The 11 Keys to Resolving Corporate Conflicts and Enhancing Team Performance


Conflict is an inevitable part of working in a corporate environment. With diverse personalities, varying opinions, and competing priorities, conflicts can arise and impact the overall productivity and harmony within a team or organisation. However, conflicts need not be detrimental. Often, mediation can help organisations manage conflict.

Mediation is a highly effective method of resolving conflicts in the workplace. By bringing together the conflicting parties with a neutral mediator, communication can be improved, misunderstandings can be cleared up, and a mutually agreeable solution can be reached. This article will demonstrate how mediation can benefit organisations dealing with workplace turmoil. Here are the benefits:

  1. Mediation can be less expensive and time-consuming than going to court or arbitration.
  2. Mediation allows the parties involved to take an active role in finding a solution, rather than having one imposed on them by a judge or arbitrator.
  3. Mediation can help to preserve relationships, as it encourages communication and understanding between the parties involved.
  4. Mediation can be used for a wide range of workplace conflicts, including disagreements between colleagues, disputes over contracts or terms of employment, and conflicts between management and employees.

When managed effectively, conflicts can lead to improved decision-making, creativity, and collaboration. Furthermore, in this article, we will explore seven approaches that mediators can use to help resolve conflict in a corporate environment. Some of the approaches may include incorporating the principles of, traditional corporate coaching, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, hypnosis, mindset strategies, and critical thinking. Below are mediated “11 Keys to Resolving Conflicts and Enhancing Team Performance”.

1. A Corporate Coach

A corporate coach, specialising in conflict management, can play a significant role in helping individuals navigate and effectively manage workplace conflicts. Here are some ways a Conflict Management Coach can assist with workplace conflict:

  • Assessing and Analysing the Conflict: A Conflict Management Coach can help individuals gain a clearer understanding of the conflict by conducting an assessment and analysis of the situation. They can help identify the underlying issues, interests, and dynamics at play, enabling individuals to develop a more comprehensive perspective of the conflict.
  • Clarifying Goals and Objectives: The coach works with individuals to clarify their goals and objectives in relation to the conflict. By helping them identify what they want to achieve and what outcomes they are seeking, the coach can guide individuals toward developing a clear focus and direction for their conflict resolution efforts.
  • Emotional Support and Empathy: Dealing with workplace conflicts can be emotionally challenging. A Conflict Management Coach provides emotional support and empathy, creating a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to express their feelings, concerns, and frustrations. The coach helps individuals process their emotions and offers guidance on managing emotions constructively during conflict resolution.
  • Developing Conflict Resolution Strategies: A Conflict Management Coach assists individuals in developing effective strategies for managing and resolving conflict. They provide guidance on communication techniques, problem-solving approaches, and negotiation skills. The coach helps individuals explore different options, evaluate potential consequences, and develop action plans to address the conflict.
  • Building Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial in conflict resolution. A Conflict Management Coach helps individuals enhance their communication skills, including active listening, assertive expression, and non-verbal communication. They provide feedback, guidance, and practical exercises to improve communication effectiveness, promoting better understanding and reducing miscommunication during conflict resolution.
  • Role-Playing and Practice: To build confidence and competence in conflict resolution, a Conflict Management Coach may engage individuals in role-playing exercises. By simulating conflict scenarios, individuals can practice applying newly acquired skills, strategies, and approaches. The coach provides feedback, guides the individuals through role-play, and helps them refine their conflict-resolution techniques.
  • Accountability and Follow-Up: A Conflict Management Coach holds individuals accountable for their commitments and actions in resolving the conflict. They provide ongoing support, monitor progress, and offer guidance throughout the process. The coach ensures that individuals stay focused, motivated, and committed to conflict resolution efforts, facilitating a more effective and sustainable resolution.
  • Skill Development and Training: In addition to one-on-one coaching, a Conflict Management Coach may also provide training and workshops on conflict resolution skills to groups or teams within the organisation. These sessions can equip individuals with valuable conflict management tools, techniques, and strategies, enhancing their overall conflict resolution capabilities.

By working closely with a Conflict Management Coach, individuals gain valuable insights, develop essential skills, and receive ongoing support to effectively navigate workplace conflicts. The coach serves as a guide, mentor, and sounding board, assisting individuals in resolving conflicts in a constructive and positive manner.

