Top Skills for Managers to Improve Conflict Resolution in Your Business

In business, conflicts abound.

Internally, conflicts might arise between team members, such as employees or C-suite executives. Externally, they might arise between the company and a vendor or another business with whom they have worked. Disputes might also come up when executive-level employees transition out of an organization.

For some business disputes, especially ones that involve an executive departing, it is important to reach out to a qualified mediator to facilitate an open dialogue and find a mutually beneficial resolution.

In many cases, training managers in a variety of skills to effectively manage conflicts in the workplace will make it possible to integrate Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) into your business and prevent disputes, or at least resolve them more quickly.

Here are some of the top skills to ensure managers have for this purpose:

Communication Skills

The way managers convey messages to parties involved in a conflict can make or break how well it resolves. It is essential to engage in active listening, in which the manager focuses entirely on the person in front of them, remembers what they said, and processes a valuable response. Nonverbal communication that shows openness and the desire to build consensus, such as body language, tone of voice and facial expressions, must also be used in these interactions. 

Improve Conflict Resolution in Your Business with ADR


Resolving conflict effectively depends on managers’ clear understanding of the emotions and perspectives of each individual involved. It means that managers should be skilled at putting themselves in someone else’s shoes and thinking through the issue from the other parties’ viewpoints. Empathy helps managers connect with the parties, build trust, and find resolution.

Emotional Intelligence

Managers with high emotional intelligence have the ability to manage their own emotions during conflicts and navigate difficult interpersonal dynamics diplomatically. That includes self-awareness, self-regulation and social awareness. These elements aren’t always easy to teach, but the right training can make a big difference in helping a manager react to emotions in a better way when conflicts arise.


Reframing is a technique that involves shifting the “framing” of an issue to help parties see it in a new light. In practice, it means that a manager should be skilled at stating an issue or concern from a different angle to help everyone involved look at it with fresh eyes. Often, that helps parties find common ground. It can also lead to the emergence of needs or interests that might not have been obvious previously.

Problem-Solving Skills and Contact Resolution

Problem-Solving Skills

Conflict resolution and problem-solving go hand in hand. Essentially, resolution depends on workable solutions that meet the needs of all parties. As a result, managers should be skilled in problem-solving techniques such as brainstorming, negotiation, and compromise.

Rebuilding Trust

In workplace conflicts, especially with people who are likely to continue to work together, a manager greatly benefits from having the skills to help parties rebuild trust. That involves knowing how to spot distrust, listening carefully to what parties say, and reading between the lines to draw out trust issues. Managers should be prepared to discuss concerns about trust openly in conflict resolution conversations.

Training managers on soft skills like these pays dividends in reducing and resolving conflict, as well as keeping morale high and turnover low.

If your business has a dispute to resolve and you need support, schedule a consultation with a skilled mediator now.

Jeffrey R. Windsor, Esq

Jeffrey R. Windsor, Esq

Civil Litigation Attorney and Mediator

Jeffrey R. Windsor, Esq. is a civil litigation attorney and mediator. He established Windsor PLC in 2012 and has more than two decades of experience representing clients in complex legal matters.

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