One of the first decisions a manager has to make after they have noticed conflict is whether to get involved or not.
Usually if a conflict is serious enough to be brought to your attention as manager, it will require your involvement.
However, not every conflict will need attention, sometimes team members may resolve conflict between themselves before your input is necessary.
It may turn out all that’s needed is a simple “I noticed you two were having some issues but looks like you’ve resolved them. Brilliant, let me know if you need anything.” Often the best way forward when you are aware of an ongoing situation is simply to keep an eye on it.
It’s equally important not to ignore conflict completely in the hope it will simply ‘go away’. Because conflict can fester and get worse if unresolved, it’s important we don’t leave it to grow out of control.
It is possible to use conflict to your advantage when it does arise, to get things done or out in the open.
However, if conflict is not handled efficiently this can backfire and lead to further problems that can damage performance and working relationships.
Remember, not all conflict is bad, but all conflict has the potential to turn bad if it’s managed badly.