Conflict Resolution versus Conflict Management

Posted By on January 10th

Do you really want conflict resolution in your workplace? By definition, the word resolution means that something is resolved, that there’s an end. That end, however, is not necessarily a positive outcome. In many resolutions, there’s a winner and a loser. Of course, the winner is happy, and the loser is certainly not.

It’s conflict resolution vs. conflict management.

In my opinion, the real goal for the business owner is conflict management, not conflict resolution. A goal of eliminating, avoiding, and suppressing conflict is an unrealistic dream. Rather, the focus should be on managing the conflict and providing tools and methods for employees to effectively engage in conflict.

Conflict costs businesses an excessive amount of time, money, and energy. In order to manage the conflict, your focus should be on developing employees’ abilities and providing methodology to raise and address conflict efficiently, effectively, and respectfully.

You should be creating a Conflict Management System that focuses on three major components:

  • Skills – Providing training that improves basic communication, interpersonal, and conflict management skills.
  • Structure – A set of procedures that establish methods for reporting conflict, for investigating a complaint, and for discovering solutions.
  • Support – The business or organization needs to provide support for the system by modeling and mentoring conflict management skills as well as following the procedures fairly and completely.

About the author

Keith Grossman helps individuals and businesses negotiate and manage conflict more comfortably. Keith is a Collaborative Attorney, a Family and Circuit Civil mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida, an Arbitrator qualified by the Florida Supreme Court, and an educator. Keith frequently lectures and facilitates training programs, works with individuals one-on-one, and writes articles on conflict management and negotiation topics. His e-workbooks, “What Is A Peace Chest?” and “How Do You Build A Peace Chest?“ are now available on Kindle.


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