How Millennial Managers De-Escalate Conflicts in the Workplace

by Tanya June 02, 2021
Conflicts in the Workplace

Modern managers work differently.

Unlike the middle-management of old, Millennials are more emotionally intelligent.

Emotional intelligence(EQ) is a hot topic for business because it is critical to being successful in your career and as a whole organization.


Because emotion is core to being human. And research shows that businesses can only go from good to great when employees can bring their true selves to work.

Being emotionally intelligent and empathetic also means that you can anticipate and prevent conflict in the first place.

It requires planning, understanding personalities, team dynamics, and also, pressures and strains that particular projects produce.

Typical examples of conflicts at work

Example 1:

Two colleagues, wrestling over their roles and responsibilities in a project. One person doesn’t want to give up control to another person.

Example 2:

One employee feels they are waiting and waiting for another employee to finish their part of a task before they can begin, which causes tension.

In a nutshell:

Conflict happens because of ego, fear, and trust issues. As a manager, your responsibility is to prevent conflicts by creating a supportive, fair, collaborative, and friendly work environment.

Why do workplace conflicts occur?

Conflict occurs because of different values and expectations.

Conflict is a difference of opinion about how to accomplish an objective. Conflicts don’t have to be heated or emotional. You and the other party may be very civil with each other over this issue. But is still a conflict, because it is a disagreement.

Conflicts happen all the time and a manager should be trained to resolve it.

How Millennial managers prevent workplace conflicts

Millennials focus on conflict prevention, not conflict escalation.

According to Learning and Development programs at Learning Bank, conflict prevention has become far better understood and used in business.

Conflict prevention involves understanding the body language, listening for their tone changes and how fast or slow they speak.

Emotionally intelligent managers also pay attention to the choice of words – which could be neutral, aggressive, or passive are also understood by the millennial manager.

This all will help managers spot if something is brewing before it spills over and burns the rest of the team or jeopardizes the project. 

Millennials managers promote a learning culture (where mistakes are welcomed)

As globalisation and technology transform the way we work, so does the need for continuous learning and development.

Creating a great learning culture, where employees ask questions like:

 • How does that work?

 • Will this teach me something new?

 • I wonder what would happen if?

Instead of ….:

 • Will I be tested on this?

 • Will I get a bonus?

 • Can I put this on my resume?

By nurturing a learning culture, you’ll attract better people to join and stay at your organisation.

How to resolve a workplace conflict?

You can, of course, speak to both parties individually and then together, but as a manager – you need to go beyond a chat.

You could try placing ‘active controls’ into the team.

This is what they could look like.

 • Ask two parties to regularly update each other on progress.

 • If they do not update each other regularly, set up weekly or biweekly meetings

 • If they don’t ask for each other’s opinions during key meetings, then have them choose each other as the first person they speak to. This has to be mandatory. 

There are many ways to resolve conflicts but the key focus is conflict prevention.

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The first Millennial blogger in the UK. Twitter @_luckyattitude

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