Conflict at Work: The Role of the Manager

Conflict. Infighting. Disagreements. Arguments. Rivalry. Lack of accountability. These are all issues that people, and especially managers, at work encounter on a regular basis. A struggle with a performance issue, a difficult personality, rude behavior, or peers fighting. We all dread conflict or tough conversations at work even though they are inevitable.

So how do we learn to deal with conflict at work? 

Often times, we look to the leader of our team in the hopes that he/she can model the best way to handle these crucial conversations. After 10 years of training thousands of leaders, we know first hand that dealing with conflict is very difficult for most managers and research bears out this notion. So why do managers struggle with conflict? They either lack the skill, or have developed bad habits. Some of the things we see managers do:

  • They avoid the conflict, making it clear they are afraid to deal with it
  • They minimize the conflict, stepping over the elephant the room
  • They take sides without getting both parties involved
  • They ignore it hoping it will go away

If you or your manager struggles with conflict, click on this link to see the 3 key questions you need answers to in order to create a coaching culture and eliminate conflict at work.