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Conflict Management

Alex asks, “Carla, why didn’t you invite Jon to the meeting?”

Carla responds, “I end up redoing all of his forms anyway, it’s just easier to box him out of these projects than to try working with him. Everything he does is so sloppy!”

In this instance, Carla is so negatively affected by Jon’s performance, that she removes an opportunity for him to learn and participate. However, if Jon doesn’t understand what is expected of him, he can’t prevent these issues in the future. It would hurt Jon to overhear this conversation, and it would be embarrassing for Carla to be caught venting her frustrations. While most conflict is rooted in simple miscommunication, it doesn’t take long for misunderstandings to escalate.

Good conflict management requires respect, responsibility, and communication from all those involved. If you’re in a managerial role, it’s your job to exemplify those traits, hold others accountable to a professional standard, and make sure others follow all applicable statewide and agency policies. 

  • Respect: Listen attentively while each side of the argument is being presented.
  • Responsibility: Own up to mistakes and follow through with the resolution.
  • Communication: Clear, concise, and non-accusatory language is needed to come to an understanding and can prevent a lot of conflicts, too. 

Conflicts happen in collaborative environments. Employees bring the expectation that a resolution will come with support from leadership no matter how their views or preferences differ. Foster respect, responsibility, and communication, and don’t allow conflict to overshadow team values or goals.  

Resources from the Enterprise

Enterprise Talent Development (ETD) offers Skills Development Courses on this topic. Review upcoming scheduled courses on the ETD website. 

From the Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution

From Management Analysis and Development

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