Solutions for conflicts in the team can only be found if the people concerned communicate constructively. In this case leading staff must often work as mediators.
Conflict management within the team – How can I address conflicts in a constructive manner?
The previous contributions centred on typical signs that enable you to recognize conflicts within the team even if nobody has “let you into the secret”, and on the mechanisms that may escalate unadressed conflicts.
Time for a clarifying talk
Whether you now – possibly without realizing it – play a role in these conflicts, or whether you are completely uninvolved: as leading staff it is your job to care for a productive climate within the team. Talks with the parties involved in the conflict are the order of the day.
In these talks you ought to address the conflict in an open, calm and constructive manner – and not to walk all over your partner. That means: honestly taking your personal view, doing inquiries without interpretations, generalisations and assessments, leaving room for other angles of sight. And above all: Do not lose the common interest, i.e. the search for a solution, out of sight.
Just SAY IT!
Conflict-timid, or rapidly reaching 100 mph? There are five pieces of good advice for those who, in one way or another, have difficulties with communication in conflict cases: S-A-Y-I-T. This slip always lets you have the basic rules of clear, constructive communication at hand – every letter stands for one. Consider before the talk what you would like to communicate – and SAY IT!
S like Saying what you perceived (“I have noticed that you and Mr/Mrs XY hardly talk with each other …”)
A like describing Aftermath (“Your cooperation in project BC … suffers from it.”)
Y like specifying Yearnings (“I feel responsible for productivity and work climate and that is why I do not feel well with the situation.”)
I like getting Information about the other one’s view of the situation (“What is your view?” – “How, do you think, does Mr/Mrs XY view the situation?)
T like Terminating conclusions (“I wish … And you? How can we improve the situation?)
After the separate talks there is usually still need for a talk with all the people involved. Here, too, all the people involved are on the best way with SAY IT to find a balance of interests and to create clear relations again.