Conflict Triggers

By: Mathew Baughman*

Conflict is very common among employees and employers. But, what causes this conflict? Is there a way to identify the source of the problem(s)? Rose Johnson from the Houston Chronicle and Debra Kraft from the Global Post identify typical causes of conflict in the workplace:

(Note: some of these causes have been combined to give a better summary of an overall source)

  • Poor Communication: Of all of these causes, communication is definitely at the top. This can be the result of paraphrasing an idea, failure to communicate, unclear expectations, or a difference in interpretation. Poor communication is inevitable, but it can be improved by giving clear and consisted messages to employees or employers.
  • Diversity: Diversity can involve culture, moral values, and personality. These differences can increase creativity or tension.
  • Competition: Employees may encounter competition if their salary is linked to production. Without proper control, this competition can cause employees to interfere with each other.
  • Power Struggle: If an employer does not identify the leaders in a team, then employees often become a part of a power struggle. According to Johnson, “A team with many leaders has no leader at all and cannot move forward.”

Conflict triggers are something that employers and employees must acknowledge and attempt to eliminate to be able to work as a team. Failing to recognize these triggers can result in issues escalating even further.

What do you think? Please let us know on Facebook and Twitter. Are there other triggers that haven’t been identified? Are you facing conflict in your workplace? Then schedule an appointment at or call 936.294.1717.

SLMS points Bearkats in the right direction

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