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Resolving Conflict in Teams

By Karen Gubb

For a team to function well they need to be working as a cohesive unit. Conflict within the team can be a destructive force if it is not resolved constructively.

Recently Teamery was asked to work with a team that is experiencing a lot of conflict. There is interpersonal conflict between two team members, and there is also conflict between the team and management as there are differing ideas about what the team should be prioritising. The conflict has resulted in a loss of motivation, productivity and even absenteeism.

Before we start work with this team, we have been thinking about how we can work to help them overcome the challenges they are having which stop vital conversations and to move the team forward to a constructive way of working together.

As always, we plan to begin the team coaching process by interviewing the team leader, team members and key stakeholders and perform our diagnostic process so that we can develop an understanding into the team’s context and the challenges they are facing. Once we have reviewed all the data, we will have a clear idea of the dynamics that are playing out in the team and this knowledge will help us to stabilise the situation. We will share our insights and provide a safe, contained environment in which team members will feel empowered to have the vital conversations that are needed. This will be done by defining ground rules which are aligned to the company’s values.

Our diagnostics will also help us understand how each of the team members react to conflict. Understanding this will allow each team member to build understanding and tolerance.

We will share our understanding of the benefits to growth and effectiveness that healthy conflict can have. There will be a focus on building the team’s ability to disagree and manage dissent in a constructive way.

We believe that at the end of the intervention each of the team members, and the team as a whole, will perform better, engage better and feel better.

Teamery would love to help your team if you are in difficulty.

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