Résoudre un conflit dans votre équipe

Les mots clés et expressions:

To acknowledge the situation

Definition: to recognize that there is an issue, not to ignore the problem.

Translation: Reconnaître la situation

To remain neutral

Definition: to be impartial, not to exhibit favouritism.

Translation: Rester neutre 

To take sides

Definition: to favour one person over another, to agree with one party over another.

Translation: Prendre parti pour quelqu’un

To clarify all details

Definition: to get all the necessary facts.

Translation: Clarifier les détails

To settle a dispute

Definition: to sort out a problem, to settle grievances, to straighten out an issue.

Translation: Régler un conflit 

To hear both / all sides of the story

Definition: to consider all points of view, to understand and appreciate each person’s position.

Translation: Entendre tous les points de vue

Let’s not jump to any conclusions

Definition: let’s not make any false assumptions, let’s not be hasty.

Translation: Réfléchissons avant de conclure

To listen attentively

Definition: to listen carefully, to pay attention to what’s being said.

Translation: Ecouter attentivement

A win-win outcome

Definition: a solution where both parties are equally satisfied.

Translation: Un résultat gagnant

To reach a compromise

Definition: to seek common ground, to give and take.

Translation: Aboutir à un compromis

To put the blame on

Definition: to accuse someone else, to fault someone else.

Translation: Rejeter la responsabilité sur quelqu'un

To review the situation (at a later date)

Definition: to check on things after a few days.

Translation: Faire le point 

To be supportive

Definition: to be understanding, to empathize.

Translation: Offrir du soutien

To be involved

Definition: to be concerned, to be interested.

Translation: Se montrer impliqué

To air one’s views

Definition: to give one’s opinion, to state what one thinks.

Translation: Faire connaître ses opinions

To beat about the bush

Definition: to go around the houses, to talk about many other things before mentioning the real issue.

Translation: Tourner autour du pot 

Let’s get to the heart of the problem

Definition: let’s talk about the main issue, let’s get straight to the point.

Translation: Traitons le fond du problème

To let off steam 

Definition: to blow off steam, to openly express one’s anger.

Translation: Se lâcher

Let’s shake hands in agreement

Definition: let’s shake on it, let’s confirm our agreement by shaking hands.

Translation: Serrons-nous la main en signe d’accord

To implement the best solution

Definition: to put the most suitable solution into action.

Translation: Mettre en place la meilleure solution

To go back to the drawing board

Definition: to re-examine the situation, to reconsider other options.

Translation: Réétudier la situation

I may be wrong

Definition: I might be mistaken, perhaps I’m not right.

Translation: J’ai peut-être tort

To choose one’s words carefully

Definition: to be tactful, to pay attention to the words used.

Translation: Bien choisir ses mots

To stick to one issue at a time

Definition: to deal with the issues one by one, not to wander onto another issue.

Translation: Résoudre les problèmes un par un

Let me see what I can do

Definition: leave this situation with me, leave this in my hands.

Translation: Je vais voir ce que je peux faire

To confront the issue head-on

Definition: to face up to the issue, to deal with the situation.

Translation: Faire face au conflit 

Putting personal issues aside

Definition: forgetting any personal matters, not wanting to dwell on private affairs.

Translation: Les sentiments personnels mis à part 

We got off on the wrong foot

Definition: things went wrong from the beginning.

Translation: On est parti sur de mauvaises bases

Let’s meet halfway

Definition: let’s split our differences.

Translation: Coupons la poire en deux

We’ve wiped the slate clean

Definition: we’re starting with a clean slate, we’re having a fresh start.

Translation: On a passé l’éponge

Les usages à respecter:

• «Why» is avoided in questions as it causes individuals to feel defensive.

• UK and US cultures have an open and positive approach to conflict at work. It is believed that face-to-face confronta - tions can strengthen a team and build trust, and allow

employees to move forward.

• Team Resolution Process is commonly used in UK when one only proceeds to the next stage if the previous stage fails. The three main stages are Collaboration, Mediation

and Team Counselling.

• Sales skills are often used in conflict resolution where by employees are given a choice between two positives with expressions such as : «I can either do this or that. Which

would be better for you ?»

Quelques règles de bon anglais:

Hope, wait and expect 

The meaning of these three verbs should not be confused.

«Hope» expresses a desire or a wish.

Example :

– I really hope we’ll soon be able to put this situation behind us.

«Wait» describes an interim period before something happens.

Example :

– We’re waiting for the de cision to be announced.

«Expect» expresses a firm belief that something will happen.

Example :

– I expected there to be some comments about my suggestion. 

«Expect» is also used as a requirement from somebody as a right or duty.

Example :

– I expect you to be very discreet and cautious about this whole affair.


Use the expressions you have learnt in this lesson to fill in the missing word(s), then check the result below.

1. Let’s take our time in thinking this issue through and .............. I wouldn’t want to regret this decision later.

2. Time is running short, so why don’t we stop ............ and rather ...........

3. To get a clear picture, I need to ............, so you’ll each have to state your case in turn.

4. I am well aware of the factors involved in this conflict which are not professionally related, but, ............, can we please try and concentrate on the main problem ?

5. Hold on a minute ! That’s a completely different matter. Let’s ............ , otherwise we’ll never make any headway.

6. It’s essential for a manager to ............ and not to be biased towards a particular member of staff.

7. The best solution possible for any conflict at work is a ............, where each party is satisfied with the result.

8. When this result isn’t possible, the manager has to ........... with his employees, which involves more negociation and flexibility on everybody’s behalf.

9. There are a few details I don’t agree with, and vice versa, so .......... and each make a few concessions.

10. Whilst I don’t want to ..........., I really do feel that you’re exaggerating the situation a little bit, John.

11. Please try to be constructive and use this as an opportunity to .......... in a controlled manner and not just to .......... irrationally.

12. Everything’s fine now. ......... and we’re both prepared to make special efforts for the future and put this behind us.

13. We’ll fix a meeting in two weeks time to .......... and check on how things are going.

14. ........... in my thinking, but we have to start somewhere and quickly, to try to improve the working atmosphere.

15. If this solution doesn’t prove satisfactory within the next ten days, then we’ll have to .......... to consider other possibilities.

16. I need to check a few details with HR Department first, so ........... from my end before going any further.

17. As a manager, I like ........... with my staff so they feel they can count on me for help.


SOLUTIONS : 1 : let’s not jump to any conclusions. 2 : beating about the bush / let’s get to the heart of the problem. 3 : hear both si des of the story. 4 : putting personal issues aside. 5 : stick to one issue at a time. 6 : remain neutral. 7 : win-win outcome. 8 : reach a compromise. 9 : let’s meet halfway. 10 : take sides. 11 : air your views / let off steam. 12 : We’ve wiped the slate clean. 13 : review the situation. 14 : I may be wrong. 15 : go back to the drawing board. 16 : let me see what I can do. 17 : to be supportive

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