Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives.

Healthy Responses To Conflict

• The capacity to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person.

• Calm, non-defensive, and respectful reactions

• A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger

• The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing

• A belief that facing conflict head is the best thing for both sides

• Note that anger is a normal feeling.

Unhealthy Responses To Conflict

• An inability to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person

• Explosive, angry, hurtful, and resentful reactions.

• The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment.

• An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side.

• The fear and avoidance of conflict; the expectation of bad outcomes


Workplace conflict can occur in any size workplace, even smaller ones. Small businesses may consist of just a few employees who work together in an intimate setting, so when conflict does occur, it can cause a major disruption in the business’s operation. To keep everyone working together as a team, you’ll need to be able to resolve conflicts in a healthy way. A few ideas may help you accomplish the task.

See the Other Side

When mediating a conflict between two employees, make sure that each employee understands the other’s point of view. A common workplace occurrence is when two employees want the same day off but only one can have it. Make sure that each employee understands why the other needs that particular day off in the hope that they can arrive at a mutual understanding. If you need to make the final decision, reward the “loser” by offering her the first choice of a future off day.

Be a Calming Influence

A conflict between employees that becomes heated will only get worse if you become angry. Speaking to the employees in a calm, controlled manner can help diffuse their anger. When both employees have calmed down, you can then attempt to rectify the situation.

Identify Mistakes

Conflicts can often arise due to an employee’s mistake. In some cases, the employee may not want to own up to the mistake, which can escalate a conflict. It is your job to make sure that the employee understands the mistake, as well as to take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Acknowledge that everybody makes mistakes and make sure the employee understands that you still value his work.

Let Everyone Speak

When conflict involves several people, it may be impossible to achieve a resolution that satisfies everyone. Nevertheless, it’s still important that everybody involved has the opportunity to express their views and that each viewpoint is carefully considered. In some cases, allowing an employee to make her position known and understood may be enough to placate her.

Require an Apology

A situation may occur where one employee is clearly in the wrong. When this occurs, it may be necessary for the employee to apologize to prevent the building up of harmful resentment. In a sales environment, for example, one salesperson may infringe upon the territory of another or “steal” a sale. In addition to any disciplinary action you may need to take, it’s important that the salesperson apologize to the other for his actions.

Humor Can Help

You can avoid many confrontations and resolve arguments and disagreements by communicating in a humorous way. Humor can help you say things that might otherwise be difficult to express without offending someone. However, it’s important that you laugh with the other person, not at them. When humor and play are used to reduce tension and anger, reframe problems, and put the situation into perspective, the conflict can actually become an opportunity for greater connection and intimacy.

If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.