Manage Conflict at Work With Collaboration

April 25, 2014

dealing with conflict at work

Dealing with a difficult situation in your office? Collaboration is often an excellent way to handle conflict at work. Here are tips for managing conflict in a professional manner using collaboration. 

When people are collaborating, there is a maximum concern both for the issues and for the maintenance of the relationship on both sides. Collaboration requires a climate that will enable each person to examine and understand the other person’s point of view. It is referred to as the win/win approach because it involves identifying those areas where agreements exist and where there are differences, evaluating alternatives, and selecting solutions that have the full support and commitment of both parties.

This kind of conflict management requires an atmosphere of trust, the surfacing of hidden agendas, and the willingness to be creative in order to reach resolution. In addition, certain conditions must be agreed upon to achieve the win/win result.

Conditions for Successful Collaboration

  • Willingness to Resolve. Both parties must be willing to resolve the conflict.
  • Willingness to Go to the Root Problem. Often, what appears to be the problem is only a symptom of the real issue. Both parties must be willing to explore the origins of the conflict in order to identify its true source and deal with it.
  • Willingness to Empathize. Feelings are always a part of conflict. Both sides need to be willing to understand the other person’s feelings and point of view, even though they might not agree with each other. Agreement isn’t the issue. The point is to understand and respect the other person’s position.

You may choose to collaborate when you want to accomplish the following:

  • Preserve important objectives that can’t be compromised while still maintaining the relationship
  • Merge experiences and feelings from people who have different backgrounds and perspectives
  • Create new joint alternatives
  • Get at unresolved root problems that may have hindered the working relationship over a long period of time.



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American Management Association is a world leader in professional development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. AMA’s approach to improving performance combines experiential learning—“learning through doing”—with opportunities for ongoing professional growth at every step of one’s career journey. AMA supports the goals of individuals and organizations through a complete range of products and services, including seminars, Webcasts and podcasts, conferences, corporate and government solutions, business books and research.

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    […] day, people in the workplace pay a high price for dodging potential conflict out of fear. A few items on the bill […]

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