How to peaceably resolve conflict in your small business

By Lizzie Weakley

Often, within businesses, conflict among employees will arise. This can be difficult to navigate. Therefore, it is important your company’s leadership is well equipped to handle these obstacles. Your employees need to know that you are available and ready to help if they need you. Understanding the importance of conflict resolution and having a firm grasp on the proper methods can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to creating a stable work environment.

Here are several helpful tips for resolving conflict in your small business in a peaceable and effective manner:

Encourage open and positive communication

One of the first steps to overcoming conflict within the workplace is to foster an environment that promotes open and positive communication among employees. When employees are able to forge strong professional bonds with one another, this will encourage empathy. They should feel free to express themselves as long it is in a constructive and professional manner. When everyone feels that their voices are heard and valued, this will help to create a sense of community and camaraderie, which will encourage team work and collaboration.

You can begin working on creating this type of workplace in several ways. For example, you may want to consider using a text message system for business. This will help to keep everyone connected and on the same page. Encourage employees to take breaks together or facilitate social gatherings outside of work. Giving your employees space to talk about things other than their jobs will foster empathy between them.

Take a proactive approach to conflict resolution

Some managers tend to shy away from conflict and leave everything up to the employees to sort out themselves. While in some instances this may be appropriate, it is important that you are able to help employees when they need it. This shows that you are invested in their well-being and that you possess effective leadership skills.

When dealing with a conflict, it is important to look at the situation from all sides and to display empathy for each party involved. It can be easy to become biased in these situations, but it is your responsibility to be impartial and to hear each person out in order to come to a resolution that meets everyone’s needs. You should first work on deescalating the issue and then work hard to ensure that everyone is able to communicate their ideas in a productive way that leads to reconciliation. Preventing and resolving conflict requires confronting that conflict head on and being open with your employees.

Overall, some conflict within the workplace is often inevitable. However, if you are able to encourage your employees to work together to create a positive work environment in which everyone feels valued and respected, this will go a long way towards preventing future issues. When conflict does arise, it is important that it is addressed in a professional manner that is conducive to everyone’s needs and that promotes reconciliation.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.

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