Business leadership: Using in-office conflict to the company’s advantage

Businesses, especially the bigger ones, welcome a diverse workforce. Though many employees may be similar in some aspects of their character, none of them are the same. They may also have different ways of finding motivation and fulfillment in what they do, and may also possess varying beliefs on how their jobs have to be done and how common goals have to be achieved.

With all these differences, conflicts are to be expected. Managers and supervisors know this only too well. But in-office conflict isn’t all bad. In fact, there is potential in it, if one knows how to utilize it to the company’s advantage.

First of all, managers should never back off when they witness (or hear about) a disagreement between colleagues under their supervision. A supervisor neglecting to address a conflict among employees aggravates the situation. In fact, unresolved disagreements or misunderstandings more often than not lead to bigger issues in the long-term.

Managers should see a dispute between co-workers as an opportunity to take a step towards changing the company for the better. If supervisors have a sense of urgency, they can reap the benefits of a conflict right from the onset and avoid the toxicity arising from having two employees holding and manifesting grudges.

Managers should also realize that if unaddressed, how these employees feel could turn out to be infectious and pull down the morale of other colleagues and the overall performance of teams and departments.

Finally, it’s important for managers to give notice to conflicts, no matter how small or trivial, if only to tell these individuals to “quit it.” And even this gesture from a boss can be enough to unite the team and remind them of professionalism, the lack of which often being the root of personal conflicts in business.

Haris Ahmed is an experienced facilitator who has led numerous leadership workshops and team-building sessions. He has personally coached over 100 leaders in various industries and sectors. For similar reads, visit this page.

Tags: organization, leadership, conflict, advantage, benefit


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