Keeping Your Cool - Conflict Resolution for Managers

Conflict Resolution Skills for Managers

Fact: Conflict arises from time to time.

There’s no getting away from it completely. Even the most smoothly-running, well-gelled teams come up against conflict occasionally. We’re all different, and we do things in different ways, so it’s bound to happen.

What matters is how you handle conflict.

It’s tempting to bury your head in the sand when conflict crops up, crossing your fingers that it will resolve itself without you having to get involved.

Sometimes this will be true – especially if your team already work well together. However, you must remain vigilant for the right time to intercede.

For example, if a disagreement between colleagues escalates into an argument that gets too heated and / or begins to disrupt other team members, it’s time to step in and take the conversation elsewhere.

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What’s Your Role in the Conflict?


As a manager, your role is to be the cool head in a heated conversation. You are the mediator, getting to the root of the issue and helping to find solutions.

Stay calm, take the conversation away from the main work area, and give each party a chance to speak uninterrupted.

OK, that’s definitely easier said than done. It takes practice and skill to carry this one through.

Keeping Your Cool - Conflict Resolution for Managers

5 Keep-Cool Conflict Resolution Tips


1. Move


As soon as you realise that a situation is escalating, take it to another room, away from the team’s main workspace.

2. Listen


Once you get everybody settled, give each disputant time to speak – uninterrupted – before moving any further. The ‘uninterrupted’ bit is very important. Think about any time you were worked up over an issue. You need to know that your perspective is heard.

3. Take a Break


A cooling down period, even just for 5 minutes, can work wonders for diffusing tension.

4. Review


Taking pause before weighing in switches you from reactive to responsive mode. You could use the cooling down period to reflect and review what you’ve heard, thinking about the best way to proceed.

5. Document


When conflict arises, it’s always best to document the issue in some way, simply to protect all parties involved.

If the issue has been resolved easily, perhaps send a quick email to sum it up. If it requires further attention, document the events that have already occurred, the current situation, and next steps.
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Keeping Your Cool - Conflict Resolution for Managers

Getting Started on Your Conflict Resolution Skill-set


Addressing and resolving conflict is a key skill set for anyone who manages others. It may be a relief to hear that it rarely comes naturally to anyone. We all have to work to develop conflict resolution skills.

QQI Managing People – 3 Days


This is a great option for anyone seeking to develop their complete management toolkit.

In addition to covering a guide for tricky situations, it also addresses team performance and handling poor performance, along with a full spectrum of management skills.


QQI Managing People Course €850

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