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How to Reduce Tension in the Workplace

How to Reduce Tension in the Workplace

No matter your industry or position, you will likely experience some conflict in the workplace. When stress levels are high, deadlines are approaching, or personalities do not click, tension can quickly arise. Luckily, there are many things you can do to reduce this unwanted conflict and work in a comfortable work environment. Let’s explore several ways you can reduce tension in the workplace.


One of the most effective ways to reduce conflict and tension is to simply communicate. Take the time to truly listen to the other side of the argument. Often, tension arises because someone does not feel heard. Taking the time to listen can solve many problems. Additionally, if you are a manager or supervisor, make sure all expectations are explained and understood. While tension can arise for any number of reasons, when people know what is expected of them, it helps to keep employees on task, productive, etc. 

Determine the Cause of the Problem

While listening and communicating with one another, try to determine the cause of the problem. Once you can determine what is truly the issue, then you can work to solve it and help it disappear. Again, communication is critical for solving the problem and reducing the conflict. 

Address the Issue Early

Often, if there is any type of conflict, it isn’t uncommon for it to be swept under the rug. Many individuals do not want an awkward conversation and to discuss the problems and the reason behind the conflict. However, if you want to solve the problem, you must address the issue early. This will keep the situation from getting out of hand and it will prevent other co-workers from getting entangled in the conflict as well. 

Participate in Team-Building Activities 

There are many benefits to hosting and participating in team-building activities at work. These activities give you a chance to get to know those you work with, it helps to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere, and it builds trust and respect with one another. Team-building activities also give you a chance to determine how other people think and work. If you are recently experiencing a lot of conflict at work, evaluate yourself. Have you been participating in group activities? Has it been some time since a team-building activity has taken place? 

Bring in a Professional

There may be instances where you will need professional assistance. You may need a professional mediator to help address and work through a high-tension situation. As you find this person, make sure he or she is a third-party mediator with no bias toward one individual or another. You may also ask this individual to regularly provide conflict-resolution training to your employees as well. 

When conflict and tension occur in the workplace, make it a priority. Work through the situation to help create a more comfortable, happy, and stress-free environment for your entire team. When the atmosphere is welcoming and enticing, it will create more engaged, productive, and happier employees.