There are many reasons why conflict occurs at work and what boils over into an actual stand up argument may just be a symptom not the cause. Whilst individual differences can be a profound source of friction and discontent – much must be down to poor leadership and management.

Is referring to the HR handbook, or asking HR to intervene or asking the protagonists to shake hands and then to check that there are ‘no hard feelings’ – still your total sum solution to conflict at work?  Fine for the spat which can be contained. But, you know that the underlying cause has not been resolved. Or, do you really hope that the dysfunctional member of the team will just go?

Conflict exists in every organisation. Within bounds it can be the result of a passionate belief in a course of action or the debate over an intellectual position. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to the individual and to the team if not handled properly.

The grit in the oyster might create the pearl. But it is the result of an irritant.

Approaches to understanding and managing conflict have many dependencies; personal, social, organisational, cultural and national. But there are some universal aspects that underpin these individual differences.

However, it is a universal truth
that the longer you leave matters in a state of festering conflict,
the worse it will really become.

If you want some guidance on how  to manage conflict, read on…