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how to resolve conflicts

Published on November 10, 2020

Conflicts. There’s never a day the earth might have seen without a conflict. And, to a certain extent, conflicts do more good than bad. Pushes people to do more and motivates them, until things get out of control. And more often than not, the wise always looks to solve or resolve conflicts and prevent any further damage. Most people might just be bystanders and some are those igniting the conflict even further. Therein lies the difference. Resolving the conflict is much more beneficial physically, mentally and emotionally and of course, financially. You just need to be good enough to work your way through a conflict. The question now though, is How to resolve conflicts in our personal and professional life?

It’s only fair, to begin with, a classy quote, isn’t it?

Peace is not the absence of conflict. It’s the ability to cope with it.

- Anonymous.

how to resolve conflicts

The very first thing to understand is that conflict is inevitable. If there is more than one mortal, differences are a given. You cannot simply quit or go bonkers because someone else had a different perspective than yours. I once heard a great piece of wisdom. ‘ Do you know when Motorcycle racing began? As soon as the second motorcycle was built. ‘ A very profound statement indeed. Differences are what makes us human and yet ironically, a major reason to cause conflicts. 

One of the most dangerous things you need to worry about is unexpressed resentment. If you know a bit of psychology, you definitely know that unexpressed feelings and emotions are probably the worst when it comes to conflicts, resentment and mental health in general. Now, you can either play the blame game, pick out a fight with others for differing, or you can draw a line, listen and try to make the most of the situation going forward. Look, let’s face it, you can’t do best if the only person you listen to is yourself, what you need to do is learn conflict resolution.

You need opinions. If the wisest kings & rulers had a council of people they heeded the advice of, you should be able to gauge the ability. Differences, per se, ain’t the reason for conflicts. It’s the inability, the ego to accept that someone begs to differ and that someone might actually have a better solution, idea, plan irrespective of gender, age, hierarchy, position, experience etc. For an organisation or any group for that matter, to move forward, you need multiple inputs. And most often than not, the best output is a combination of various inputs, all thoughtfully, calmly considered upon with ego out of the window.

So then, if you think it’s a shot in the dark, here are some numbers to blow up your mind and make you aware of the importance of how and why to resolve conflicts immediately?

  • 60% of employees never received basic conflict management classes or training for conflict resolution in the workplace. Of those who did, 95% state that the training helped them navigate workplace conflict positively and seek mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • According to Harvard, Workers in the top 1% in terms of productivity add about $5,000 to profit per year, while a toxic worker costs about $12,000 per year.
  • 38% of employees experience interpersonal conflict at work in an average year.

So then, let’s get to it, shall we? 5 tips on how to resolve conflicts:

1) Set & respect boundaries :

A very crucial answer to how to resolve conflicts in life. Setting boundaries is critical and respecting them, even more so. If there’s utmost transparency and things are crystal clear in terms of responsibilities and boundaries, if you respect them, you surprisingly drop the probability of creating a conflict. And, there’s nothing wrong with boundaries. You need to convey them to others because not every time would someone be good in psychology and pick things easily from your behaviour. It’s not a meek thing to do, let me tell you. It takes guts

Above all, it lets others know the extent of our comfort zone and what irks you and in return, you should respect their boundaries. Try to keep stuff into that sweet spot and things would automatically improve. 


2) Think long term, for the collective good :

Quite often, just because of a petty difference or over a trivial matter, we pick up a conflict. In the immediate short term, we feel the need to defeat them and let everyone know we are superior and satisfy our ego. But, if you perhaps had thought far and for the collective good of your team or organisation, you’d have maybe taken the high ground and acted more calmly and rationally. Use your ice cool brain to think because everything else sucks at thinking ( Sorry heart ). Textbook stuff on how to resolve conflicts.


3) It’s okay to make mistakes, to not be the best :

You’re human, not a machine. Life is a marathon, not a 100m race. Life is a journey, not a competition. Treat it the way it is. Step away from perfection, it’s not about zero mistakes and being the best all the time. All in all, there’s always someone superior to you, there’s always someone inferior to you. It almost always will be that way. So, don’t fuss much over that. Sure, try to improve and be better each day, but do it rationally and don’t carry that into other aspects of your life. If you’re perfect, the world would still demand something more in future and you’d have nothing to offer then.

Work hard to be perfect but not be obsessed with it.


4) A win-win situation is gold : 

Textbook stuff. Who doesn’t like a win-win situation? If you’re good at negotiation, you’re good at this. There’s always something for everyone every time. It’s just a matter of making people realise that they are getting their something. Be open and honest, and keep it clean. Honesty prevents more conflicts than people think it does. A good win-win situation that has everyone covered and satisfied is a great deal. It’s not quite difficult to create one too. If you throw out your ego & greed, you can always give away something for a good relationship in return. That, of course, doesn’t allow conflicts. It’d rather strengthen your bond. A powerful way to resolve conflicts.


5) Communicate well and kick your ego out : 

If you ask me, this is the one thing you should definitely take from this blog - your ego is one of your biggest enemies and possibly your worst boss. Keep both ends open. Communicate your feelings and ideas with people, release the tension. Keep things crystal clear. If you won’t speak, nobody can understand. And, you can’t blame them for not understanding your stance. You didn’t help them by staying silent. 

Also, consciously try to avoid your ego from playing the game for you. You would and should be defeated sometimes for you to come back better and understand better. How do you control your ego? Well, meditation is priceless. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed, if you do it right, of course.


So then, that’s that. 5 tips on how to resolve conflicts. Now, it’s time to execute them.

Happy resolving folks.

Thank you!

- Images by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash


Psst…. We have one more trick in the bag. Persuasion. If you can persuade people correctly and honestly, you’re good, ain’t you? Click here to check out our blog on how to persuade people in life. You can thank us later.

Post Author: Abhishek Mehta

Abhishek Mehta is a Co-founder of Skillephant, a skill development and management firm that helps organisations build and manage teams. Prior to this, while working with globally leading e-commerce clients at a real estate firm, Abhishek was able to build an expertise in project and human resource management. It was early in his career when he learnt about the valuable role that a strong human capital plays in an organization's success. Abhishek is ardent about making a difference and providing people with vital learning and development resources that can pave the path to success.