Berger Leadership Blog

Aug 28, 2015

Resolving conflict in the workplace


Conflict exists in every organization and can be about anything – different personalities, budgeting, resource allocation or the race to meet an important deadline. Since conflict is inevitable, it is important that a leader be able to resolve it quickly and diplomatically.

Making sure those involved in the conflict are satisfied with the solution you’ve come up with is no easy task. Victor Lipman, a contributor to Forbes, explained in a recent article that “how you manage conflict can make or break your leadership career.”

Since there is no one way to resolve all conflicts, Lipman makes clear the approaches that do not work:

  1. “My way or the highway.” Lipman says when a leader pulls rank to enforce his or her will to resolve the conflict, many good employees will take the highway.
  2. “Avoidance at all costs.” The other end of the spectrum – avoiding the conflict – is almost as bad as enforcing your will, Lipman explains. When you deny the conflict exists, “respect is lost,” he says. “No one in management, at any level, wants to be thought of as ‘weak,’” he says.

Resolving conflict successfully and efficiently is a key role of leadership and requires a balanced approach. Ignore that, and your role as a leader may be short-lived.