Building conflict-competent workplaces

Well-managed conflict can result in innovative solutions, collaborative problem-solving
By Cinnie Noble
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/11/2017
It is optimum to take a systemic approach to building conflict-competent organizations on the basis that conflict is normal and inevitable. Credit: fizkes (Shutterstock)

Conflict can be defined as “any situation in which interdependent people have or perceive incompatible interests, goals, principles or feelings.” Interdependence is the operative word here, and an important consideration in developing a corporate culture that understands workplace dynamics and the inevitability of conflict.

One important reality to consider is that all leaders and employees want and need to rely on one another. However, team members do not always get along — not all employees respect their bosses, nor do all bosses respect their direct reports.

For a range of reasons, some staff do not fit into their team and its dynamics; employees rail against policies that have an adverse impact on them and their workload; and people are named to leadership positions without conflict competency.