Blog Post 11-20-11

Conflict resolution: Staying comfortable in uncomfortable situations

The morning's going fine ... until Samantha’s loud talking finally pushes Bobbi to the edge.

“Do you MIND?” she suddenly demands, slamming her earbuds to her desk. “I HAVE to finish this report before noon.”

Yikes. This is awkward.

But as the boss, you’re the one who has to handle this.

Now what?

Conflict resolution, any manager will tell you, is no fun.

But believe it or not, the experts at MindTools say, a clash like this can also be an opportunity — among other things, for team-building and for cultivating your staff’s loyalty and respect.

Being the cool head and keeping the situation as calm as possible will help you gain the confidence of the combatants, as well as the office onlookers. If you handle this right, you'll show that you value the whole group, that you don’t play favorites and that it’s OK to speak your mind ... respectfully.

According to, many conflicts are rooted in insecurities. Feeling threatened. Differing needs.

Few people awaken in the morning contemplating the best way to do their jobs poorly. Most want to excel at their jobs, but they need managers to foster work environments in which goals are clear and employees feel like they’re taken seriously.

Straightforwardness, fairness and level-headed leadership go a long way toward meeting those needs — and extinguishing conflicts before they ignite.

CI International’s Conflict Management workshop can help.  Having your full team or key supervisors take this training will give them a common language and practical tools to truly enhance the health of your team through speaking up in a timely, respectful manner.
Contact us.