5 tips for healthy conflict resolution in the workplace

Conflict is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be a goal.

Conflict resolution is the art of turning conflict into a creative opportunity. It’s about building empathy and understanding and finding common ground through excellent communication and collaboration.

The best way to resolve conflict? Start with the end in mind. Look at what you want out of the situation, then work backward from there, identifying the steps you need to take to reach that goal and how each step will help you get there.

You can’t avoid conflict—but you can be prepared for it when it comes. Conflict resolution strategies can help you manage conflict in healthy and respectful ways.

Top 5 tips for conflict resolution in the workplace

Acknowledge What’s Happening

The first step in conflict resolution is acknowledging what’s happening and being open to hearing the other person’s perspective. When you’re in a conflict, getting defensive or ignoring what the other person is saying can be tempting.

You may think they won’t see your perspective if you don’t acknowledge the problem or let them know how hurt you are. This can actually backfire if you don’t acknowledge what’s happening. It makes it harder for both of you to move forward with a solution.

When someone comes to you with an issue, try saying, “this must be really hard for you and I want to hear your side of things.” This shows that you respect their feelings and want to understand why they feel the way they do.

It can also help if either of you takes a moment to calm down before discussing the issue so that neither one of you gets too emotional or defensive during the conversation.

Stay Calm

One of the most important aspects of conflict resolution is staying calm. When people are emotional or angry, it’s easy for a situation to escalate quickly. If you notice someone else getting upset, take a step back and try to help them calm down before things get out of hand.

Staying calm doesn’t mean avoiding confrontation altogether. It just means keeping your emotions in check while you deal with an issue head-on.

How can you do it? Try the following:

  • Take a deep breath;
  • Count to 10;
  • Walk away for a few minutes.

This will give you time to think about what you want to say and how best to say it without resorting to name-calling or other forms of abuse. If this doesn’t work for you, try walking away from the situation for a few minutes to clear your head before continuing with the conversation.

Be Willing to Listen

One of the essential conflict resolution strategies is to be willing to listen. This does not mean that you have to agree with what is being said, but it does mean that you should make an effort to understand what the other person is saying. It also means that you should try to understand the feelings behind their words.

In order to listen well, it’s important not just to hear what they’re saying but also to pay attention to their body language and facial expression. If you do this, you’ll be more able to respond appropriately and avoid blowing up in anger or frustration when someone says something that makes you feel that way.

Another way of being willing to listen is by asking questions that help clarify what the other person means. You can do this by repeating back what has been said in your own words to check whether you have understood correctly. This also allows time for your emotions to cool down so that you can think more clearly about how best to respond to not only resolve the problem but also prevent it from happening again in the future.

Here are some tips on how to be more open-minded:

  • Don’t interrupt. You must let the other person finish what they’re saying before responding. If you interrupt, they won’t feel like they have been heard and won’t feel like their opinion is valuable;
  • Look for common ground between your opinions. You may not agree with everything that the other person says, but there might be some ideas that overlap between the two of you, which could help build a bridge between your viewpoints;
  • Ask questions instead of making assumptions about someone’s motives or intentions when trying to resolve conflict with them.

Be Willing to Empathize

One of the most important conflict resolution strategies is to be willing to empathize. This means that you need to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective.

If you can do this and your partner can do it as well, then you’re already on your way to resolving the conflict.

The reason this works is that empathy allows you to better understand where another person is coming from, which helps you find a solution that’s acceptable for both sides.

For example, suppose that a friend of yours has been experiencing some financial difficulties lately and has been looking for a new job. However, they haven’t had much success with their search so far.

You suggest they consider applying for a position at your company because you think they’d be a good fit there. However, they aren’t interested in working at your company because they’re worried about being bored with the work after just a few months.

Rather than getting frustrated or upset when they reject this suggestion, imagine how much better it would be if you could empathize with them instead. You could understand what was causing them to feel this way about working at your company, whether it was the type of work involved or something else entirely.

Say Sorry

Conflict is a part of life. If you don’t believe this, think about the last time you argued with someone close to you. The conflict resolution process is just as important in business relationships as it is in personal relationships.

