Managing conflict in the workplace

Managing conflict in the workplace

Imagine a workplace where all are cheerful, happily working together and have the same mindset. But that’s only hypothetical. The fact is, when you bring different people together for a shared business purpose, the conflict is inevitable as they all have their own different personalities, mindset, and work style. And, frankly speaking, this diversification of thoughts and styles is necessary for a business to grow.

Now, before learning about managing conflicts in the workplace, let’s first discuss the types of conflicts.

Types of conflicts at a workplace

There are mainly 3 types of Workplace conflicts:

  • Clash of opinions

  • Clash of personalities

  • Clash of religious & communal beliefs

Clash of Opinions

This type of conflict mainly arises because two or more people have different opinions on a certain topic, mainly related to business only. It could be a way ahead on a new project or streamlining the existing one or whatnot.

This type of conflict is not necessarily bad, and in some cases, it is rather fruitful as it opens the doors for Brainstorming which is very good for the organization. Often, it helps evaluate the Goods & the Bads of every possible way ahead and helps the organizations to prepare for the roadblocks beforehand. Sometimes, the compromised solution is better than the original ideas.

This kind of conflict helps create a better work environment and increases the competitiveness among the employees which in a way helps increase their productivity and also contributes to the progress of the company.

However, sometimes this fruitful conversation takes the shape of heated arguments and can turn your most valuable assets against each other.


  • Before going to an argument, remind yourself that you can’t possibly know everything and that you should respect the other person’s opinion as well.

  • The in-charge of the brainstorming must ensure to stop this “Clash of ideas” before it turns into the “clash of personalities”.

  • The participants also need to know the boundaries of the argument and be responsible enough not to cross them.

  • At any point you notice you’re replying out of frustration, take deep breaths and sip some water. This will really help you give time to think over what you were about to say.

A good banter after the discussion helps to put everyone’s mood at ease and shows that you didn’t take anything that happened in the discussion personally.

Read Also: Employee Mental Wellness Program - Is there any need for it

Clash of Personalities

It’s more of a personal liking based clash and can have several reasons like:

  • You find the person’s behaviour irritating.

  • Poor communication includes misunderstanding of remarks and comments taken out of proportion.

  • If it is with your boss maybe it’s because of the perceived inequities of resources or the unrealistic expectations they want you to meet.

This type of clash is not at all productive, and it could hamper the peace & dignity of the workplace and also promotes things like groupism, plottings, etc.


  • If you find yourself in this situation with someone, it’s better to confront them ASAP. Tell them how you feel about their behaviour and try to find common grounds where it’s easy for both of you to carry out your job peacefully.

  • If this doesn’t work, approach the reporting manager or in the case of your boss, to his/her higher-ups. Tell them what's happening and how it's affecting your performance. However, make sure to put your points in such a way that it shouldn't look like you are completely opposed to that person. Also, present them a solution for it.

  • Also, once you come to common grounds with them, please keep it professional until you have a better understanding of them.

Read Also: Online Psychological Counselling- The need of the hour

Clash of ethnical beliefs

If you're an organization that practices Diversification and Inclusion, this could be one of the most common but totally unacceptable conflicts in the workplace.

This type of clash is very harmful to your company’s culture as it makes the workplace negative, intolerant and toxic. Not to mention, it puts your organization’s culture under question.


  • There should be strict rules about such incidents and that make them clear to everyone at the time of joining.

  • Try to create situations or activities that bring employees closer to one another. However, these situations demand strict supervision.

  • If you’re a reporting manager, try to be a little more observant so you can deal with any such element before anything big happens.