Leadership Skills to Handle Conflict in the Workplace

 In HR and Management Tips

Conflict is a reality of any workplace. As a leader it’s up to you to address and de-escalate these conflicts before they get out of hand. The best solutions are ones that all parties can learn from. It can be tempting to ignore conflict in the hope it will resolve itself; that is rarely the case.

Conflict can damage morale and contribute to excessive turnover. It’s essential for effective leaders to have conflict management skills in their management toolkit.

These are the skills you’ll need to have and build as a leader to effectively handle workplace conflict.

Communication skills.

Active listening is the key to getting at the root of a conflict and finding ways to resolve it satisfactorily. Ask questions to understand the perspective of each party. Make sure they feel their concerns have been heard. Continue to ask follow-up questions until you’ve gotten to the real problem.

Positive attitude.

As a leader, you should be capable of recognizing the potential for opportunity in every conflict. Often conflict develops out of a problem that needs to be solved. When the issue is resolved effectively the entire organization can often benefit. At the very least, you can take what you learned from one conflict and apply it to others.

Problem-solving ability.

As a leader, you must do more than just listen. Your employees count on you to be the voice of reason and a neutral third party. It’s critical you find a way to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of everyone involved.


It’s not easy to take on conflict head-on but it is essential you do. Unresolved conflict will only fester and worsen. Do not hesitate to deal with it promptly to minimize the impact on other people in the workplace.


It’s important to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the people involved in the conflict. Each party comes with their own perspectives and their own goals. The best solutions are those that can be considered a win for each of the parties involved and the organization as a whole.

The experts at Hamilton-Ryker can offer advice on hiring and managing employees. Why not take advantage of our experience? If you are looking to hire or are ready for your next management role, contact us today. We are here you help you succeed.

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