The better team members engage, speak, listen, hear, interpret and respond constructively, the more likely their teams are to leverage conflict rather than be leveled by it.
–Craig Runde and Tim Flanagan

We’re at it again, that is, sharing information about conflict, and the newly published costs for conflict in the workplace.

Based on results published by the Washington Business Journal, the typical manager spends 25 – 40% of his or her time dealing with workplace conflict. That equates to 1-2 days every workweek!

And, the Cost of Workplace Conflict in the U.S. is estimated at $359 Billion annually (2.8 hours per week @ $17.95 per hour).

Do you find this as staggering as we do? We’ve all experienced conflict in the workplace, and some of us are better at managing it than others, but it looks like it’s time we all make addressing conflict a priority.

According to authors Karl A. Slaikeu, Ralph H. Hasson, managing conflict is the largest reducible cost in many businesses, and the most common disruptive behaviors associated with workplace conflict include:

  • Being dismissive
  • Finger-pointing
  • Arguing
  • Not listening
  • Being sarcastic
  • Belittling
  • Gossiping
  • Caving in
  • Being disrespectful
  • Complaining about someone

It’s up to us as leaders to understand how we respond to conflict. We need to increase our awareness of not only our own conflict behaviors, but also those of our colleagues. And lastly, we need to recognize destructive responses and replace them with productive ones.

How well do you manage workplace conflict?  We can help!

If we manage conflict constructively, we harness its energy for creativity and development.
Kenneth Kaye