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    2. Mindfulness Coach/ Practitioner

    Mindfulness, as a practice and technique, can be implemented in various ways to help resolve conflict in the workplace. Here are some effective ways a mediator can incorporate mindfulness into conflict resolution:

    Cultivating Self-Awareness: Mindfulness starts with developing self-awareness. The mindfulness coach encourages individuals involved in a conflict to practice self-reflection and become aware of their own thoughts, emotions, and reactions. This allows them to recognise how their internal states contribute to the conflict and take responsibility for their own contributions.

    • Active Listening: Mindful listening is crucial in conflict resolution. The mindfulness coach encourages individuals to practice active listening by giving their full attention to the other person without judgment or interruption. Mindful listening involves being fully present in the conversation, observing non-verbal cues, and genuinely seeking to understand the other person’s perspective.
    • Emotion Regulation: Conflicts often trigger strong emotions, which can escalate the situation. Mindfulness helps individuals regulate their emotions by creating space between the emotion and their response. Encourage individuals to observe their emotions non-judgmentally, allowing them to respond consciously and skilfully rather than reacting impulsively.
    • Non-Attachment to Thoughts and Positions: Mindfulness teaches individuals to observe their thoughts without becoming attached to them. In conflicts, people tend to hold rigid positions and become attached to their own perspectives. By practicing non-attachment, individuals can let go of fixed ideas and be open to alternative viewpoints, fostering a more flexible and collaborative approach to conflict resolution.
    • Mindful Communication: Mindful communication involves speaking consciously and with intention. The mindfulness coach encourages individuals to choose their words carefully, considering the impact they may have on others. Mindful communication also involves expressing oneself authentically, while being mindful of tone and non-verbal cues. This enables clearer and more empathetic communication, reducing misunderstandings and defensiveness.
    • Finding Common Ground: Mindfulness helps individuals focus on shared interests and common ground rather than solely on differences. The mindfulness coach encourages individuals to look for points of agreement and shared goals, fostering a sense of collaboration and cooperation. By emphasising common ground, the focus shifts from individual positions to finding mutually beneficial solutions.
    • Mindful Conflict Resolution Processes: Incorporate mindfulness practices into conflict resolution processes within the workplace. This can include starting meetings or mediation sessions with a brief mindfulness exercise to create a calm and focused environment. Mindfulness-based techniques such as breathing exercises, body scans, or guided visualisations can help participants relax and be more receptive to resolving conflicts.

    Mindfulness practices can help you to stay present and focused in your work, reducing stress and enhancing productivity. By integrating mindfulness practices into conflict resolution efforts, individuals can develop a greater sense of self-awareness, emotional regulation, and empathy. This enables them to engage in more constructive and effective communication, find common ground, and work towards mutually satisfactory resolutions. Mindfulness supports a positive and collaborative work environment, fostering healthier relationships and increased productivity.

    3. Corporate Group Hypnosis

    Corporate group hypnosis can be a powerful tool to help team members foster a more positive outlook and enhance a positive working environment. By utilising relaxing techniques, individuals can access their subconscious mind and make positive changes in their thoughts, limiting beliefs, and behaviours. Through guided group hypnosis sessions, team members can develop a stronger sense of self-confidence, motivation, and optimism, which can significantly impact their overall attitude towards work and their colleagues. Here corporate group hypnosis can help in conflict resolution:

    • Cultivate a positive mindset:  As work colleagues cultivate a positive mindset, they become more open to collaboration, communication, and problem-solving, leading to enhanced teamwork and a more harmonious working environment.
    • Stress and anxiety: Hypnosis can also help individuals manage stress, anxiety, and negative emotions, enabling them to approach challenges with resilience and a constructive mindset. By promoting individual well-being and positive interpersonal dynamics, corporate hypnosis can create a virtuous cycle that ultimately benefits the entire organisation, fostering productivity, creativity, and overall job satisfaction.
    • Organisational Culture: Corporate group hypnosis can also help shift team dynamics and promote a positive organizational culture. By addressing conflicts collectively, teams can improve their overall performance and achieve higher levels of productivity. Additionally, the deep relaxation and stress reduction induced by hypnosis can help individuals manage their emotions more effectively, minimizing the potential for conflicts to escalate.

    Incorporating corporate group hypnosis into conflict resolution strategies can provide a unique and powerful approach to resolving conflicts within a corporate environment. By tapping into the collective subconscious, this technique facilitates a deeper understanding of conflicts and promotes cooperation, effective communication, and a positive team dynamic.

