Do These Three Things to Stop Conflict at Work

What do you do with that colleague with whom you’re always in conflict? You know – the one who criticizes your ideas, minimizes your accomplishments, and just generally makes your work life hell?


Conflict at work is so frustrating, because it can often block success. And not just YOUR success, but also the success of the whole company!


But there are several techniques you can use to reduce conflict at work, so that even if your combative colleague tries their hardest to get under your skin, you’ll still be able to come out on top.


Realize Not All Conflict is Bad

Some conflict, even though it feels uncomfortable, actually leads to better outcomes. When two or more people disagree, the resulting conversation can actually produce a greater number of ideas than a conversation where everyone reaches consensus quickly.


Realize Not All Conflict is Personal

When you butt heads with someone, it is usually for one of two reasons: you disagree about how something should be done, or you and the other person just don’t get along, and so everything they say or want seems disagreeable. There are huge differences between task-related conflict and people-related conflict, but research shows most people can’t even tell the difference between the two!


Stop Ruminating on the Conflict

Workplace clashes can take up a huge portion of your brain space, as you try to maneuver around your “opponent.” But the more you dwell on the conflict, the more you are inflating it in your mind, making it harder to manage. When you ruminate on conflict, your mind fills with thoughts like “I should have said THAT,” or “If I could just do X, that’ll show him!” Those kinds of thoughts keep the conflict clear and present in your thoughts, increasing your frustration and annoyance.



Workplace conflict can be a natural and healthy outgrowth of hard work. It can even lead to greater success! But it has to be managed appropriately in order to achieve that balance. In my book, The Successful Struggle: Powerful Techniques to Achieve Accelerated Resilience, out later this month, you can learn more about the best strategies to handle both task-related conflict and people-related conflict at your office.