Managing Conflict

How to Turn Any Work Issue into a Win Win Situation

Many conflicts arise when the person managing it doesn’t know how to make a certain issue into a win win situation. In perfectly human fashion, someone will understandably not be very fond of the idea of getting into something that will put them at loss and another person in a good position. They keyword here is compromise, through which you can make sure that both sides have something to gain. In other words, this is a perfectly simple and efficient way to find solutions to conflicts that will inevitably arise at the workplace.

How to Create a Win Win Situation

Proper Communication

Needless to say, good communication is the first step to solving any issue. It’s the most efficient way to prevent it from even happening. In the workplace, this means being transparent and always listening to what the people around you are trying to say.

A lot of these unpleasant situations have to do with frustrations. Also, circumstances that leave people with the short end of the stick. As a preventive method, efficient and open communication will ensure that everyone will be aware of each other’s desires, needs, possibilities, and complaints. By solving these complaints before they take an actual shape, you’ll be cutting off the problem right form its roots.

Alternatively, it’s good to know that it’s definitely never too late to simply talk your problems out. If you know how to communicate well, you’ll learn immediately what it is that bothers people around you. And you’ll be able to forge that ideal win win variant in no time.


As a leader, when you approach two people squabbling or struggling to overcome an issue, you need to question your own intentions. Determine what you’re trying to achieve by putting out the fire blazing between the two of them. Are you trying to cool off things just for the sake of ridding the workplace of a conflict? This might be the cause if your immediate question isn’t “how can I make this good for both parties?”

Kim Scott, an ex-employee at Google, wrote a comprehensive book regarding her particular workplace dynamic. And it contains a relevant paragraph for this section.

“A client for a large transportation firm was told by her superiors that her feedback was overly critical and that her team was fearful of presenting the real challenges. The irony was that she was usually spot on with her feedback, but she lacked understanding of how her comments impacted others.  When coached to think about what her intention was for the comments and what she hoped to convey, she was able to communicate the message in a way that allowed the other team members to actually hear it.  She started to recognize how her comments and her intentions needed to be heard in tandem.”

  • Kim Scott, ‘Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity’

Bottom Line

Sadly, there’s no perfect universal formula that you can adhere to when trying to make something into a win win situation. However, by always having a clear intent and good communication skills, you can bend pretty much any situation into one.