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The First Step to Resolve Workplace Conflict

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Conflict resolution efforts are not only important in promoting workplace collaboration, but they also help promote unity and develop cohesion in a team. There is a fine line between a toxic working environment and a conducive one, and the conflict resolution steps are very important in ensuring complete order is restored. Being a complex process, conflict resolution needs a strategic approach and in-depth understanding. The following is information about the first step to resolving conflict in the workplace.

Define the Source of the Problem

It is easier to resolve a conflict where the root cause of all issues is known rather than trying to make peace where no one knows the source of the problem. Determining the root cause helps to understand how the conflict escalated and allows the conflicting parties to consent to what the problem might be.

In the process of determining the source, you get to discuss the needs that are not being met on the conflicting sides and have a mutual agreement on the right approach to take so that neither of the parties feels unsatisfied. To gather the information you need, ensure you ask a series of questions for the conflicting parties and that both of them have all the time they need to give their side of the story.

Creating time to listen to everyone’s side of the story demonstrates your impartiality and provides background information on the discussed issues. Some of the sources of conflicts in workplaces include:

Unclear Job Expectations

Every position in the workplace comes with a learning curve that has a big impact on the employee’s future success. It is difficult to expect results from employees with no proper training and coaching on what they are expected to do and what they should avoid.

Employees who are unsure of what they are expected to deliver easily lose confidence in their actions and get defensive when questioned. As more frustrations continue to build up in the work environment, the chances of a conflict breaking out also become high.

Toxic Work Environment

Work productivity is greatly affected by how people feel about themselves and to what extent they are willing to tolerate their fellow workmates. A workplace is one big community because it contains different people with different characters and attitudes.

It is important for companies to ensure their employees do not feel out of place by encouraging communication, organizing team-building events, implementing procedures, and taking employees through civic education on the importance of communication in the workplace.

Personality Differences

Any workplace is full of people from different backgrounds, experiences, temperaments, and preferences. While it is difficult to be friends with everyone, it is also important to ensure that everyone is accommodative and that maturity and respect are upheld to have a healthy workplace.

The manager should act as the pacesetter in creating and promoting a healthy workplace. The higher authority should not show signs of being biased so that all the employees have a safe space where they can vent and raise their issues without fear of facing rejection or backlash.

After identifying the first step to conflict resolution in your company, ensure you are armed with facts and are prepared to take action that will not leave any party whining. As the manager, you have the mandate to deal with conflicts as soon as they occur to avoid recurring problems and ensure you follow up on your team members to check on the progress made and give credit where it is due.

See here if you need a firm that deals with conflict resolution and communication workshops so that your team receives the best training on how they are expected to behave if a disagreement arises.


Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at

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