Setting Boundaries: 5 Ways to Handle Workplace Conflict

Employee disputes have the potential to decrease productivity and employee morale, and some studies have shown that workplace conflict can be incredibly costly to an organization.

If you aspire to be a leader in your workplace, constant conflict will put a serious dampener on your career goals.

While conflict is natural and disagreements can lead to more positive and diverse outcomes, constantly being on the offense at work can be tiresome.

To prevent conflict, everyone needs to learn how to set boundaries. Those boundaries will protect your mental and emotional well-being while on the clock, preventing conflict and fostering a happier working environment.

Below are five ways to help you handle workplace conflict like a pro:

1.   Identify The Cause

When attempting to address workplace conflict, it is essential to understand the nature of the problem so that the root cause can be identified.

Workplace conflict typically arises when details are miscommunicated or misinterpreted – or when personalities are mismatched. If the matter is something more serious, such as a case of harassment or bullying, your company should have internal policies and procedures in place designed to immediately address that.

Work on identifying the cause of the issue so that a resolution can be found.

2.   Address The Issue

Sometimes, it is best to let employees work out conflicts by themselves – even ones who work remotely.

Not only does that stop leaders from micromanaging every watercooler squabble, but it also teaches your team members to find common ground and find constructive ways to solve problems.


Once you have identified the nature of the problem, address your concerns with the relevant parties. You must remain calm when addressing the issue with the involved parties because that will help keep the conflict from escalating.

3.   Be Proactive

Instead of feeling embarrassed or annoyed in this situation, use it as an opportunity to improve yourself.

The best way to resolve conflicts in the workplace is to proactively stop them from occurring.

Being proactive can lessen the severity of the issue and help you understand the naturally occurring tensions in your workplace.

Visiting the websites of experts can help you discover ways to solve your problems without pulling your hair out.

4.   Set Boundaries

Set boundaries for the behavior you find acceptable.

Many people do not understand what constitutes acceptable and what does not, so if you are not completely satisfied with what you do, consult an expert.

That step will help to eliminate confusion and clear up any misunderstandings along the way.

Setting boundaries will help to protect your mental and emotional well-being at work.

5.   Communicate Clearly

Communication is vital for every aspect of business, including managing workplace conflict situations. A lack of communication, or vague communication, can cause multiple issues and often worsens the entire situation.


Unclear communication quickly descends into misinterpretation of information, roles, and responsibilities, leading to a complete breakdown of processes and procedures.

Be careful of digital communication channels – when inflection and tone are missing, they can easily get misconstrued.

To End

Conflict resolution is a skill, but it is essential if you want to work in a productive and supportive environment.

By taking these necessary steps to resolve disputes, you can help steer your company toward becoming a more productive place.