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How to manage conflict in team meetings?

By Kirstie McFarlane

At Teamery we believe that conflict in meetings is inevitable and important and has the potential to either energise or damage a team.

There are many ways to navigate towards conflict resolution in team meetings, one of which is to be as prepared as possible:

- A clear agenda in which the team can be involved in creating

- Agreed upon ways of working/rules of engagement e.g. professional behaviour at all times, listening first, no personal attacks, no interrupting whilst someone else is speaking, etc.

- Ensure that only those people who need to be at the meeting are at the meeting.

- Rotate who leads the meeting – although this democratic approach won’t work for every team, it can drive increased accountability and collaboration.

But what do you do when, despite your best efforts, conflict erupts within a team meeting?

- Listen to understand all sides of the conflict

- Determine the root cause of the conflict – professional, personal or power?

- Act as mediator rather than decision-maker – guiding the opposing parties to a shared resolution and building their conflict-resolution muscle at the same time.

- If emotions threaten to overflow, take time out to reflect and schedule a follow-up session.

Ultimately, working on your team to build a real sense of psychological safety will go a long way to ensuring that your team looks forward to challenging each other in meetings and thriving as a result of that.

What are your thoughts about conflict in team meetings? Reach us at

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