Overcome Team Conflict

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Internal conflict halts productivity within your company. Constant disagreements promote toxic behavior that increases tension in the workplace. As a leader, you need to combat conflict among your team members. Here are some guidelines to help your team reset and regroup after a drastic internal conflict.

Meet with Everyone Involved

Bring together everyone affected by the conflict. Even if the issue was between two people, it most likely affected others as well. Your goal is to diffuse any anger or resentment that may have been created and ensure that the root of the problem is resolved. Ask open questions that begin with who, what, where, when, or why. Attack the problem rather than the people. Focus on what can be done rather than what cannot be done. Encourage different points of view. Listen to understand how others see things before stating your opinion. Express feelings without blaming. Encourage everyone to accept ownership for their part of the problem. Respect everyone, regardless of their point of view. Ask everyone to brainstorm ideas for resolving the conflict. Gathering everyone for an open discussion sets the tone for inclusion and empowerment, leads to a more balanced talk, and encourages bigger thinking.

Hold a Debriefing Meeting

Get your team back on track by scheduling a debriefing meeting. Discuss what happened and how it can be avoided in the future. Create stability by reminding everyone that they all contribute to and are valued members of the organization. Ask each person involved to reflect on the respect and appreciation you have for them, internalize it, and treat each other in the same manner. Remind everyone that you all share a common passion for the company’s mission and values. Create a contract among team members stating the team rules. Celebrate overcoming the issue and moving forward.

Create a Routine

Have informal monthly check-ins with team members as part of the company’s performance management system. Let teammates discuss their concerns so that you can help determine the root cause, find solutions, and reduce future conflicts. Providing an open forum to discuss issues allows everyone to proactively handle disagreements, increase team cohesion, and promote individual and collaborative success.

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