Conflict at work is inevitable. With the heady blend of personalities, goals and stresses that come with the modern workplace, frustrations are bound to mount from time to time. So, you may not be able to avoid conflict, but when it does flare up what is the best way to manage it?

Stanford academic Jeffrey Pfeffer has some fantastic tips on this topic. You can read his article in HBR or read my summary of his top five tips below:

1.  Stay focused on the most essential objectives.

When you feel cross or frustrated it is easy to lose sight of what you were trying to achieve when the conflict began. Try not to do this and focus on achieving your aims.

2. Don’t fight over things that don’t matter.

Choose your battles. Don’t expend time and emotional energy on things that aren’t very important.

3. Build an empathetic understanding of other’s point of view.

There are many reasons for conflict at work, and it’s usually not because the other person is being difficult for the sake of it. If you try to see things from their point of view and understand their objectives, finding a solution will be much easier.

4. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

To understand what your adversary is thinking you have to engage with them.

5. Use humour to defuse difficult situations.

If you or your team need help managing conflict and having better conversations with each other, we have a range of workshops and shirt sessions which can help build better, more collaborative workplaces.

Call Sophie on 0207 269 6990 or email to find out more.