too long to address it. Avoiding the issue will cause more problems later on.
  • The best practice is to have a rational conversation behind closed doors. If necessary, put the conversation on hold until it can be addressed in private.
  • Face-to-face is better than email for sorting out conflict, but if you must use email, write the message and wait 10 minutes before you hit send.
  • Be proactive versus reactive. Give thought to various resolutions before you go into the conversation. You don’t have to solve the issue there and then, you just have to agree to get it resolved.


Special thanks to @myFootpath, @buona_vita, @Kblennon, @BillBoorman, @PaigeHolden, @CarrieLuber, @WriterChanelle, @MaggieMistal, @CarrieLuber, @ComeRecommended, @WomensAlly, @Austin_Curtis, @KyleMcShane, @joannawolfe, @PushJobs and @ASQ_Trish.

Job seeker? Just want to get ahead in your career?

Join our Twitter #careerchat Tuesdays @ 12 PM CT to talk about everything from friending your boss on Facebook to personal branding to how to get a call back from recruiter.

How to join: Go to and follow the hashtag “careerchat” at noon CT every Tuesday!

Adapted from my post here on MyPath. Pic from here.

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