Workplace Conflicts and Resolution Strategies

Workplace Conflicts and Resolution Strategies
5 min read
28 December 2022

People come from different backgrounds, resulting in behavioral diversity. When people come together in a workplace setting, conflicts are bound to happen, thanks to differences in upbringing. While conflicts are part of employment life, too much of them can create a toxic work environment. 

According to HR and legal experts, workplace conflicts are inevitable, but they're preventable. Also, how you handle it is what matters. Workplace disagreements should be resolved promptly to prevent minor issues from escalating to difficult situations. Fortunately, an employment lawyer in California can help you understand and address any conflicts in the workplace.

Common Workplace Conflicts 

Conflicts typically result from differences in conception, understanding, upbringing, exposure, goals, lack of communication, and more. However, employment relationships shouldn't be severed because of resolvable differences. While many people associate conflicts with negativity, they have a positive side. 

Most ingenious ideas are conceived when disagreeing parties endeavor to seek practical solutions suitable for all parties. In other words, conflicts can bear better ideas, understanding, and thriving working relationships. Common workplace conflicts and resolution strategies can include:

Task-based Conflicts

Task-based arises when individuals who are supposed to collaborate or work as one fail to agree on a specific issue. Productivity is negatively impacted when team members work as separate units

 For instance, accountants are helpless without numbers. In other words, they depend on data and information from other employees to make crucial reports, such as balance sheets, profit & loss, and other financial statements. 

Failing to furnish an accountant with the necessary data may negatively reflect on their performance, leading to conflicts. Task-based conflicts can however be avoided by delegating tasks and educating employees on the importance of responsibility and accountability. Let everyone understand their duties, obligations, and expectations.

Leadership Conflicts 

Different people have different leadership styles. Unfortunately, a leadership style may not always be effective, so good leaders must adjust their leadership styles for effectiveness. 

While some leaders are bold and charismatic, others are laid-back and friendly. Some leaders are strict on rules and deadlines while others are hands-off; they work behind the scenes. 

Emphasizing mutual respect for personal differences can help address leadership conflicts in the workplace. Also, good leaders should endeavor to understand their leadership styles and adjust to connect with employees regardless of leadership preferences.

Work Style Conflicts 

Like different leadership styles, work styles also differ. Some people like working in groups while others treasure privacy. Some people can work without supervision or many instructions while others must be micromanaged to complete a task. Also, some work best under pressure, but most end up depressed.

Mutual respect and appreciation of behavioral diversity are key to avoiding or mitigating working conflicts. While you prefer a specific working style, you must collaborate with others to come up with an ideal working style suitable for all.

Personality-based Conflicts 

Personality-based conflicts are influenced by differences in temperaments. Human beings fall into four main temperaments:

  • Melancholic;
  • Sanguines;
  • Choleric, and
  • Phlegmatic.

While Sanguines are typically enthusiastic, social, and happy-go-lucky, Cholerics are short-tempered and highly irritable. On the other hand, Melancholics are analytical, calculative, and quiet while Phlegmatics are laid-back, less ambitious, and peaceful. Understanding and appreciating temperamental differences can help avoid or reduce personality-based conflicts.


Workplace discrimination occurs when an employee or employees are treated differently from others. Discrimination in the workplace is prevalent across the U.S., but most cases go unreported for fear of reprisal or retaliation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the protected characteristics of employment, including:

  • Age;
  • Religion;
  • Place of origin;
  • Race;
  • Sex or gender;
  • Physical disability, among others.

Workplace discrimination should be resolved or addressed at the earliest time possible because it can result in dire consequences, such as costly litigations, hefty fines or penalties, and business closure in extreme cases.

Creativity Conflicts 

Have you ever worked with colleagues who are self-centered and disregard other people's ideas? When working in groups, you'll often need to brainstorm better ideas for better solutions.

While you're allowed to voice your ideas, it's important to be open-minded and consider other people's ideas. Creativity conflicts can be best addressed by teaching employees the importance of embracing other people's ideas and compromising. Trying to outshine everyone brings off a narcissistic outlook.

Steps to Resolving Workplace Conflicts 

Assess the Situation 

Calm down, approach the situation soberly, and strategize the best way to resolve the conflict. 

Let the Disputants Air their Grievances

The conflicting parties should be allowed to express themselves without interference.

Review the Situation

At this point, you can use the submissions presented by both parties to make a fair judgment.


After assessing the situation, make a fair verdict, considering the rights of both parties and legal implications.

Workplace conflicts can negatively impact employees' morale, affecting productivity in the long run. While conflicts can't be avoided, they can be prevented with the strategies discussed in this article and others.

Sharukh Khan 7
Joined: 9 months ago
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