How to handle conflict between team members

Conflict between members of a team at the workplace is common. But, since it affects work, it needs to be sorted out immediately.

  • First step is to accept that the tension exists. It may appear a small matter to you, but it is a big issue for those who are involved.
  • Take time to gather information, talk to the people involved and understand the situation.
  • Focus on the problem and not the people. Do not let your likes or dislikes affect judgement. Focus on an individual only if after careful evaluation you feel that the issue is about an individual.
  • Set up a formal meeting between the people in which you are present. Tell them to speak respectfully and listen to the other’s viewpoint.
  • Share your views with them. But do not force your authority or position.
  • Explain to the parties that they should put the team above individual differences.
  • Make it clear that your judgement will be in the interest of the team as a whole.
  • After this, act quickly and decisively. You may be viewed as inefficient or weak if you take too long to make a decision. Everyone will not agree with your decision, but they will know your stand.
  • Actively engage in coaching your team to reduce conflict.

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