Dealing with Conflict in the Workforce


1. Believe that all persons are doing their best, and compliment a job well done.

2. Trust that others want to be informed and communicate openly and honestly with them.

3. Assume that you both have the same goals: to grow as individuals, enjoy satisfaction in your work, be confident and have high self-esteem.

4. Believe that others want to achieve and oppose wasting time and effort in conflict.

5. Be open to suggestions and feedback. Sharing ideas is the stimulus for new ideas. Most people want to be part of an effective team which is implementing improvements.

6. Trust that others want meaningful work and are capable and competent.

7. Believe that others have the wisdom to make wise choices. When possible, let them try out their own ideas or plans and give them the freedom to succeed or fail.

8. Expect general good will in others rather than a spirit of rivalry or jealousy.

9. Assume others want to be treated justly and fairly, recognized and appreciated. They also want to know when they have made a mistake, without losing face.

10. Treasure each person’s uniqueness. Trust that they are able to admire other’s capabilities and skills as well as their own.

adapted from material of A.H. Maslow

1. Lehner, G. Team Development for Organizational Effectiveness. Tampa, FL, Workshop Materials.

2. Truitt, M. The Supervisor’s Handbook. Shawnee Mission, Kansas, National Press Publications, 1987, p. 23.

3. Listening: The Number 1 Challenge. River Forest, IL, Human Horizons.

4. Ibid.

5. Marsh, Peter. Eye to Eye. How People Interact. Topfield, Massasschusetts, Salem House Publications, 1988, p. 47.

6. James, M., and Jongeward, D. Born to Win. Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1971, pp. 101-158.