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When Managers Should Intervene in Workplace Conflict

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  • 0:04 Fight, Fight!
  • 0:54 Conflicts in the Workplace
  • 1:35 When to Intervene
  • 4:56 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Sometimes conflicts in the workplace work themselves out, and sometimes they need a little help. In this lesson, you'll learn more about scenarios in which managers should intervene for the good of the company.

Fight, Fight!

Al and Randy work in the IT department of Palmico Industries. Al's the old-timer in the group, coming up on his 10th anniversary, while Randy is a relative newcomer, just entering his second year of employment.

Al is a hard worker, frequently putting in 50- and 60-hour weeks. Randy, however, is prone to procrastination, putting off his work until the last minute, which frequently leaves his coworkers scrambling to cover. The department is set to make a presentation to the board of directors next week, and suddenly, Al is unexpectedly missing a lot of work. What is going on?

It looks like a workplace conflict is brewing in the IT department, but is it time for Al and Randy's supervisor to step in?

Conflicts in the Workplace

There's nothing new about conflicts in the workplace. They happen in all environments over issues big and small. But some types of unresolved conflicts need to be addressed quickly. They can contribute to lost productivity and feelings of unhappiness, frustration, and dissatisfaction from not only the involved parties, but also those around them.

In many instances, conflict can actually be a good thing. For managers, however, figuring out which conflicts are constructive and can work themselves out and which conflicts require an intervention can be tricky. Let's take a look at some ways managers can identify when it's time to get involved.

When to Intervene

So, the rumor at work is that Al and Randy are fighting. Now what? It's time for Al and Randy's boss to look at the criteria for intervening in the situation. Let's talk about some of these things:

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