By Renzie Jan P. Baguio, ADAS III, SDO Nueva Ecija
“The power in organizations is the capacity generated by relationships.
It is an energy that comes into existence through relationships.”
– Margaret Wheatley
According to its definition, communication is the process of exchanging
information between individuals through the use of different systems in the form of
talking, writing, symbols, signals and others. Communication is a fundamental
factor in every form of life, it gives us the means to interact, share, represent and
make impact to each other’s lives. In an organization, communication facilitates the
flow of data and understanding between different people and departments through
different media using all the channels and networks.
Workplace communication is just as important as communication through
our daily lives. It is relevant to recognize its importance and influence on the
relationships between the members of an organization. One of the most important
elements of every successful organization is the existence of cohesive members. But
sometimes, due to employees’ different opinions, motives and characters, conflicts
within an organization occur. And some of these conflicts or disagreements can be
detrimental and can hinder working procedures that eventually lead to challenging
Conflicts and disagreements are inevitable in an organizations’ daily
operations and service delivery. When different personalities work together in the
organization, the differences in their attitudes, values, and even the level of power
contribute in the spark of having conflicts. Some of these conflicts exist even in the
management or administration team, some also spark in the frustrations while
running projects and activities, and even in the cascading of policies and procedures.
The lack of trust and communication within the departments in the organization
does not help in building unity and camaraderie. If the organization didn’t manage
to establish a standard organizational vision, this can lead to poor service delivery to
its stakeholders and uncommitted members of the organization due to conflicts. In
that case, there are concerns in communication, trust and perhaps leadership.
Before we discuss the importance of open communication lines in the
workplace and the tips on how to manage these conflicts, let us first be reminded of
some of the types of conflicts that happen in the workplace:
1. Interdependence conflict – these types of conflicts transpire when an
individual relies on someone else’s output, input or cooperation for them to
get their job done. This type of conflict can be handled with good delegation of
work across the organization, also, consequences of poor service delivery can
be corrected with imposed consequences.
2. Differences in styles – conflicts and disagreements often happen because
people have differing preferences on how to get things done. For example, one
person may want to get the work done quickly and get on to the next work as
fast as possible, while another person is more concerned about making sure
that everyone has a say in how the work gets done. Once the differences in
style are taken into consideration, the people in the organization can adjust
on how they react and work on things more appropriately.
3. Background differences – these can arise between people with differences in
age, educational backgrounds, personal experiences, gender and even political
4. Personality clashes – these are often the biggest causes of conflicts, these
types of workplace conflicts are often ignited by emotions, and perceptions
about somebody else’s motives and character. One way to overcome these
types of conflicts is just by listening on both parties involved, meeting them in
place where they can talk and resolve their issues.
Workplace conflicts and disagreements that are not properly handled can have a
negative impact on the organizational activities. It can reduce productivity and affect
the morale and confidence of employees involved. However, well-managed conflicts
can help clarify issues, create new opportunities for discussion and strengthen
relationships inside the organization. Some of the effective practices that can help
the organization in managing workplace conflicts through effective communication
1. Acknowledge the problem – clarify and clearly state the concerns, needs and
interests of the people involved in the dispute.
2. Reiterate the rules and guidelines – adapt a positive tone and a problem-
solving attitude. Set rules that will help maintain a courteous and respectful
environment for discussion. Some of these rules could be having no
interruptions while someone is discussing, respecting each person’s opinion,
addressing the issue and not the person, and encouraging everyone to
contribute opinions and solution.
3. Settle for an agreement – start by helping the members involved find
common ground, identify areas of agreement before addressing the
4. Affirm the value of different opinions – discuss the fact that different
opinions are natural in a ground. Help members separate the opinion from
the person holding the opinion and do not allow personal attacks focus on the
person and not the problem.
5. Listen to everyone’s point of view – assure that everyone’s feelings and
emotions are valid. Let them express their opinions and perspectives. People
will be more willing to discuss alternatives if you acknowledge and legitimize
their right to hold particular points of view even if you don’t agree with them.
6. Create solutions – choose the best solution and follow up to make sure that
it is carried out to eliminate further conflicts.
People have different communication preferences, so it is vital to honor as many
channels as possible. Phone, social media, email, and face-to-face meetings are
standard modes of communication in any workforce, but increasingly, organization
can use collaborative platforms. Either way, still the best way to resolve workplace
conflicts and disagreements is through open communication lines. After all, being
part of one organization, it is right to be mindful to always choose to be part of the
solution and not the problem.
Top 8 Benefits of Effective Communication the Workplace retrieved from
Conflict Resolution Skills retrieved from
Resolving Conflict retrieved from