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13 Insightful Quotes on Resolving Conflict at Work


Conflict exists in every business and can be detrimental to a team if not handled properly. So to help you out, we compiled a list of quotes and tips about resolving conflict at work. Unless of course you're one of those people who likes conflict, then we recommend you visit Monty Python's Argument Clinic.  

1. Address Conflict Immediately

"Conflict can destroy a team which hasn't spent time learning to deal with it." - Conflict resolution quote from Thomas Isgar

 (Thomas Isgar is the author of "The Ten Minute Team")

Truth. As a business leader, one of your top priorities is nurturing your team. This means dealing with conflict. The good news is that by reading this blog post, you're one step ahead in learning to deal with it. Here's some tips for keeping conflict out of your team

2. Check Your Attitude

"Whever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationshp and deepening it. That factor is attitude." - Conflict resolution quote from William James

 (William James is an American philosopher and psychologist)

Attitude is huge. It can fire up conflict or heal it. Entering conflict with a positive attitude is key to saving the relationship, especially when your opponent is negative. On the flip side, a negative attitude can destroy a relationship. 

3. Have the Courage to Listen

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." - Conflict resolution quote from Winston Churchill


(Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of England during WWII)

Listening is tough, especially when you're upset. One way to make yourself a better listener is to practice active listening. Trust us, you'll be glad you listened instead of talked. 

4. Don't Forget About the Other Person

"People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Conflict resolution quote from Maya Angelou

(Maya Angelou was a poet and civil rights activist)

During conflict it's easy to forget about the other person. And sometimes we demean those we care for.  Eventually the conflict will fade, but the memory of being mistreated can last a lifetime. 

5.  Trust Others and Keep an Open Mind 

"A willingness to trust and openly listen to alternative ideas and views is essential for collaboration to be successful." - Conflict resolution quote from Dale Eilerman

(Dale Eilerman is a conflict resolution coach)
Being closed-minded can create and prolong conflict in the workplace. If you're closed-minded, people may become closed-minded to you as well. Leaders must be open to the ideas of their teams and learn to trust them. Here's a few ways to manage close-mindedness. 

6. Leave Emotion at the Door

"The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts." - Conflict resolution quote from Howard Baker

(Howard Baker was a U.S. Senator)

We all have a lot of emotions. Conflict tends to light a fire and create stronger emotions. The best way to deal with conflict is to step away from your emotions. There are many ways to manage emotional intelligence, but our favorite is to take a deep breath and count to ten. Also, keep your stress level in check. If you're feeling stressed you might find it more difficult to respond to conflict appropriately. Read our guide about avoiding burnout

7. Apologize (Even If You Did Nothing Wrong)

"An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything." - Conflict resolution quote from Lynn Johnston

(Lynn Johnston is a Canadian cartoonist)

Sometimes the best way to fix conflict is to apologize. If you did something wrong, own up to it. If you didn't do something wrong, consider apologizing anyway (yes, it hurts your pride, but is that so bad?). It can help create peace, restore relationships, and add closure so you can move on.

8. Use Conflict For The Good 

"The better able team members are to engage, speak, listen, hear, interpret, and respond constructively, the more likely their teams are to leverage conflict rather than be leveled by it." - Conflict resolution quote from Runde and Flanagan

(Craig Runde and Tim Flanagan authored "Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader")

Everything we've said about conflict so far has been fairly negative. But conflict can be a positive thing because it is often the first step to growing. Use it to make your business better. You might be surprised on how well it gets your team moving in the right direction. 

9. Remember to Love People First 

"Love is the only force capable of tranforming an enemy into a friend." - Conflict resolution quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a beloved minister and civil rights activist)

It's hard, but simple. Love can resolve conflict quickly. It requires putting others before yourself. Loving the other person = respecting him/her. Disclaimer: it may mean that you lose the argument (can you handle that? We think you can). 

10. Let Conflict Inspire Creativity 

"If we manage conflict constructively, we harness its energy for creativity and development." - Conflict resolution quote from Kenneth Kaye

(Kenneth Kaye is an American psychologist)

Every heard of rocking the boat? It can be a good thing. Disruption from the norm is scary and causes conflict. But it often inspires creativity from your team. Here are a few ways to turn conflict into creativity. 

11. Don't Try To Win 

"When conflict becomes a win-lose contest in our minds, we immediately try to win." - Conflict resolution quote from Thomas Crum

(Thomas Crum is a conflict management specialist)

Conflict is not a competition. So, don't treat it like one. Many business owners might be prone to win, win, win, which isn't the best strategy for resolution. Taking the higher ground (whether you win or lose) always creates a better outcome.

12. Be Flexible and Willing to Change

"In conflict, being willing to change allows you to move from a point of view to a viewing point." - Conflict resolution quote from Thomas Crum

(Thomas Crum is a conflict management specialist)

You gotta be more flexible. Refusal to change keeps conflict in the air. As the leader of your organization, it is vital that you are willing to change. Don't just be open to ideas, use them. 

13. Be Strategic In the Midst of Conflict 

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Conflict resolution quote from Albert Einstein

(Albert Einstein is a Nobel Prize winning physicist)

There is always an opportunity to shine in difficult situations. Consider your position as the leader of your organization use conflict as an opportunity to set a good example for others. 

How Do You Resolve Conflict at Work? 

Of course, these quotes and tips won't eliminate conflict from your business. Hopefully, they help you manage it effectively the next time around! 

If you have some good techniques that we didn't cover, leave a comment below. 


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John Rougeux

John is co-founder and CMO at Causely. When he's not trying to build the most philanthropic company in the world, he's probably hanging out with his wife and three daughters in Lexington, KY. You can also find John on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Matthew Watson

Matt is Customer Success Manager at Causely, where he does everything in his power to help our customers succeed. He loves sports, his wife, his dog, and the great outdoors, but not in that order. He may love his dog more than sports. You can find Matt on Facebook and Twitter.


Sarah Werner

Sarah is a writer, marketer, and brand specialist. She has experience in both non-profit marketing and financial development as well as for-profit content marketing and social media. She holds degrees in English and Art from Asbury University. When she’s not writing content for Causely, you’ll find her outside with a book or camera enjoying the company of trees. You can also find Sarah on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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