By DebbieH 09 Jan 2019 7 min read

How to deal with conflict in the workplace

Working in a law firm, you’ll likely work amongst a team of people at some stage of your career. In an office environment, there is always going to be conflict present. With so many people with different personalities, opinions and ambitions, you’re bound to clash with any one of them. The way it’s dealt with, however, can affect the environment and the atmosphere in the office – so resolving conflict effectively is crucial for a positive office of workers.

Conflict can come in many different forms. It can be as little as a disagreement with another colleague, or more than two people have a complete difference of opinion – some people just aren’t meant to get along. Luckily, there are ways you can combat it if you want to sort it quickly and effectively. 


Report it to your manager

Now that you are aware of the conflict, you need to report it. Either to your manager or someone who has the power to deal with it. The issue should be dealt with as soon as possible, so do not hesitate to communicate it so that it can be resolved quickly. 

Now that the conflict has been raised to your manager’s attention, the situation can be handled professionally. Sometimes, conflict can be dealt with on a one-to-one basis, but if this does improve the situation, a meeting with a manager or a senior member of staff also helps. Dealing with the situation head on can be awkward, but it will have a positive effect on the business in the long run and will create a better atmosphere in the workplace. 


Coping mechanisms

If the conflict is happening on a daily basis, there are some coping mechanisms you can apply to your daily routine to keep yourself calm while you are at work (remember, the most important thing is that you keep your composure whilst in the workplace). If you are constantly being bothered by this conflict in and even out of the office, try small tactics like counting to ten, and breathing in and out slowly when you are feeling frustrated. After you have done this, you should be in a better position to put it to the back of your mind and carry on with your work. 


Improve communication

It is a well known fact that communication is an essential component to an effective working environment, and more specifically a successful team. Choosing to improve it or ignore it can impact both your motivation to come to work and your attitude throughout your time in the office. Try thinking of different ways to communicate, for example, if something is bothering you and you think it is a rather small thing, speak to someone anyway, to avoid the issue escalating in the future. Managers or supervisors should openly encourage communication as often as possible. 

Accept that conflict will happen

You will most definitely come across some form of conflict at work. Particularly if you’re working in a law firm, you will likely be surrounded by strong characters wishing to have their voice heard. The most important thing is to be open to listening, don’t hesitate to tell someone or act if a situation has escalated, and ensure a high level of professionalism throughout the matter.