Managing Workplace Conflict

Maintain a pleasant and productive work environment.

Conflict occurs daily in any place where people with different habits, preferences and opinions work together. Conflicts can ruin your team dynamics and trust. More importantly, they can present serious barriers to realizing your store's sales and service goals.

Managers play a critical role in creating an environment where conflicts are recognized and resolved as they arise. Managers must also model a responsible approach to conflict for the associates they oversee.

After completing this chapter, managers should be able to:

  • Understand why conflict should be approached as an opportunity.
  • Describe strategies to prepare for conflict.
  • Identify the two dimensions and four types of conflict.
  • Explain the four steps to resolving conflicts and five possible outcomes.
  • Recognize common pitfalls of conflict resolution and strategies to avoid them.
  • Outline guidelines for manager intervention in associate conflicts.
  • List six strategies for dealing with difficult people.

The Managing Workplace Conflict chapter introduces techniques to create a work environment where conflicts are recognized and resolved as they arise. Topics include taking a positive approach to conflict, dealing with difficult people, analyzing conflict types and dimensions, and facilitating conflict intervention meetings.

The chapter also includes a downloadable worksheet to help managers develop an action plan for conflict resolution.