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Vlerick Blog

Managing conflict: knowing what to do when a colleague makes you feel bad

Your line manager interrupts you as you are speaking. Again. You count slowly to ten, thinking: “Obviously, my manager doesn’t value anything I say – and doesn’t care that he/she’s made me look stupid in front of my colleagues.”  “Conflict involves emotion. It begins when one person perceives that another is either not meeting a key need of theirs (e.g., the need to be heard) or is actively undermining that person’s interests or needs,” says Barney Jordaan, Vlerick Professor of Management Practice and a specialist in Negotiation, Conflict Management, and Mediation.

conflict management skills are necessary to create a productive team

The ability to manage conflicts within a team can make all the difference between having a happy, productive team – and one that can barely function. Let’s imagine you’re the manager of a team that’s about to start work on a major new project – and let’s consider the two following scenarios:

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