Conflict Management Techniques for Leaders

As a leader you will face conflicts; thus, you will need to incorporate conflict management techniques that will enable you to successfully resolve those conflicts. Conflicts occur when the goals, needs, or interests of parties do not coincide with each other, and they can occur at all levels of an organization. Though conflict has negative connotations, it can also be a springboard for improvement.

Use of Force

Conflict management techniques vary in unique ways. When force is used, a person will pursue his or her concerns with no regard to another individual’s resistance, such as stressing a particular viewpoint. Force can be an appropriate technique to use when other techniques have failed, when you need to defend your rights or handle aggression, and when you need a quick resolution. Though this technique can gain one respect, keep in mind that it might also have a negative effect on your relationship with the opponent. This technique can also take a lot of energy and be exhausting in the long run.

Conflict Management Techniques for LeadersProblem Solving

Problem solving is one of the win-win conflict management techniques. With this technique the focus is on collaboration and cooperation, and the desired outcome is that both parties involved walk away as winners. This technique also approaches conflict as a chance to create a result that is mutually beneficial to all involved by identifying concerns and determining alternatives.

Problem solving can be most useful in an environment that is collaborative and has a high trust level. This is also a good technique to use when you want to meet the interests of multiple parties. This is one of the best conflict management techniques for solving problems, reinforcing trust, building a foundation for collaboration, and sharing responsibilities. This technique can require more time and energy than other techniques, but the results can make the time and energy spent worthwhile.


Compromising is one of the conflict management techniques that bring about a quicker resolution. This is a good technique to use when goals are less important and do not require more involved approaches. You can also use this technique to reach temporary settlements on issues or when dealing with parties that are unfamiliar with each other. This approach also lessens stress and tension.


Withdrawal is one of the conflict management strategies that can be used when a leader does not want to address the concerns of his or her self or the opponent. This often entails sidestepping around or withdrawing from a conflict. This is most often a good technique to use when an issue is less important and time is limited. This might also be a good technique to use when postponing a response might be beneficial in regards to giving you more time to contemplate a situation or collect information.

Determining Which of the Conflict Management Techniques to Use

When you are deciding which of the conflict management techniques to use when dealing with a particular situation, you should consider a number of factors when making the decision, including what the problem or conflict is, the personalities of the team members involved, and the  timeframe within which you need to resolve the conflict. Also, keep in mind the overall outcome that you desire to achieve.