    4. Critical Thinking Mediator

    Critical thinking is a valuable skill that can significantly contribute to resolving conflicts in the workplace. Here’s how a mediator can help implement critical thinking to help resolve conflicts:

    • Analysing the Situation: Critical thinking involves objectively analysing and evaluating information. The mediator will encourage individuals involved in a conflict to examine the situation from multiple perspectives and gather relevant facts. By encouraging individuals to question assumptions, biases, and preconceived notions, critical thinking helps uncover underlying issues and provides a more comprehensive understanding of the conflict.
    • Separating Emotions from Facts: Conflicts can be emotionally charged, making it challenging to separate emotions from the actual facts of the situation. Critical thinking enables individuals to objectively assess the facts and evidence without being overly influenced by their emotions. By focusing on the objective aspects of the conflict, individuals can avoid falling into unproductive patterns of blame or defensiveness.
    • Identifying Assumptions and Biases: Critical thinking prompts individuals to identify their own assumptions and biases that may affect their perception of the conflict. The mediator will encourage individuals to question their assumptions and consider alternative viewpoints. This helps create a more inclusive and open-minded approach to conflict resolution, fostering an environment where diverse perspectives are acknowledged and respected.
    •  Generating Alternative Solutions: Critical thinking encourages individuals to explore multiple possible solutions to a conflict. The mediator will encourage individuals to think creatively and consider different approaches or strategies that could address the underlying issues. By generating a range of options, individuals can expand their problem-solving repertoire and find more innovative and mutually beneficial resolutions.
    • Evaluating Consequences: Critical thinking involves considering the potential consequences of different actions or decisions. The mediator will encourage individuals to evaluate the short-term and long-term effects of various conflict resolution strategies. This helps individuals make informed decisions that take into account the impact on relationships, team dynamics, and overall organisational goals.
    • Seeking Objective Input: Critical thinking recognizes the value of seeking objective input from others. The mediator will encourage individuals involved in a conflict to seek perspectives from trusted colleagues, mentors, or supervisors who can provide unbiased viewpoints. This external input can offer fresh insights and alternative perspectives that may contribute to a more well-rounded understanding of the conflict.
    • Reflecting and Learning from Conflict: Critical thinking involves reflecting on past experiences and learning from them. The mediator will encourage individuals to engage in reflective practices after resolving conflicts, such as debriefing sessions or personal journaling. This reflection allows individuals to identify lessons learned, identify patterns, and develop strategies to prevent similar conflicts in the future.

    By incorporating critical thinking into conflict resolution processes, individuals can approach conflicts with a rational and analytical mindset. This promotes a more systematic and objective approach to conflict resolution, leading to well-informed decisions, innovative solutions, and more constructive outcomes. Critical thinking fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement, where conflicts are seen as opportunities for growth and development.

    5. Emotional Intelligence Approach

    Emotional intelligence (EI) is a vital skill set that can greatly contribute to resolving conflicts in the workplace. Here’s how emotional intelligence can be implemented to help resolve conflicts:

    • Self-Awareness: Emotional intelligence begins with self-awareness. Encourage individuals to recognize and understand their own emotions, triggers, and patterns of behaviour. By developing self-awareness, individuals can gain insights into how their emotions influence their responses during conflicts, enabling them to manage their emotions more effectively.
    • Empathy and Perspective-Taking: Emotional intelligence involves the ability to understand and empathize with others. The mediator will encourage individuals to practice empathy by actively listening and seeking to understand the perspectives and emotions of others involved in the conflict. By putting themselves in others’ shoes, individuals can develop a deeper understanding of the underlying concerns and motivations, fostering a more empathetic and compassionate approach to conflict resolution.
    • Emotion Regulation: Emotional intelligence emphasizes the importance of effectively managing and regulating emotions. The mediator will encourage individuals to develop strategies for recognizing and managing their own emotions during conflicts. This involves techniques such as deep breathing, taking a pause before responding or engaging in activities that promote emotional well-being. Emotion regulation allows individuals to approach conflicts with a calmer and more rational mindset, facilitating more constructive resolutions.
    • Relationship Management: Emotional intelligence encompasses the ability to manage relationships effectively. The mediator will encourage individuals to build rapport, trust, and open communication channels with others involved in the conflict. This involves creating a safe and non-judgmental space where everyone feels heard and valued. By fostering positive relationships, individuals can establish a foundation of trust that enables constructive dialogue and collaboration during conflict resolution.
    • Social Skills and Communication: Emotional intelligence emphasises strong social skills and effective communication. The mediator will encourage individuals to develop their communication skills, including active listening, clear expression of thoughts and feelings, and non-verbal communication. Effective communication facilitates understanding, reduces misunderstandings, and promotes a more respectful and open exchange of ideas during conflict resolution.
    • Conflict Resolution Strategies: Emotional intelligence can inform the choice of conflict resolution strategies. The mediator will encourage individuals to consider win-win approaches, where the goal is to find mutually beneficial solutions. This requires a focus on collaboration, compromise, and creative problem-solving. Emotional intelligence helps individuals navigate conflicts by considering the emotions and needs of all parties involved, leading to more satisfying and sustainable resolutions.
    • Continuous Learning and Development: Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be cultivated and developed over time. The mediator will encourage individuals to engage in ongoing learning and development opportunities to enhance their emotional intelligence. This can include workshops, training programs, coaching, or self-reflection exercises. By continuously improving their emotional intelligence, individuals can become more adept at recognising and addressing conflicts in a constructive manner.

