Best Practices for Effective Conflict Management

Conflicts include differences of opinion and perceptions at all levels of interaction including supervision, shared work and living spaces, teaching and learning. When conflicts affect the ability to work productively, learn effectively, or live in a comfortable environment, they need to be addressed. The following are some best practices that can contribute to effective conflict management. As with most conflict management skills, these practices are common sense but can be challenging to put into practice.

As an individual:

As a colleague or co-worker:

As a supervisor dealing with colleague or co-worker conflict:

The Conflict Description Template may be useful for supervisors in understanding a conflict situation and discussing it with others.

In any conflict, issues of confidentiality should be considered.

Effective Conflict Management Thinking

Past Present Future
We cannot change the past. We can act to help make the situation better now and in the future through shared agreements. We can use conflict constructively as a source of different ideas and perspectives.


Conversations to Resolve Conflict: Pre-conversation, During the Conversation, Post-conversation

These guidelines are designed to help individuals prepare for conversations to resolve conflict.

Pre-conversation: Prepare

During the conversation: Act

Post-conversation: Implement and Move Forward


updated May 28, 2014