5 Ways To Identify Conflict In The Workplace

gunIt is important to make sure your team is getting along as well as possible in order to ensure your projects are completed on time.

Unfortunately, there will be times when certain members of your team seem to bang heads with each other, and it will be your job to identify the reasons and attempt to find a solution before your entire project goes up in flames!

As a manager, it will be your responsibility to recognise conflict and nip it in the bud.

Being able to identify the various types of conflict will require continuous improvement on your part.

There are a handful of reasons your employees or team members may be in conflict with each other.

Individuals have different objectives

A successful team has to have a clear objective so that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Two different people working towards two different goals will have difficulty communicating with each other, as they’ll each believe themselves to be right.

There is an unhealthy level of competition

Competition can be a wonderful motivator, but not if the team members in competition are taking themselves too seriously, find themselves arguing over information, and suddenly become unproductive.

Competition occurs on the corporate level as well, with different departments vying for resources as they become available.

Their roles are not clearly defined

When you first start a new project, it’s important to make sure each member of the team understands his or her tasks and how they will contribute to the overall outcome.

If these roles are not clearly identified, individuals will start to feel as though other members of the team aren’t pulling their weight, or they might perceive their teammates as being overly critical of the tasks they do perform.

The workflow has been disrupted

Sometimes one part of a project can not be completed without another part being finished first.

If the group completing the first tasks is late, or turns in shoddy work, the second group will be further delayed.

This will almost always lead to resentment and a disgruntled, uncomfortable workplace.

There was a breakdown in communication

Sometimes pieces of information are relayed incorrectly in error. In some cases, an employee may withhold a piece of information to purposely sabotage another.

Regardless, communication errors are a major cause of conflict in the workplace.

It’s important to make sure all information is relayed as efficiently and effectively as possible so that no one person relies on another for critical data.

These are just a few of the reasons for conflict in the workplace, but they’re also some of the main causes.

Over the coming days we’ll take a closer look at conflict it and how to both manage and resolve it.

In the meantime, what are some of the major causes of conflict in your particular environment?

Before I sign off, here are some more great resources to help you manage conflict at work:

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director


(Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

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Mark-WilliamsMark Williams

Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.