Anger and frustration are normal responses to any workplace conflict, whether you’re in control of the situation or not.

While these feelings aren’t unhealthy, the way you manage your emotions can be constructive or destructive. Knowing how to address and resolve workplace conflict can lead to a healthier, more productive environment.

How can managers and supervisors handle workplace conflict? Here are 10 tips worth keeping in mind to ensure all parties feel respected and valued:

  1. When addressing conflict between co-workers, it’s best to do so away from the general work environment and preferably in a room where the conversation can be contained to those directly involved.
  2. Set ground rules. Ask all parties to treat each other with respect, which includes listening to each other and trying to understand other viewpoints.
  3. Ask participants to describe the conflict, including desired changes. Direct them to use “I” statements and not “you” statements. Likewise, they should focus on specific behaviors and problems, not on individuals.
  4. Ask participants to restate what others have said.
  5. Summarize the conflict based on what you have heard and obtain agreement from the other participants.
  6. Brainstorm solutions. Discuss all options in a positive manner and rule out those that participants agree are unworkable.
  7. Summarize all possible options for a solution.
  8. Assign further analysis of each option to individual participants.
  9. Make sure all parties agree on next steps.
  10. Close the meeting by asking participants to apologize and thank them for working to resolve the conflict.

By taking these steps, managers and supervisors can ensure that conflicts between employees are handled appropriately and with sensitivity.

Of course, conflict is inevitable in any relationship. The same principles recommended for resolving workplace conflict are also beneficial to resolving conflicts with your friends, partners or other family members. Give it a try the next time you find yourself at odds with someone you care about.