conflict between co-workers

Conflict is a normal part of everyday life and this includes the workplace. No one can choose their coworkers or customers. Some people get along great with coworkers or customers, while others have difficulty with one another. Even people that typically get along can sometimes find themselves disagreeing with each other. No matter what the job, when people work together, conflict will arise. Your students will be working with people every day in their careers. It is critical for them to learn how to handle conflict professionally in the workplace. In this post, we take a look at some basic aspects to conflict resolution that your students should be aware of.

Recognize The Conflict


The first step to resolving conflicts is recognizing when a conflict exists. It sounds simple, but sometimes it is hard to identify when there are possible problems or disagreements between team members. Sometimes, people may not feel comfortable acknowledging that there is a conflict. The key to this is being proactive. Becoming comfortable talking to others about a potential conflict is vital. Your students need to practice recognizing and communicating with other people who have different opinions or points of view. Being able to see and communicate about conflict is the first step to resolving it.

Focus On What They Can Control

working together

When dealing with other people, individuals can only control their own words and actions. Worrying about the words and actions of others wastes time and energy. While your students may want people to agree with them or do something differently, they can’t make them. This is important to recognize. Instead, they should think about what they can do or say to make the situation better. Doing this effectively can require a great deal of patience and objectivity.

Find Out What They Can Do To Resolve The Conflict

conflict resolution

When your students are faced with a conflict they should ask themselves what they can do to help resolve it. They can do this by asking questions to find out why others involved feel the conflict exists. Maybe they are doing something that contributes to the conflict without realizing it. There are always at least two sides to every conflict. Focusing on what they can do to defuse and resolve the situation is the best way forward.

Be Assertive

resolving conflict

To be assertive means to be confident and able to say what one wants in a calm, respectful way. There are three ways to handle conflict: with assertion, aggression, or deference. Showing aggression when a handling conflict is counter productive. It will only make a conflict worse. On the other hand, deferring to others means that one lacks the confidence to state their thoughts and opinions. The other person will not take a deferring person seriously, and the conflict will not be resolved in a way that benefits everyone. Assertiveness is a balance between aggression and deference. It allows one to speak their mind while showing the other person respect. This allows a solution to be found in a calm, respectful way that looks out for the interests of all the parties involved.

Make Suggestions


Resolving conflict is a form of problem solving. A professional way to deal with any conflict is to develop and share suggestions or ideas for resolving the conflict. Sometimes, conflicts do not have an easy solution. The conflict might require both parties to compromise or sacrifice some of their interests. When resolving a conflict, the parties should brainstorm as many solutions to the problem as they can. This will increase the chances that a satisfactory solution will be found.

Help your students to develop these essential workplace skills by teaching them in the classroom and encouraging their practice at school and home. If they develop these skills now, they will bring them into the workforce and be better prepared for dealing with conflict in their professional and personal lives.