How To Teach Your Managers To Handle Workplace Conflict Appropriately

May 31st, 2018 | by Anica O
How To Teach Your Managers To Handle Workplace Conflict Appropriately

According to a study conducted by CPP Inc, the average United States worker spends more than 2.8 hours each week dealing with conflict in the workplace. Since the average United States hourly salary is $22.51, companies are paying about $63.03 weekly for each employee that they hire or approximately $3,277.46 annually. If you need to reduce employee conflict in your company, then you need to teach your managers to handle conflict effectively.

5 Modes of Conflict Resolution

The Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument identifies five different ways to handle conflict. There are some basic skills that you should make sure that managers have before starting more in-depth training. Teaching your managers each one allows them to choose the one that best fits the situation.

Competing Mode

The competing mode relies on the manager being totally right on all aspects of a conflict, and it should be used extremely sparingly. Managers may want to use it when they have all the information needed, and they are the only one who can see the big picture. The competing mode may need to be used when an unpopular action must be taken quickly. Managers should remember, however, that the decision may lead to broken relationships with key individuals.


Collaborative conflict resolution often allows everyone to win. It allows the merging of ideas from different perspectives. Managers must value the opinions and input of employees working under them. The conflict should be presented as a problem to be solved by all, and everyone should be involved in brainstorming for a possible solution.


One of the keys to being a great manager is to realize when an issue is too important to the future of the company to be willing to compromise on it. Both sides of an argument should be willing to make small compromises because making large ones often leads to resentment. It is often best used when collaborative and competing methods have failed.


Before you can choose to avoid a conflict, the manager must assess how important it is for the company to address the problem at the moment. If everyone feels like they are tiptoeing around an issue, then it is best to get it out in the open. You may want to avoid a conflict if it is better handled at a better time or in a different environment.


Managers who use an accommodating style put the arguments of others above their own needs. In the right circumstances, it can build trust between a manager and his team. The manager is showing that they value the opinion of others.

Teaching your managers how to settle conflict can be a great way to save your company money. Use these techniques and your own ingenuity to build a great team. The result can affect your company’s bottom line drastically.