Conflicts Within a Diverse Workforce: Types, Sources & Solutions

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  • 0:04 What Is Conflict?
  • 0:42 Conflict: Types,…
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

In this lesson, we'll explore conflicts that can occur within a diverse workforce. We'll identify three types of conflict, the sources, and solutions to ensure a safe working environment.

What Is Conflict?

Many mass workplace conflicts have occurred far too often, especially in diverse environments where opinions, ideas, and statements can be misunderstood. As a result, XYZ Corporation's human resource executive hires a conflict resolution consultant to facilitate a workshop for its employees. Juan, the consultant, starts by defining workplace conflict as a disagreement or argument that transpires between two or more employees. He identifies three types of conflict and their sources and he identifies solutions with hope that the XYZ's employees find new methods to solve conflict.

Conflict: Types, Sources, Solutions

Disrespect

Treating people and/or their beliefs with a lack of dignity is disrespectful. Disrespectful comments, whether intended or unintended, have the same impact. Juan asks XYZ employees to identify statements or phrases that could be construed as disrespectful. Here are some examples they mention:

  • I don't believe that diversity increases creativity.
  • I heard that the new employee got the job because of inside connections.
  • Religious dress should not be allowed in the workplace.

Juan agrees that those statements can be offensive. Therefore, he suggests thinking before you speak, avoiding gossip, respecting others' differences, and analyzing your tolerances to become more culturally conscientious as solutions to minimize disrespectful behavior.

Negative Recognition and Identity

The second type of conflict relates to recognition and identity. Juan states that most people believe recognition and identity are positive aspects in the workplace. We've all seen the employee recognized for perfect attendance or the employee who's identified as the first woman to earn a high-level position. However, Juan mentions that recognition and identity can also breed negativity. Juan asks the group to provide examples:

  • Just because I'm a woman, they asked me to take notes in the meeting.
  • The supervisor told me to give the tour to the diverse group of students since I am a minority.
  • The employee mentioned that I am the oldest and should know better.

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