Conflicts in the workplace. What to do and what to avoid for amicable relationships.


Entering the world of workplace conflict is like entering an unfamiliar space. No matter how idyllic the work atmosphere is, conflicts are an inseparable part of team life. And it is the way we deal with them that can either strengthen the team spirit or worsen it. Imagine you are part of a team working on a joint project. Everything is going smoothly until an issue arises among team members about the appropriate approach for the project’s solution. Discussions escalate into misunderstandings and tension is gradually increasing. If you had proven methods and strategies for resolving conflict, you could maintain team spirit and contribute to effective problem solving. That will be our aim in this article - discovering how to deal with potential conflicts and, at the same time, how to take advantage of opportunities to strengthen teamwork.

What to avoid in workplace conflicts? Examples and consequences

Conflicts in the work environment are like small fires - if handled wrongly, they can escalate into a fire that destroys everything in its path. That's why it's key to know the things we shouldn’t do when conflicts appear. You will find some essential "non-advice" below as well, with specific examples and possible consequences.

Ignoring the problem - Imagine that two team members have conflicting opinions about a project, but the one leading the team chooses to ignore the situation. The consequence can be a continuously escalating conflict that affects the entire team as well as the trust and control the team leader has over the situation.

Ignoring a problem is like leaving a small hole in a dam - the longer we ignore it, the more likely it is that water will get to the other side and cause much more damage. In this case, it can mean that a small disagreement among team members can become an unmanageable conflict with all the negative consequences for team dynamics and performance. To ignore the problem is to lose the opportunity to resolve it constructively and maintain harmony within the team.

Avoiding confrontation - A common example is an employee who has a workload problem but is afraid of confronting a supervisor and prefers being quiet. However, over time, the employee's emotional fatigue and frustration leads to a decline in performance and overall disinterest.

Identifying the victim - You may have occurred in a conflict during your practice where, without any further knowledge of the situation, the supervisor has sided with the other party.

Have you felt wronged? Were you allowed to express your own point of view?

Aggressive language – It is currently a very visible and dished around phenomenon  - expressing a disagreeing opinion in a vulgar way. Even with examples from public life we can see the widespread.

Consequences - an atmosphere of hostility, low morale affecting the performance of the whole group involved.

Public conflict resolution - How to weaken trust among team members? Sometimes you just need to confront the person who doesn't share your opinion in front of the whole team. Broken trust can be just the beginning and the culmination of the employee's decision to leave from the organization himself/herself.

We see again and again through different examples that ignoring or ineffectively resolving conflict can have significant negative aftermaths on the work environment. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of these pitfalls and learn how to avoid them.

For example, did you know that labor conflicts can cause substantial costs to a company?

The American Management Association reports that managers waste an average of 20% of their work time resolving conflicts, costing U.S. companies billions of dollars a year.

Conflicts also have a direct impact on productivity. Research from CPP Inc. has shown that employees lose an average of two hours per week dealing with conflict, which can lead to a decline in their productivity.


But how do you resolve conflicts effectively and create opportunities for growth and improvement from them?

Think of conflict as an opportunity that comes wrapped up in problems. If we can open this "package" properly, we can achieve positive change and growth in the team. There are several keys:

Open and uncritical communication creates a safe environment where team members can freely express their opinions and concerns without pre-set biases.

Listening actively to all sides of a conflict and understanding different perspectives can be just the right key to unlock the right solution.

Equal dialogue and equal opportunity to express one's point of view fosters a sense of fairness and participation.

Addressing the issue, not personalities, is a way to avoid personal attacks and keep the conversation constructive.

Working together to find solutions and compromises strengthens cooperation and creates an environment for collective victory.

Getting and being open to receive feedback after conflict resolution will ensure sustainable improvements in communication and team relationships.


These methods are available to everyone, no matter if they are a leader or a team member. But successful conflict resolution requires not only the ability to identify problems, but also the willingness to invest time and effort in constructive communication and collaborative problem-solving.

Creating a resilient work environment is not a one-off effort, but an ongoing process of maintaining and building trust, understanding and openness. As team players in this exciting game of work life, we can create not only a productive, but also a comfortable and innovative work environment. Let's learn to work together, overcome obstacles, and create a space where conflict is not just a problem, but a pathway to new and better possibilities.


Did you know that there is a unique way of resolving conflict called "chuckling"? This Czech concept is that people who have a conflict laugh together. The aim is to remove tension and relax the atmosphere. So, laughter is not only an excellent doctor, but also a method for conflict resolution!

By: Kristína Maľarčíková

Editor: Alexandra Vilčeková

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