Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building

Workplace conflict may be based on disagreements over work procedures, different needs and interests, clashes of personalities, or a range of other situations and circumstances that lead to confrontations between or among employees. When you know how to build consensus among employees, you can enhance motivation and cooperation as well as create an atmosphere in which agreement generally prevails over conflict.

Why “Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building” Matters

When workplace conflict is well managed, it can have constructive outcomes.

  • Well-managed conflict can spark creativity and challenge employees to think about what they are doing and how they might improve methods and procedures.
  • When employees disagree about how things should be done, the debate can lead to better products and services for customers—and that can make for a more successful, competitive organization.
  • In an atmosphere that acknowledges and manages conflict effectively, healthy competition among employees can exist without becoming destructive.
  • In such an atmosphere diversity can also flourish, and employees from different backgrounds can present and promote their ideas. All points of view can be heard and appreciated.

On the other hand, when workplace conflict is not well managed, it is likely to have a destructive influence. Poorly managed conflict among employees may lead to:

  • Reduced productivity;
  • Lower morale;
  • Increased absenteeism, as employees seek to avoid a hostile and uncomfortable work environment;
  • Greater turnover, as workers leave to find jobs in organizations where conflict is well managed;
  • The “wildfire” effect, with one conflict leading to others and spreading out of control within groups and between departments; and
  • An increased potential for violence.

Key Points

Workplace conflict is inevitable and normal, but it doesn’t have to be destructive.

  • By effectively managing conflict, you can create a positive, productive atmosphere that encourages discussion and allows for
  • Building consensus can lead to genuine agreement and commitment to group success.

Duration: 27 minutes

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