Managing Conflict on Your Team

As humans, our imperfections and emotions can sometimes result in conflict. When this happens at work, it can be uncomfortable and distracting for your team. The good news is whether you’re a team leader or a team member, there are ways you can work around and resolve conflicts among your teammates.

Cool off

The last thing needed in any conflict is a flaring temper. If you have a teammate who is ready to burst, suggest that this person takes a few minutes to his/herself to calm down and collect thoughts. A raging tirade will not solve anything, but rational and composed explanations will.

Listen

When issues arise, sometimes the best medicine is a good listening ear. Hear all sides of the story, and if necessary, let your team members vent. Simply listening can make all the difference when diffusing a situation.

Don’t Gossip

Gossiping about a problem to other teammates is one of the worst things you can do. Nothing betrays trust and inflates a situation faster than learning your confidant has turned around and told everyone about your issues. Just avoid gossip at all costs!

Keep it Professional

When there’s conflict, that doesn’t mean workplace decency goes out of the window; keep it professional! Don’t make the conflict personal, and always use appropriate language. If members of your team aren’t being professional during the problem, it’s ok to respectfully remind them. If they’re still being unprofessional, there might be a point where you need to bring in HR or a mediator to help.

Learn from it

It’s safe to assume that conflict will arise at some point on your team. When it does occur, remember it’s not end of the world. There are many learning opportunities, and your team’s efficiency might benefit from issues being addressed. So don’t hide the next time tension builds in your team; see it as a chance to help your team grow and continue to be successful.

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