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Become Better at Conflict Management

Interpersonal conflicts are a reality of life — both in and out of the workplace. When disputes erupt, conflict management can help resolve disputes and restore workplace harmony. For businesses, the ability to manage conflicts quickly and effectively can have serious implications for workplace productivity and profitability.

Students who enroll in Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Communication program learn about conflict management from our esteemed faculty members. There’s even a course dedicated to conflict management.

The Importance of Conflict Management in the Workplace

Disagreements are part of human nature. Speaking up during a meeting to voice a legitimate complaint or concern is an example of acceptable communication, even if it appears confrontational on the surface. When conflicts become emotional or when disputes become personal, they can breed resentment and distrust among colleagues or between managers and workers.

A successfully managed conflict leaves both parties believing their voice was heard. Individuals adept at managing conflict use communication skills to listen patiently and empathetically to both sides while trying to develop outcomes that are favorable for both sides as well as the business. Mending relationships can take time, but the results will be long-lasting with effective conflict management techniques.

Here are a few examples of steps that can prevent or defuse conflict:

  • Formalize agreements so there can be no misunderstandings later about roles and expectations.
  • Use a trained mediator to manage conflicts once they arise.
  • Make sure that both parties are treated equally throughout the mediation process.
  • Listen actively and empathetically to grievances.
  • Address conflict-provoking behavior swiftly and decisively in the workplace.
  • Explain what reasonable dialogue consists of and ensure that leaders model those examples.
  • Set expectations for workplace behavior.
  • Provide a policy for voicing grievances.

How Can I Improve my Conflict Management Skills?

Effective conflict management requires a wide range of skills, and communication skills are the most critical. Often conflict management specialists have a strong background in communications.

Conflict managers should also exhibit:

  • Emotional intelligence: Individuals who exhibit emotional intelligence are able to gauge and understand the feelings of others.
  • Empathy: Empathy allows conflict managers to understand the point of view of others beyond a superficial level. Empathetic individuals are generally considered compassionate and trustworthy.
  • Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving involves creativity, collaboration, goal setting, decision-making and other leadership traits.
  • Management skills: Leadership skills are useful when solving conflicts. Established leaders who have the trust of both parties in a disagreement are more likely to succeed in managing the conflicts that arise.

Learn About Conflict Management Through SOSU’s Online BA in Communication

Learn the dynamics of professional communication with SOSU’s online program. The 100% online degree program covers conflict management, leadership, negotiation and other critical communications-related skills.

Learn more about SOSU’s Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an Emphasis in Organizational & Strategic Communication online program.


TheBalanceCareers: Conflict Management Skills

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