Conflict Resolution and Collaboration


Conflict, in a business setting, is a condition between two or more people:

Two business people figures arguing
  • Who are task interdependent.
  • Where one or both feel strong emotions.
  • Who find fault with the other.
  • Who use behaviors that result in a business problem.

If you are one of the parties involved in the conflict, it is most effective to attempt conflict resolution on your own rather than seeking outside assistance only when:

  • It is important to preserve an ongoing interdependent relationship.
  • There is no risk of physical violence.
  • There is no, or a low, risk of actual or perceived reprisal for initiating dialogue.
  • The stress level or emotional intensity is manageable (some emotional tension is expected but should not reach crisis level).
  • The individuals involved can engage in dialogue and resolve the issue.

Success: Reaching a voluntary consensual agreement about the issue in dispute by the end of the dialogue.

To determine if you should seek outside assistance in facilitating conflict resolution efforts, ask yourself:

  • Can I be unbiased (impartial to the parties)?
  • Can I be objective (place no blame)?
  • Can I be specific (so the parties know exactly what is to be resolved)?
  • Can I be concise (brief)?
  • Is the situation resolvable (do we have the authority to resolve it)?
Two business figures shaking hands


The goal of collaboration is to find solutions that meet the needs of all involved parties. So, how do you get there?

You get there by knowing the underlying interests of the individuals involved. Ask questions of the parties, such as:

  • How will that fulfill your needs?
  • What makes that important to you?
  • Is there an alternative that would also fulfill your needs?

This information about the Manager‐as‐Mediator SeminarTM (and/or the Self‐as‐Mediator SeminarTM) appears with permission of Mediation Training Institute International.