February 21, 2024


The workplace is a dynamic place. Unfortunately, anytime multiple people get together, there is a potential for conflict.


Disagreements in the workplace can be unpleasant. Assuming two people are at odds with each other, this negativity can quickly spread through a team or organization. Almost certainly, there will be some divergence in every profession. It is not always possible to agree on strategy and tactics with colleagues. Always agreeing in the workplace can also backfire.

Encouraging and promoting different ideas and perspectives is key to developing solutions and high-level execution by the team.

The task becomes to determine whether the divergence is healthy. If it’s unhealthy, it can be difficult to diagnose and fix the problem. No matter what people say about “let it go, it’s just work”, that’s easier said than done. When people put so much energy into their careers and jobs, it pays to try to understand disagreements and learn how to deal with them in the workplace.

Resolving these quarrels can go a long way towards saving or strengthening relationships and enhancing one’s professional reputation.

try the mirror in front of the window

Man on laptop dealing with workplace conflict at work

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First, when disagreements arise in the workplace, look in the mirror before you stare out the window. In other words, reflect on your actions and opinions before looking at others.

In fact, this advice can be useful in many situations. The thing to remember is that in most disagreements, each side genuinely believes they are doing the right thing. Everyone’s position may be completely different, but a positive resolution is more likely to be reached if conflict is handled with understanding and mutual respect.

chat with tutor

Woman helping colleagues to resolve conflict at work

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It may help to have someone to talk to about this. An off-the-charts, trustworthy and prudent person. If the person brings a unique perspective, all the better. He or she can listen, ask challenging and thought-provoking questions, or he or she has been there before and can offer some thoughtful advice.

However, choose your confidant carefully. Another aspect of this advice is to avoid expressing grievances in the workplace. Always try to take the highway. Talking too much to too many people can not only be counterproductive and damage relationships, but it can also damage one’s reputation.

The purpose of talking to someone about a situation is to help you assess your view.

adopt a positive attitude

Coworkers resolve disagreements at workplace during work meeting

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After reflecting on a disagreement, as uncomfortable as it may be, it is almost always most productive to sit down with the other party.

Instead of approaching meetings in a hostile manner, go into them to seek understanding, make progress, and find solutions. Ask each other questions. Try to help the other person understand the other person’s point of view. Good things tend to happen when compromise and flexibility are committed up front.

hire a facilitator

HR Listens to Workplace Conflict

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Goodwill alone may not help. Hiring a third-party mediator may be helpful if resolving the disagreement head-on is unsuccessful, or if the other party is not receptive. The moderator may need to act as a facilitator, or this person may help create a more constructive meeting environment. Either way, there is often value in having someone objective and away from the situation to provide another set of eyes and ears.To be most effective, the host should be someone both All parties agree and wish to participate.

Many organizations have in-house human resource or organizational development consultants who can serve this purpose. Smaller employers may not have that luxury, but may still have HR professionals or other trusted resources to help with this. The point is, this person needs to be credible, respected, and willing to provide candid feedback.

Disagreements at work will occur. In many cases, disagreement is productive and a good sign of diversity of thought. They don’t have to be the end of the world, but they can’t make important things worse. Working in an environment that hesitates to disagree or offers alternatives can inhibit creativity and increase unnecessary stress.

When disagreements arise, it’s important to remain professional, reflect on each side’s perspective, and try to find the best solution that benefits everyone involved. It can be tricky at first, but once you know how to resolve disagreements in the workplace, dealing with co-workers becomes a lot easier. No two situations are ever the same, but by taking a deliberate, collaborative approach, even the toughest obstacles can be overcome.

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This article was originally published on an earlier date.

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