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SBR Leadership Corner: Learning to Tackle Conflict



Regardless of your leadership level, there is still more to learn regarding conflict resolution. You may be a supervisor, manager, director, president, or chief executive officer and guess what? There are still more tools available for your toolbox. In this edition of the SBR Leadership Corner, we address how to tackle conflict or in other words, conflict resolution. The SBR Leadership Corner blog will continually provide you with tips to hone in on your natural leadership talent, practice new skills, and make necessary improvements.

I have invited guest writer, David Ricks, to join me in developing a solid platform for you to refer to as you continue to shape and mold your leadership gift and talent into greatness. Stay tuned to periodic tips throughout the year.

Tip #2: Learning to Tackle Conflict

According to Dr. David Martin (2020), the best rule of thumb is to deal with the conflict quickly and avoid ignoring it which will cause emotions to fester and a greater explosion than anticipated will result. Additionally, keep the following guidelines in mind (Martin, 2020):

o Recognize there is a problem.

o Determine what may have caused the problem.

o Determine who is involved in the problem.

o Address the issue with that or those individual(s) immediately.

o Have face-to-face conversations (in-person or virtually) and make eye contact.

o Share expectations.

o Listen. Ask questions. Clarify. Validate. Be empathetic.

o Agree to disagree where necessary.

o Assess solutions. Negotiate a solution.

o Select a solution.

o Follow-up on the solution at a later date. Re-evaluate, if necessary and select another solution.

This level of transparent and open communication will continue to improve communication throughout the organization and on an individual level. There will be more opportunities for growth and professional development. There will also be more time for human kindness which can seem non-existent when most interactions are online (i.e. email, texts, social media, applications, chat platforms, etc.). Human interaction on a face-to-face level can make all of the difference as written communication can be easily misinterpreted.

Thomas Isgar once said, “Conflict can destroy a team which hasn’t spent time learning to deal with it.” Conflict resolution is so important in the workplace as well as in every day life including at school, at home, in families, and otherwise. It can be difficult to feel empathy for others when you simply want to be in control and have things go your way, but take a deep breath, slow down, reflect, listen, and move cautiously to avoid destroying work relationships and other relationships in your life.

If there are questions, concerns, or otherwise, feel free to contact SBR Workplace Leadership Services at:


Written By Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks and David Ricks


Ainomugisha, G. (2021), How great leaders manage team conflict,

Martin, D. (2020), Learning how to deal with conflict: an essential part of your leadership toolkit,

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