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Resolving Conflict Among Your Staff

Resolving Conflict Among Your Staff

When you have multiple people working together day by day, conflicts are inevitable. Even the best staff will encounter conflicts because you have multiple personalities viewing a situation through their own specific lens. Whereas one employee might respond better to a direct approach, another might need more coddling So it’s easy to see how a to the point approach may exacerbate the situation if it involved a more emotional staff member. Understanding your staff’s personality will help in resolving staff conflicts.  

Conflicts can occur in many ways; among an entire team, between two individuals, a supervisor, and team members. However, what is important is how the conflict is resolved. Ensuring it is resolved the right way will prevent simmering tensions that can erupt at any time. 

Tips for conflict resolution and creating a harmonious work environment.

Here are some of the most effective ways for conflict resolution and creating a positive work environment. 

1. Address conflict ASAP

The best tip for conflict resolution is to address conflict immediately. Do not assume that it will go away or resolve on its own. While the screaming and yelling may stop, there will be simmering tensions that have the potential to explode when you least expect it.  Then there is the effect it will have on the office environment. It is always important not to pretend as nothing has happened. It is because over time, tension will build, and the situation can get worse.

2. Develop an open-door policy

Establish an open-door policy for everyone. Let your staff know that they can come to you any time, if something is bothering them and that such discussions are confidential. 

You must be open to complaints, suggestions, and discussions without passing judgment. Be a good listener! This is important because everyone has a different perspective that’s usually influenced by their experiences and backgrounds. It is just as important to understand the personality of each individual. Some people are more sensitive than others so understanding their personality and approaching the issue with that in mind will greatly improve chances of conflict resolution. 

It is also important to be impartial. Consider yourself as a mediator and don’t play favorites. Your staff must always feel that they are treated fairly otherwise resentment will start to build. 

In case of a dispute, make sure to listen to both parties before deriving any conclusions or making judgments.

3. Embrace positive reinforcement

Embracing positive reinforcement isn’t only effective for conflict resolution, but can help lay the foundation for a harmonious working environment. Sometimes it is just the additional few seconds of encouragement that can change a person’s mood. You’d be surprised at how effective a heartfelt “you’re doing a great job” or “I really appreciate your help” can be to a staff member’s morale and demeanor.

4. Smile and motivate others

It is always better to greet everyone you encounter at your workplace with a smile on your face. It will ultimately bring a smile to your employees’ faces and improve their mood as well. Staying positive and bringing an upbeat vibe into the office will set an energetic tone to the practice. The worst thing you want is your employees dreading when you arrive in the office due to you being in a bad mood, fear of criticisms, or fear of having to brace for Dr. Typhoon to roll through. That’s not how to keep a staff.


Conflict will always be a part of an office setting. Being able to resolve conflict in a positive manner is what will set you apart from another practice owner. Surveys often show that financial considerations are not always the top reason why a person stays at a job. Employees want a nurturing work environment and to feel that they are appreciated. Learning how to resolve conflict is a big step in creating a positive work environment that will ensure employees that stay with you for the long term. 


B. Vo, DDS
Author: B. Vo, DDS