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Team Conflict and how best to deal with it.

Thursday, 9 November 2023 | Bedeman, Louise

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Team Conflict and how to best deal with it - Louise Bedeman - GM:Training @pm.ideas

Project team conflict is a natural part of any collaborative environment. Teams are made up of individuals with different backgrounds, perspectives, and working styles. This diversity can be a strength, but it can also lead to conflict. If conflict is allowed to fester, it can lead to decreased morale, productivity, and increased turnover.

While conflict can be disruptive and frustrating, it can also be an opportunity for growth, creativity, and innovation. If managed effectively, conflict can lead to better decision-making, more innovative solutions, and a stronger team.

Conflict can arise from a variety of sources. Some of the most common causes of project team conflict include:

  • Communication problems: This can include unclear or incomplete communication, misunderstandings, and a lack of feedback.
  • Personality clashes: Team members with different personalities may have difficulty working together effectively.
  • Competition for resources: Team members may compete for limited resources, such as time, budget, and staff.
  • Unrealistic expectations: Unrealistic deadlines, budgets, or goals can lead to conflict and stress among team members.
  • Differing priorities: Team members may have different priorities, which can lead to disagreements about how to allocate resources and time.

The key to dealing with project team conflict effectively is to address it early and proactively. Here are some tips for preventing and dealing with project team conflict in a constructive way:

1. Acknowledge and address the conflict early on.

Don‘t ignore conflict or hope that it will go away on its own. The sooner you address the issue, the easier it will be to resolve.

2. Create a safe space for team members to express their concerns.

Create a positive and supportive work environment. This is important for building trust and respect. Let team members know that they can speak freely and honestly without fear of judgment or retaliation. Encourage team members to respect and value each other‘s contributions.

3. Actively listen to all sides of the conflict.

When each person is speaking, give them your full attention. Try to understand each person‘s perspective and why they feel the way they do. Avoid interrupting or judging or making assumptions. Instead, focus on understanding.

4. Focus on the problem, not the person.

Avoid personal attacks and name-calling. Instead, focus on the specific issues that are causing the conflict.

5. Identify the source of the conflict. 

What is the underlying issue that is causing the conflict? Once you understand the root cause, you can start to develop a solution.

6. Identify common ground. 

Look for areas where the team members can agree. This may be difficult, but it is important to find some common ground to move forward.

7. Work together to find a solution.

Once you have a good understanding of the problem, brainstorm possible solutions with the team. Be open to compromise and creativity. The solution should be fair and equitable, and it should address the underlying issue that caused the conflict.

8. Be willing to compromise. 

It‘s unlikely that you‘ll be able to get everything you want in a conflict resolution situation. Be willing to compromise to reach a solution that everyone can accept.

9. Document the resolution and follow up.

Once you have reached a resolution, document it in writing and share it with the team. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the conflict does not re-escalate.

The key is to address conflict early and directly. Don‘t ignore signs of conflict or hope that it will resolve itself on its own. The longer conflict goes unaddressed, the more likely it is to escalate and have a negative impact on the team. But its impact can be minimized if it is addressed promptly and effectively. If managed effectively, conflict can create a more harmonious, positive and a stronger team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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