Preventing conflict and avoiding it are two very different things.

When business owners take steps to prevent conflict, they ensure they comply with California’s business and labor laws, all while enforcing fair company policies that reduce the chances of a dispute. Even with taking these steps, a conflict could still arise between business owners, partners, management and even employees.

Avoiding that conflict might seem easier, but it can lead to considerable risks for the whole business.

Why new business owners should not avoid conflict

Ignoring a conflict within the workplace can have several negative effects on the business, but the three most serious issues business owners could face in these situations often include:

  1. It jeopardizes the team: Failing to address conflicts immediately can impact the entire business operation. Avoiding conflict can place a significant strain on everyone, from the business owner to the employees. This can reduce important communication, as well as lead to diminished productivity and low morale.
  2. The customer suffers: If the team suffers from the unresolved conflict, so will the customer. Poor communication and collaboration can result in poor services provided to consumers. Businesses could lose a significant consumer base if they leave conflicts to fester and impact business as usual.
  3. It could result in litigation: Letting conflicts go unaddressed could lead them to escalate into larger disputes. For example, if business partners disagree about how they make decisions or operate the business and do not address such conflicts effectively, it could lead to a dispute over a breach of contract.

Avoiding conflict in the business world will not make it go away. Often, it only leads to larger problems down the road.

Respond to conflicts – large or small – proactively

Upon entering the business world, all business owners must accept that they will face varying kinds of conflicts every day, and it is part of their job in leadership to address these conflicts and resolve them. Forbes reports that conflict can be a good thing for businesses – but only if business owners address it proactively and effectively.

Confronting conflict of any kind can be stressful, especially for new business owners. In these cases, business owners should consider speaking with an experienced business attorney to understand how they can mitigate risks in the face of conflict.