Conflict Resolution Tough for Team

Can you identify the most effective developmental processes for resolving serious conflict within a team?

The Team Doc Says…

I believe that conflict is created from miscommunication and assumptions. If we teach people how to really listen instead of just “waiting out their turn to talk,” conflict could be dramatically reduced.

The power of communication is in listening, not talking. Make sure that your teams get some good quality listening training and on the job practice to minimize the opportunity for conflict.

There's a great process you can use for a conflict discussion. Make sure you identify ground rules for the discussion right at the beginning. You can have the participants come up with a few and add some yourself where you think there might be problems. A key ground rule should be to attack the problem, not the person. Post the ground rules in clear view and then enforce them throughout the session.

Here are the basics of the conflict process:

· Describe the conflict in neutral terms.
· Develop a list of alternative ways to resolve the conflict — or agree to disagree, agreeably.
· Evaluate the alternatives to determine a “win-win” outcome.
· Establish an action plan to implement the solution.

Do not allow participants to cop out during this discussion. If they say something won't work, they should be held accountable for offering an alternative solution.

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry
aka ‘Team Doc

About Denise O'Berry

Denise O'Berry is President of The Small Business Edge Corp, a small business consulting firm. A small business owner since 1996, Denise understands the challenges facing small business. She's lived them herself and helped hundreds of clients work through the frustrations, fears, and joys of owning a small business. Denise is the author of Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success, a practical guide about keeping the cash in your business - where it belongs. Find more resources and tips at deniseoberry.com and askteamdoc.com