One of the most common conflict resolution strategies is to say sorry. Saying sorry can be one of the most difficult things to do because it involves admitting that you’re wrong or that you made a mistake. It also involves accepting responsibility for the consequences of our actions and taking steps to make amends if necessary.

It can be hard for people to admit when they’re wrong because it often makes them feel bad about themselves. But saying sorry doesn’t mean that you’re weak. It just means you’re willing to take responsibility for your actions and learn from your mistakes to avoid making them again.

Saying sorry may not always solve an issue immediately. Still, over time it can help rebuild trust and improve communication between two parties so that they can work together more effectively in the future.

Other useful tips

Put Things into Perspective

It’s easy to get caught up in the drama, but it’s important to take a step back and look at what’s really going on.

What you have to remember is that even if you’re having a problem with someone else, it’s not worth losing sleep over. You can’t control what other people do or say, so don’t let it bother you.

Instead of getting angry or upset when something happens that doesn’t go your way, try taking some time out to think things through logically. By putting things into perspective, you’ll be able to see them in a more positive light, and this will make it easier for you to deal with whatever has happened.

Here are several ways to put things into perspective:

  • Write down what happened and when. Describe your feelings at the time, as well as any physical sensations that you experienced;
  • Describe any physical sensations that you experienced afterward, such as anger or sadness;
  • Write down what happened afterward.

Try not to blame yourself for everything that goes wrong. When there’s conflict, it’s easy to feel like you are responsible for everything. But this isn’t true. Try instead to recognize that you’re only responsible for what’s within your control, which isn’t always as much as we think it should be.

Ask yourself: “Am I taking responsibility for my part in this?” If so, great! You can move forward with confidence and take appropriate action based on your part of the problem. However, if you aren’t taking responsibility, don’t beat yourself up about it; instead, ask yourself why?

Don’t Be Afraid of Consequences

If you have a conflict with someone, don’t be afraid of the consequences that you’ll encounter.

The problem with avoiding conflict is that it makes you feel like you’re avoiding something terrible, and that can lead to other issues.

For example, if your boss asks you to do something and you don’t want to do it, but you don’t tell them why because they might get upset or even fire you, that just creates more work for everyone else. It also makes your boss wonder what other important things they might have missed, so they start checking up on everyone and micromanaging everything.

This isn’t good for anyone involved in the issue.

Don’t let fear dictate your actions. Instead, use this as an opportunity to grow into a better person by trying new things and learning from your mistakes along the way.

Conflict is unhealthy when it’s caused by:

  • Power imbalances between parents and children;
  • Fear of consequences like between friends;
  • Arrogance or pride that won’t let anyone else win.

The wrong type of conflict resolution strategy can make things worse! That’s why it’s important to choose the right strategy for your situation.

Assert Yourself

One of the conflict resolution strategies is to assert yourself.

The assertive person can express their feelings and thoughts clearly in a non-threatening manner and ask for what they need. The assertive person also can stand up for him or herself without feeling guilty or hostile.

Assertive behavior does not mean being pushy, rude, or aggressive. It means standing up for yourself in a respectful way and being able to say “no” when you need to. Being assertive means being honest with yourself and others, but that doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone everything about your life.

Assertiveness has many benefits:

  • t helps you feel better about yourself because it gives you more self-confidence;
  • You become less stressed because you can say what’s on your mind instead of bottling it up inside;
  • You build trust with others because they know where they stand when you’re assertive.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to prove your point or make the other person wrong. Instead, assertiveness is about letting someone know their actions are hurting you and that something needs to change.

Assertive statements are short and direct. They can be said in many different ways depending on the situation and how comfortable you are with being blunt. Some examples include:

  • “Please don’t do that;”
  • “Please stop;”
  • “I don’t like it when you do that.”


The most important thing to remember is that conflict resolution is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process. It’s important to be aware of your own feelings but also to be receptive to the feelings of others.

You should always approach each situation with an open mind and be ready to listen to what others say. It’s also important not to judge anyone else’s point of view until you’ve heard the entire story from them.

You’re not alone in this process. Resources are available if you need support or guidance. You can reach out for help anytime if you feel things are getting out of hand. Remember that there’s always room for improvement.