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Resolving Team Conflicts

What NOT to do

it Quash it Tell them to work it out Take sides

Examine the underlying causes

Any time someone is in conflict, theres a story to tell about the past. An individuals underlying needs may result in unreasonable demands. People in conflict cant always put their finger on the underlying cause or articulate their needs. Unwarranted assumptions are often made and expressed as fact. Listening to someone elses point of view may feel like capitulation. As the manager or team leader, the best role you can play is that of a neutral mediator.

What to do

Invite both parties to the table. Clarify your role as a neutral facilitator. Gain agreement to listen openly to each other. Ask each person to tell his or her story about the past, while the other listens without responding. Have each person record new information they hear or realizations they have while listening.

What to do

Have each person talk directly to the other person about what they learned that helps them understand the others point of view. Encourage brainstorming to find possible solutions that meet both peoples needs. Develop an action plan with small steps to success. Celebrate collaborative action.