Notwithstanding how cohesive your team, conflicts are bound to crop up. Conflict is unavoidable, be it in an interpersonal relationship or among members of a team. If managed properly, conflicts can be a very positive experience.
The ability to manage conflict is probably one of the most important social skills you can possess. You as the team leader are responsible for keep conflicts from escalating into resentment, anger, and divisiveness. Try these time-tested techniques:
- Do not retreat from dealing with a conflict. Do not try to avoid a conflict.
- Learn about the various ways in which people react to conflict. Seek coaching from a mentor to understand your own style of conflict management.
- Contemplate on the positive aspects. Avoid approach a conflict with anxiety. Think of a conflict as a great way to build trust between team members. Conflict management is also a chance to sharpen your negotiating skills by understanding different parties and working towards a compromise.
- Understand the perspectives of each party in the conflict and demonstrate empathy. Seek to understand if the conflict between two individuals and their personalities. Instead of engaging in a blame game, engage in active communication. Allow all parties to ventilate their perspectives and articulate their expectations.
Approach each conflict constructively to bring about fulfillment of the conflicting parties and encourage team spirit and collective work.