Conflict Management Skills: Definition And Examples

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When multiple people get involved in a project, conflicts are likely to occur due to differences in opinion and priorities. You can find conflicts between team members, groups and even management, making conflict management important for the success of a project or company. Learning about the various conflict management skills can help reduce employee turnover, keep clients happy and foster a collaborative work environment where employees are highly productive. In this article, we explain what conflict management abilities are, list some examples, explore how to improve your skills and describe how to highlight them during the hiring process.

What Are Conflict Management Skills?

Conflict management skills are your abilities to handle conflicts and differences in the workplace. These skills help control how conflicts affect you, your colleagues and the work environment. Employers prefer candidates who can resolve disagreements calmly and diplomatically try to resolve them through peaceful discussion. Managers can create a work environment where conflict gets accepted and managed with these skills. Using your conflict management abilities, you aim to listen to both sides and find a solution that suits all the involved parties. By doing so, you increase workplace productivity.

Related: What Is Conflict Resolution? Using This Practice At Work

Examples Of Conflict Management Skills

Here are some conflict management abilities that you can use to prevent conflicts from negatively affecting the workplace:


You can avoid unnecessary conflicts arising in the workplace through effective verbal and written communication. It also involves using a friendly approach while communicating during a conflict. When you speak clearly and convey your thoughts, it reduces instances of misinterpretation and miscommunication. Effective communication also means noticing who you are speaking to and adjusting the body language to ensure better communication. Avoid using negative or hurtful language during a conflict, as it can further escalate the problem.

Emotional intelligence

Being emotionally intelligent helps you understand the emotions and feelings of others and manage them. Emotionally intelligent employees are adept at understanding, identifying and meeting the requirements of others while taking responsibility for their actions. Emotional intelligence allows you to understand the viewpoints of each involved party and assess the reason behind displaying such emotions. When mastered, it can improve communication, help in empathising with others and de-escalate conflicts. This skill set helps you counsel each party with compassion without being rude and forceful.


Empathy means the ability to understand the feelings of others. The ability to see from the perspective of others and understand their motivation, ambitions, needs and even pain points is essential for effectively managing conflicts in the workplace. While empathy is an inherent skill that might come naturally to you, focus on improving it by seeking feedback from colleagues and team members. You can even improve it by asking questions to understand the viewpoint of others.


Often, a conflict can worsen if you cannot find a viable solution. Excellent problem-solving helps you find creative and viable solutions. It lets you find the best compromise and prevents similar problems from occurring. Problem-solvers use their resources and research to find a solution that resolves the conflict. Employers prefer hiring managers who can brainstorm solutions and conduct conflict analysis to create a work environment where everyone respects others' opinions.

Active listening

Listening actively means being attentive to what others are saying, understanding their message, comprehending the information and responding thoughtfully. It helps convey that you have an interest in listening to and understanding their thoughts. Active listeners are professionals who use both non-verbal and verbal techniques to show the speaker that you are listening to them. You can manage conflicts better by actively listening to others' perspectives before coming to a decision.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition And Examples

Positive attitude

Being positive can be beneficial for your personal and professional life. Usually, a positive attitude leaves a positive impact on others and, it can even help manage workplace conflicts. Employers with a positive attitude are better adept at finding solutions and managing differences. Positivity helps you eliminate negative elements, prevents confrontations and reduces the instances of conflicts.


Being able to work cohesively in a team is an essential skill to prevent conflicts from occurring. Managers with good teamwork skills can motivate team members, find a common goal to achieve and identify the role of everyone. This helps in reducing conflicts. When managers ask for equal inputs from others, it promotes a culture of equal contribution, boosts positive morale and helps in decreasing conflicts in the long term.

Related: Examples Of Teamwork Skills (And How To Improve Them)

Stress management

Often, workplace conflicts are stressful and require excellent stress management and coping skills. Whether you manage a conflict between two team members or your own conflict, remaining calm and handling stress is desirable for creating a positive work environment. It becomes easier to find creative solutions to problems when you are stress-free.

How To Improve Conflict Management Abilities

Use these steps to improve your conflict management abilities:

  1. Enrol in a class or workshop: A leading way to improve your skills is by enrolling in a class or workshop hosted by conflict management experts. These workshops and classes provide the tool and methodologies required to manage conflicts in the workplace.

  2. Seek feedback: When managing workplace conflicts, seek feedback from supervisors on how well you are managing workplace conflict. They can even give you tips to manage and solve conflicts.

  3. Collaborate with others: Another way to improve your conflict management abilities is by collaborating with others. Working together with others helps you resolve issues and find solutions to workplace conflicts.

  4. Practise managing your emotions: As personal emotions can change your thought process, it is essential to manage your emotions to provide a better conflict solution. The ability to manage your emotions can help you control your emotional responses.

  5. Practise active listening: Focus on practising active listening by listening to what the other person has to say. By active listening, you can understand what the person is trying to convey, allowing you to find a viable solution to the workplace conflict.

Conflict Management Abilities In The Workplace

You use your conflict management in the workplace in the following ways:

  • Be impartial in conflict management: One effective way to show these skills in your workplace is to stay impartial when resolving conflicts. Impartiality means your ability to say what is right in a particular situation and identify a way to manage the conflict.

  • Show patience: Showing patience with everyone involved in the conflict can help you solve it. It is essential to show patience by hearing everyone's viewpoints and taking time to find the best possible solution to resolve the workplace conflict.

  • Have an open discussion: When managing conflicts, having an open discussion allows you to understand each other's perspectives and feel comfortable sharing opinions with others. Discussions help remove the negative feelings that might crop because of the conflict.

  • Maintain a steady body language: Use the body language of others to understand if they feel sad, frustrated, irritated or upset with the conflict. It helps you create a conflict management plan that does not aggravate the situation further.

How To Highlight Your Conflict Management Abilities

Here are a few ways to highlight your conflict management abilities:

1. Highlight these skills on your resume

If you are applying for a managerial role, consider including your conflict management abilities in the skills section of your resume. When creating your resume, review the job description to include the skills mentioned. This makes your resume applicant tracking system (ATS) compliant. In the work experience section, mention the impact these skills had on your previous job roles. It helps an employer understand your skills to manage workplace conflicts. Focus on using words related to conflict management to showcase your skills.

2. Mention these skills in your cover letter

Use your cover letter as an opportunity to expand on your conflict management abilities. Provide detailed information about the approach you used to manage conflicts. If possible, describe a situation in the workplace where your skills helped create a positive work environment and reduced potential workplace conflicts.

3. Talk about them in your job interview

During your job interview, highlight your conflict management abilities by following the STAR (situation, task, action and result) technique. Using this technique, start by sharing the workplace situation that resulted in conflict, describe your role in the situation, explain the action you took to manage the situation and show how your actions helped manage the conflict. Mentioning your skills and how it helps you maintain a healthy work environment allows an employer to understand the value you bring to the company.

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