“Let’s talk it out”: How to handle conflict in the workplace

“People are annoying.”

Liz Kislik, a management consultant and business coach, believes that conflict wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for these annoying people who seem to be unable to control themselves. But that’s the easiest part of the story. She supports that when we operate based on this belief, conflict persists and causes more damage. So if we want to solve conflict in the workplace, we need to see what lies beneath this conflict.

According to Kislik, instead of blaming the people involved in a conflict and just expecting them to get things right, we need to examine the root of the issue that causes unproductive conflict.

But let’s further explore what conflicts at work might look like through an example.

Clara’s team was amazing, with one exception. Ben usually had a bad attitude. He was often negative during team meetings, didn’t engage in teamwork, and was arrogant overall. Clara tried to motivate, encourage, and support Ben, with no results whatsoever.

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