Conflict should be an opportunity, not a problem

Arguments are common at workplaces and should not necessarily be viewed as something negative. But there are a few ways to actually use them as an opportunity to improve the team and the business instead of developing into a long-term grudge.


To actually view an argument or a conflict situation in a positive light is not particularly easy but there are some ways to prepare for situations that are known to end in conflict.

Consulting firm Korn Ferry has summarized some ideas from Amy Gallo, author of the Guide To Dealing With Conflict and contributor to the Harvard Business Review: The main result of her research was that managers and leaders who view conflict as an opportunity rather than a problem can realize tangible benefits. But how to actually achieve this?

1.    Prepare for a challenging meeting or conversation.

2.    Think through your main points, and make sure you are able to express them clearly and directly.

3.    Think about the situation in positive terms: opportunities to grow, as opposed to a list of        shortcomings.

4.    Take time to consider the other side's perspective and remain aware of your own feelings and reactions.

These points should help to keep an argumentative conversation level-headed but to actually turn conflict into a productive opportunity, there is even more patience, empathy and discipline necessary:

1.    View it as a learning experience, not a contest.

2.    Keep the focus on strategic goals therefore preventing it from shifting to damaging attacks on the individual.

3.    Listen. Even if you still disagree, the other person will be calmer and more open to your perspective once they’ve had the chance to express their own views.