4 Levels of Conflict & A Cheat Sheet For Resolving Them

You may experience conflict when working with people with different backgrounds, perspectives, and personalities. However, conflict analysis and resolution can create powerful opportunities for open discussion, progress, and improved relationships. Understanding the conflict types that you may encounter in the workplace can help you identify the best approach to solving them.

Here are the different levels of conflict and ways to resolve or manage them in your career.

What are the levels of conflict?

The conflict level is of four types, and each type comes with its own unique challenges and solutions.

1st level: Intrapersonal

This is an internal dispute that involves only one individual. The conflict arises out of your own thoughts, values, ideas, and emotions. It occurs when you struggle between what you should do and what you want to do.

2nd level: Interpersonal

The conflict arises between two or more people in a larger organization. It can result from different perspectives and personalities on how to achieve goals. The conflict may even occur without one party realizing there was ever conflict.

3rd level: Intragroup

The conflict here occurs between members of a single group as there are multiple people with varying backgrounds, experiences, and opinions working toward a common goal. 

4th level: Intergroup

The conflict here occurs between different groups within a larger organization or those who do not have the same overarching goals.

Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Tips for conflict analysis and resolution in the workplace

Conflicts can be constructive in the workplace as it opens employees to new ideas and perspectives and create opportunities to look for new and unique solutions to problems.

Here are certain steps that could help you in conflict analysis and resolution in a variety of situations.

Stay calm and be specific

Remain calm throughout the process and try to focus on tangible impacts. Discuss specific details of a conflict so they can be openly discussed.

Celebrate signs of progress and successes

Acknowledge the efforts of team members to change strategy or behavior. And if the team achieves goals based on the efforts they put, acknowledge and celebrate it.

Schedule an appropriate meeting place and time

Schedule a time for everyone to resolve the conflict. Find a quiet, comfortable location where you can talk openly without any interruption.

Use active listening

Actively lend an ear to the other party’s perspective, and show your understanding of their needs and concerns. If you are mediating the conflict, this step can help you and the whole group to understand the conflict.

Discuss the conflict as a team

Discuss openly what caused the conflict and how it impacted each party. This step ensures everyone talks through the issue honestly and comes up with a solution. Allow each team member to clarify why they hold their position and discuss what information is the basis of their belief.

Build options

Allow each party to come up with at least one idea that could help resolve the conflict. This will help to identify how the conflict can be solved amicably. Parties can brainstorm solutions as a group that could benefit each party.

Deciding which approach will work best for the conflict analysis and resolution is highly dependent on the facts and the parties involved. To know about more elements or alternate ways to analyze and resolve conflict, visit mikegreg.com.