“We can’t get this project out on time if we don’t have more administrative support!” Stan proclaims.

“Admin support isn’t the problem!” Maureen cries. “That’s a smokescreen!”

There you have it. A workplace conflict, in spades. And if Maureen and Stan’s manager is like many others, he or she isn’t necessarily very good at resolving conflicts.

‘Les incompétents’
According to a new survey by consultancy Healthy Companies International, senior employees believe their managers are just so-so at conflict resolution. Some 41% of the 2,700 managers, HR people and C-suiters surveyed thought their own managers were incompetent at handling conflict.

If you’re not quite sure how to resolve a workplace conflict, you might consider this method:

  • Make sure you fully understand the opposing viewpoints.
  • Take people’s feelings into account, but only as one factor among others.
  • Don’t act rashly. If you need to, take hours or days to decide how to resolve the conflict.
  • Explain how you made your decision.
  • Don’t let there be “winners” or “losers.” Your decision isn’t dependent on who’s involved.
  • Ask everyone to respect the decision.

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