leadership and conflict resolution

Leadership and Conflict Resolution

Leaders exhibit a variety of characteristics and traits that allow them to be great leaders, One of these traits comes in handy when it comes to conflict resolution. The ability to recognize one’s leadership style will help a leader handle conflict. Thus, how leaders handle conflict can significantly impact the organization’s culture, productivity, and employee morale. Well, in this article, we’ll be discussing the following:

  • What are conflict and conflict resolution?
  • How to practice conflict management as a leader.
  • How does a leader improve his conflict resolution skills?
  • What happens when a leader doesn’t resolve conflict?

So, let’s dive in!


What are conflict and conflict resolution?

leadership and conflict resolution


Conflict is a situation that happens when two or more people disagree or their interests are not in alignment with each other. It can also occur due to an individual’s biases, cultural beliefs, and social status.

Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is the set of skills leaders possess that are required to identify and resolve conflict within the organization. Since conflict is a normal part of any work environment, conflict resolution’s goal is to detect and minimize the negative effects of conflict rather than eliminate it completely.

How to practice conflict resolution as a leader

  • Always be calm.
  • Access the situation.
  • Intervene when necessary.
  • Find the cause of the conflict.
  • Always remain neutral.
  • Work together to resolve the conflict.
  • Compromise.

Always remain calm

When conflict arises, a leader should always keep cool and composed. Remaining calm can help ensure that conflicts remain professional. Resolving a conflict as a leader establishes the mood and tone for meetings and conversations you have with your team members.

Access the situation

A leader’s responsibility in conflict management is to find a resolution as quickly as possible; therefore, accessing the situation is important. If you intervene in an existing conflict, assessing the situation beforehand can help you prepare solutions for meetings with conflicting team members.

Intervene when necessary

Sometimes, team members can resolve minor conflicts themselves enough to not interrupt work progress. A leader should only intervene in instances where a solution doesn’t present itself and work progress is affected, even if it’s just slightly.

Find the cause of the conflict

Understanding the causes of conflict can help you resolve it faster. Knowing the cause of the conflict is like uprooting the weed right from its roots and preventing unexpected situations and a decrease in productivity.

Always remain neutral

As a leader, choosing a side when resolving conflict can be seen as biased. It’s important that either conflicting team members don’t feel you’re working with them or against them. It’s helpful to communicate to both parties that you’re remaining neutral but working toward a solution.

Work together to resolve the conflict

Collaborate with team members, if need be, even with conflicting members, to find a solution. Consider taking on a mediator role by helping the conflicting team members understand each other’s issues and discovering a solution that works for both parties.


While people engaged in conflict might feel like they didn’t receive the exact outcome they desired, a leader’s job is to make sure they are satisfied with the result. During situations of conflict, a leader needs to redirect attention toward what the group does agree on, rather than what they don’t.

How does a leader improve his conflict resolution skills?

  • Active listening.
  • Emotional intelligence.
  • Excellent communication.
  • Confidence.

Active listening

Being able to clearly understand employees without interrupting is an important skill to develop for a leader. Allowing the other party to express their concerns fully lets them feel heard, which can relieve a majority of the tension.

Emotional intelligence

Understanding and managing others’ feelings is crucial as a leader. A leader needs to be aware of their own emotions and those of others involved in the conflict. Commuting with others and making decisions that consider everyone’s feelings is usually the best solution.

Excellent communication

Leadership must express their thoughts and concerns while also being open to others’ opinions and differing perspectives. Nonverbal communication, such as body language and tone, also plays a significant role.


Maintaining an attitude of confidence that the conflict will be solved helps create an atmosphere of assuredness. Regardless of the challenge, staying positive that a resolution will be found by working together can relieve tension and encourage cooperation between everyone involved.

What happens when a leader doesn’t resolve conflict?

A leader who doesn’t resolve conflict in an organization will have a really difficult time. The conflict will hinder the company’s productivity and progress. Until resolved, the conflict will distract the leader and the parties in disagreement from their work. Failure to resolve the conflict will also cause mistrust towards the leader and within themselves in the organization. The leader’s credibility will also fade. In extreme cases, employees who are dissatisfied with the leader and their handling of the situation may leave the team.


Conflict management is the process of reducing negative outcomes while increasing positive ones. Effective leaders recognize that conflicts can also present opportunities for positive change and innovation when managed well. By mastering the art of conflict resolution, leaders not only prevent disruptions but also foster a culture of trust.

That’s all for this article, where we discussed the following:

  • What are conflict and conflict resolution?
  • How to practice conflict management as a leader.
  • How does a leader improve his conflict resolution skills?
  • What happens when a leader doesn’t resolve conflict?

Hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.


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