How to Confront Conflict in the Workplace

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 11-16-2015 Email

It's difficult to manage a conflict-free office: Strained relationships among employees account for no less than three out of five difficulties within organizations, research shows. Meanwhile, 43% of non-management workers feel that their bosses do not deal with conflict as well as they should. In covering this topic, the recent book, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager, Team Leader, HR Professional, or Anyone Who Wants to Resolve Disputes and Increase Productivity (Career Press/available now), defines the common sources of morale-sapping acrimony while providing best practices in addressing these disputes. Authors Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem reveal that CIOs and other managers too often focus on the personalities involved with a situation instead of root causes. They also must understand that their personal approach in dealing with an issue weighs greatly in "making it go away"—or creating even larger problems. The following "conflict myths" and best practices are adapted from the book. Mitchell and Gamlem are HR consultants and co-authors of The Big Book of HR.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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