What Soft Skills Does an Employee Need to Manage Conflict?

Success Strategies
conflict at work

Conflicts are bound to happen in any workplace. How you handle conflict can make or break your career. Employees should have a few key soft skills to manage conflict effectively. There are some general tips to follow when managing conflict, but each situation is unique. Some soft skills that can help you manage the conflict are:

Open Communication

This is probably the most important skill to have when managing conflict. You need to be able to communicate with the other person involved in the conflict. This involves active listening, being able to see both sides of the issue, and being able to express yourself clearly. Instances that might require open communication are when there is a misunderstanding, and you need to clear things up, when someone has made a mistake, and you need to discuss it with them, or when there is a disagreement, and you need to find a compromise.


This soft skill is important because it can be easy to get wrapped up in the emotion of a conflict. If you are patient, you can better handle the situation. You will be more likely to come to a fair resolution for both parties if you take the time to listen and understand the other person’s point of view. For example, if someone is upset with you, it is important to let them vent and express their feelings before trying to fix the situation.


Flexibility is key in managing conflict because you might need to change your approach based on the situation. If the other person is not responding to your attempts at open communication, you might need to be more assertive. On the other hand, if the other person is overly emotional, you might need to back off and give them some space. Each conflict is different, so you need to be flexible in your approach.

Conflict Resolution Skills

These are specific skills that can help you resolve conflicts. They include problem-solving, mediation, and negotiation. These skills can be helpful when you are trying to find a compromise or solution that works for both parties. For example, if you disagree with your boss about a project, you might use problem-solving skills to develop a new plan that meets both of your needs. If you mediate a conflict between two coworkers, you might use mediation skills to help them communicate more effectively and find a resolution.


Assertiveness is the ability to stand up for yourself and express your needs clearly and concisely. This soft skill is important because it can help you get what you want in a conflict situation. However, it is important to balance being assertive and aggressive. If you are too assertive, you might come across as pushy or disrespectful. On the other hand, if you are not assertive enough, you might end up giving in to the other person’s demands.

Emotional Control

It is important to be able to control your emotions when managing conflict. This doesn’t mean that you can’t express your feelings. However, it is important to know how your emotions affect the situation. If you are too emotional, you might be unable to think clearly or make rational decisions. On the other hand, if you are not emotional enough, the other person might think you don’t care about the situation.

Stress Management

Conflict can be stressful, so it is important to have good stress management skills. This includes knowing how to relax and de-stress, as well as how to manage your time and workload. If you feel overwhelmed by the conflict, it might be helpful to take a break or walk away from the situation for a while. This will give you time to clear your head and come back with a fresh perspective.

Personal Responsibility

Taking personal responsibility for your role in the conflict is important. This includes acknowledging your mistakes and apologizing when necessary. It also means being willing to compromise and finding a resolution that works for both parties. If you are unwilling to take responsibility for your actions, it will be difficult to resolve the conflict.

When you find yourself in a conflict situation, it is important to assess the situation and decide which skills will be most helpful in that particular instance. With practice, you will become better at managing conflict in the workplace. If you need help with conflict management, you should get in touch with Pollack Peace Building which offers conflict management training workshops. We can help you develop the skills you need to manage conflict effectively.