    By incorporating emotional intelligence into conflict resolution practices, individuals can foster understanding, empathy, and effective communication. This leads to healthier relationships, improved teamwork, and more successful conflict resolutions in the workplace. Emotional intelligence serves as a foundation for creating a positive and supportive work environment where conflicts are seen as opportunities for growth and collaboration.

    Here Are Other Forms of Mediation:

    In addition to traditional mediation, there are several other forms of mediation that can be used to help resolve conflicts in the workplace. These alternative mediation approaches can be effective in different situations and offer unique benefits. Here are a few examples:

    6. Mindset Strategies

    Adopting the right mindset is crucial for resolving conflicts in a corporate environment. Growth mindset, popularized by psychologist Carol S. Dweck, emphasizes the belief that individuals can develop their abilities and intelligence through dedication and hard work. By embracing a growth mindset, individuals view conflicts as opportunities for learning and growth rather than as threats. This mindset shift fosters collaboration, creative problem-solving, and resilience in the face of conflicts.

    7. Shuttle Mediation

    In shuttle mediation, the mediator meets separately with each party involved in the conflict rather than bringing them together in the same room. This approach can be useful when there is a high level of hostility or when direct communication between the parties is challenging. The mediator acts as a bridge, conveying messages and facilitating a dialogue between the parties, with the goal of finding common ground and reaching a resolution.

    8. Transformative Mediation

    Transformative mediation focuses on empowering the parties involved in the conflict to transform their relationship and improve their communication. The mediator facilitates a dialogue that allows the parties to understand each other’s perspectives, express their needs, and find mutually agreeable solutions. The emphasis is on personal growth, increased self-awareness, and developing stronger communication skills. Transformative mediation aims to not only resolve the current conflict but also to enhance the overall relationship between the parties.

    9. Narrative Mediation

    Narrative mediation focuses on the storytelling aspect of conflicts. The mediator encourages the parties to share their narratives, allowing them to express their experiences, emotions, and perceptions. By listening to each other’s stories, the parties gain a deeper understanding of their shared humanity and can find common ground. Narrative mediation helps to reframe the conflict and encourages the parties to collaborate on creating a new story or narrative that promotes understanding and resolution.

    10. Peer Mediation

    Peer mediation involves having trained individuals from within the organisation mediate conflicts between their colleagues. This approach can be effective in resolving conflicts among team members or within departments. Peer mediators, who are not directly involved in the conflict, facilitate discussions, encourage dialogue, and guide the parties toward finding mutually satisfactory solutions. Peer mediation can create a sense of ownership and empowerment among employees, as they feel heard and supported by their peers.

    11. Facilitative Mediation

    Facilitative mediation focuses on helping parties communicate effectively and reach their own resolution. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator who guides the process, clarifies issues, and ensures that all parties have an opportunity to express their perspectives. The mediator does not provide solutions but assists in generating options and encourages collaborative problem-solving. Facilitative mediation empowers the parties to take ownership of the process and outcomes.

    In conclusion

    Conflicts in a corporate environment can be resolved through the application of various techniques. By incorporating, corporate coaching, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, hypnosis, critical thinking, mindset strategies, shuttle mediation, transformational mediation, and other approaches, and utilising mediation or facilitation when necessary, individuals and organizations can transform conflicts into a more harmonious and productive work environment for all employees.

    Lungisa Sonqishe Hypnotherapist Cape Town

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    About Lungisa Sonqishe:

    I am a qualified Executive Coach focusing on Positive Mindset Strategies. I am also an accredited Client-Centred Hypnotherapist CHT and Parts Therapists CPTF helping take clients to a new level of performance. I am a proud member of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association®. 

    It’s important to understand what triggers us to get stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts or damaging behaviours. Hypnosis can help you have clarity and drive. Positive Mindset Coaching fuels that drive swiftly prompting you into action. 

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