How to Resolve Conflict Between Two Employees

Learn effective strategies to resolve conflict between two employees with practical conflict resolution tips and communication techniques.


Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, but when managed effectively, it can lead to growth, innovation, and stronger relationships.
Effective conflict resolution strategies include open communication, active listening, finding common ground, and establishing clear guidelines.
Employee conflict
JAMS Pathways Editors

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, but when managed effectively, it can lead to growth, innovation and stronger relationships.

Understanding Employee Conflict

Employee conflict resolution is a critical skill for any organization aiming to maintain a productive and positive work environment. Conflicts can arise from various sources, including differences in personality, work styles and misunderstandings.

Conflict between employees examples can range from minor disagreements to significant disputes. These conflicts, if left unresolved, can escalate and negatively impact team dynamics and overall workplace morale.

Effective Strategies to Resolve Conflict

  1. Open communication: The foundation of resolving conflict between employees lies in open communication. Encourage the involved parties to express their views and feelings openly and honestly. This approach fosters understanding and paves the way for workplace mediation and other conflict management strategies.
  2. Active listening: Both parties must practice active listening, where they attentively listen to each other's perspectives without interrupting. This skill is crucial for understanding the root cause of the conflict and developing a mutually agreeable solution.
  3. Finding common ground: Identify areas of agreement between the conflicting parties. This helps in building a foundation of mutual respect and cooperation, essential for effective dispute resolution.
  4. Establishing clear guidelines: Set clear guidelines and expectations for behavior and communication. This step helps prevent future conflicts by providing a framework within which employees can operate.

Practical Conflict Resolution Techniques

  1. Early mediation: Engaging in early mediation before a formal complaint is filed can be beneficial. This type of mediation helps facilitate discussions so that both parties feel heard and understood before the conflict reaches critical mass. At JAMS Pathways, this is just one of many services offered that are particularly effective in employee conflict resolution.
  2. Conflict resolution training: Regular training sessions on communication skills and conflict resolution can empower employees to handle disputes independently. Training on how to deal with employee conflict equips staff with tools to manage and resolve conflicts constructively.
  3. Addressing office disputes promptly: Delaying conflict resolution can exacerbate the situation. Addressing issues as soon as they arise reduces the chance they will affect the broader team. It's essential to understand which business department deals with conflict resolution and employee needs to streamline the process.

Examples of Conflict Management Strategies

  • Conflict management strategies are diverse and can be tailored to specific situations. For example, team-building activities can help improve employee relations and foster a collaborative environment.
  • Interpersonal conflict can be managed by encouraging employees to respect and try to understand each other's differences. Implementing strategies for managing workplace conflict, such as setting up regular team meetings, can help.

Conflict Resolution Examples

  1. Example 1: Miscommunication between team members: Two team members had a misunderstanding regarding project responsibilities. The issue was resolved through an early mediation session where both parties clarified their roles and agreed on a communication protocol for future projects.
  2. Example 2: Personality clashes: Two employees with contrasting personalities often clashed during meetings. The conflict was addressed by organizing a team-building workshop focused on improving interpersonal skills and fostering mutual respect.
  3. Example 3: Resource allocation dispute: A conflict arose over the allocation of resources between two departments. The resolution involved a meeting with department heads to discuss priorities and negotiate a fair distribution of resources, followed by regular check-ins to verify ongoing cooperation.

Advanced Conflict Resolution Techniques

  1. Dispute resolution frameworks: Establishing a formal dispute resolution framework within the organization can provide a structured approach to handling conflicts. This can include both early and formal mediation processes and clear steps for escalating issues when necessary.
  2. Feedback mechanisms: Implementing a mechanism for regular feedback allows employees to voice concerns early, preventing conflicts from escalating. This proactive approach is part of broader conflict management strategies.
  3. The role of HR in conflict resolution: The HR department plays a pivotal role in managing conflicts. Understanding how to deal with employee conflict is part of its core responsibilities. HR can offer support and resources to help resolve conflicts efficiently. JAMS Pathways also offers customizable training for HR employees to enhance their conflict resolution skills, enabling them to address disputes before they escalate.

Resolving conflicts between employees requires a combination of effective communication, mediation and proactive strategies. By fostering an environment of open dialogue and respect, organizations can turn potential conflicts into opportunities for growth and innovation. Implementing these conflict resolution techniques not only improves employee relations, but also enhances workplace harmony.

This page is for general information purposes. JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals.
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