Short Notes on Conflict Resolution at Workplace

Updated: Mar 13


Human beings have 6 basic psychological needs.


  1. Identity

  2. Care

  3. Safety

  4. Autonomy

  5. Growth

  6. Stimulation.


When one of these is compromised, our fight or flight mechanism is triggered.

When you break down trust - conflict is natural. It occurs when you are micromanaging people, not valuing them, not recognizing them, etc.


Culture carries over regardless you are working remotely or not. When people are working remotely, stress levels are low relative to the workplace so it’s easier to have effective communication.

The fundamental attribution bias/error —> When someone does something we don’t like, we attribute that to their character as opposed to assuming it is due to the situation.

And if we do something that other people don’t like, we attribute it to the situation instead of our character. We try to keep our coherent sense of identity.

We need to become aware of this error to prevent judgement on the character of people. We should separate the behaviour and the interpretation of it. The behaviour needs to be owned not the interpretation of it.

How to resolve interpersonal conflict?

  1. Do a detailed analysis of yourself first. Be clear on what’s going on for you. This is driven by the 6 basic human needs. What is being threatened here?

  2. If it is a loss of autonomy due to your boss, talk to him but don’t be judgemental. Tell him how it’s affecting you. Be collaborative and don’t make him defensive. How you phrase something is very important. Don’t make his/her psychological need threatened.

  3. Only reflect on the behaviour and be specific about that. E.g, if your boss is micromanaging you- tell him/her about this behaviour and ask him/her if he/she really trusts you as you see this happening in his behaviour.

How to resolve organisational conflict?

  1. Cultural or System changes through leadership.

  2. If you run up against the wall and leadership is not interested in point 1, then separate from the culture or reframe on your own mind what your job means. You can collaborate with other people on this. Can you become 'ok' with the situation?

  3. Value your own emotional health.


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