Leadership Development Professional & Management Professional Development Soft Skills

Strategies for Dealing with Conflict

Strategies for Dealing with Conflict

Workplace conflict is an inevitable occurrence that can disrupt productivity, erode team cohesion, and even impact job satisfaction. However, the presence of conflict doesn’t have to spell disaster. With the right strategies, conflicts can be managed constructively, fostering growth and enhancing collaboration among team members. Here are some effective approaches.

  1. Open Communication:

The foundation of conflict resolution lies in open and honest communication. Encouraging all involved to express their perspectives and concerns can help unearth the root causes of the conflict. Active listening is crucial in this phase, as it demonstrates respect for each individual’s viewpoint. A safe environment where everyone feels heard promotes understanding and paves the way for finding common ground.

  1. Address Issues Early:

Procrastination in dealing with conflicts often make the situation worse. Tackling conflicts as soon as they arise prevents them from worsening and becoming more complex. Timely intervention allows for quick resolution and minimises the negative impact for all.

  1. Neutral Mediation:

In cases where conflicts appear are complicated, involving a neutral mediator can be really helpful. They can objectively assess the situation, facilitate discussions, and guide all towards a mutually acceptable solution. Mediation encourages compromise and ensures that everyone’s concerns are taken into account.

  1. Focus on Interests, Not Positions:

Strategies for Dealing with Conflict


During conflict resolution, it’s common for individuals to become fixated on their positions. A more effective approach is to shift the focus towards identifying underlying interests. By addressing these interests, solutions can be created that meet everyone’s needs without compromising on key issues.

  1. Collaborative Problem Solving:

Encouraging collaborative problem-solving. By working together to find solutions, individuals can pool their strengths and creativity to generate outcomes that benefit all. This approach fosters a sense of unity and shared responsibility for the team’s success.

  1. Constructive Feedback:

Offering feedback constructively is vital to conflict resolution. Be specific about behaviours or actions, rather than making general accusations. Frame the feedback in a way that highlights the impact of the behaviour and focuses on finding ways to improve moving forward.

  1. Respect Differences:

Strategies for Dealing with Conflict

Encourage an environment where differences are respected and valued. Acknowledging that some disagreements can lead to innovative solutions can help reduce tension and foster a culture of collaboration.

  1. Set Clear Boundaries:

Establishing clear boundaries and expectations for behaviour can prevent conflicts from arising. When individuals know what is considered acceptable and unacceptable, they are more likely to respect these boundaries, minimising the potential for misunderstandings and disputes.

  1. Training and Development:

Providing training in conflict resolution skills equips team members and leaders with the tools needed to address conflicts effectively. These skills include active listening, assertive communication, negotiation, and emotional intelligence. Investing in such training can have a long-lasting positive impact on the team’s overall dynamics.

  1. Learn from Conflict:

Rather than viewing conflict as a negative experience, approach it as an opportunity for growth. After resolving a conflict, take the time to reflect on what was learned and how the team can avoid similar conflicts in the future. Continuous improvement based on past experiences can lead to a more harmonious and productive work environment.


Workplace conflict is challenging, but it can be managed. Conflict resolution isn’t about erasing differences; it’s about harnessing those differences to create a stronger, more united team.

Further Reading

Effective Communication Skills. 3 tips to address Conflict

Five Vital Skills for Project Managers – Leadership

Hints & Tips Professional & Management Professional Development Soft Skills

Setting Objectives Effectively: Reach your desired Outcomes

Success rarely happens by chance.

It’s the result of careful planning, dedication, and effective goal setting. Whether you’re striving for personal growth, career advancement, or business success, setting clear objectives is essential. One popular framework for setting meaningful an achievable goals is the SMART objectives method.

In this blog, we’ll explore the SMART methodology and how it can help you navigate your journey towards success.

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This method was developed as a guideline to create objectives that are well-defined, realistic, and motivating. Let’s look at each element of the SMART framework.

setting objectives

  1. Specific

To set a sturdy foundation for your goals, they must be specific. Clearly define what you want to achieve. Vague goals often lead to confusion and lack of direction. By answering the five W’s (What, Who, Where, When and Why), you’ll narrow down your objective and set the stage for success. For instance, instead of a general goal like “Increase staff One to Ones,” a specific goal could be “Plan and meet all staff at least once a month to discuss their development.”

  1. Measurable

Measuring progress is crucial to staying on track and keeping motivated. Objectives should be quantifiable so that you can track your advancement and recognize when you’ve reached your goal. Establish tangible metrics to gauge your progress, such as percentages, numbers, or specific milestones. If your goal is to increase website traffic, a measurable objective might be “increase monthly website visitors by 20% within six months.”

setting objectives

  1. Achievable

While it’s admirable to dream big, setting unattainable goals can lead to frustration and disappointment. Your objectives should challenge you, but they should also be realistic and achievable within your current resources and constraints. Assess your skills, available time, and available resources to ensure that your goals are within reach. If you’re a novice runner, aiming to complete a marathon in a month might not be achievable, but running a 5K race could be a more realistic goal.

  1. Relevant

Goals should align with your overall vision and purpose. Each objective should contribute meaningfully to your larger aspirations. Consider whether the goal is relevant to your current situation and whether it fits into your long-term plans.

  1. Time-bound

Without a clear deadline, goals can easily lose their urgency. Time-bound objectives give you a sense of accountability and help you manage your time effectively. Set a specific time frame for achieving your goal, whether it’s a few weeks, months, or years. This not only provides structure but also motivates you to work consistently towards your objective. For instance, if you’re learning Excel, your time-bound goal could be “Be able to write basic formulas within six months.”

setting objectives


In the pursuit of success, setting SMART objectives can be your secret weapon. This framework offers a systematic approach to goal-setting that ensures your objectives are well-defined, attainable, and motivating. By making your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, you increase your chances of turning your aspirations into reality.

Further Reading

If this subject area has interested you, and you’re looking for other practical areas to implement it, why not have a look at:

New Managers: How to Boost Efficiency with Introduction to Management Expert Tips

And how to set goals for your team using the SMART method

Setting Goals for your Team