In a workplace where diverse people work together, disagreements are bound to happen. People with differing ideas, opinions, and beliefs work together to accomplish a common goal. While we often try to maintain good team dynamics, it becomes inevitable that a conflict should be avoided.
Operating a team while averting any chances of conflict should be of utmost importance. The main interest of managers should incline towards reducing conflict in teams and generate greater team performance.
To successfully achieve that, you need to figure out the problems, assess them, and resolve all the issues that can hamper a team’s potential.
What is Conflict in Teams?
Team conflict is an internal issue between two or more team members that affect the team’s functioning. Such a situation occurs when the team’s perceptions, priorities, and values are divided, leading to a disturbance in the team’s harmony. It produces a toxic work environment in the long run and decreases people's productivity.
Recommended Article: Conflict Resolution Skills That You Need.
Types of Conflict in Teams
There can be different types of conflict in teams that can harm the smooth workflow and reduce individual productivity. Below is a list of team conflicts that you need to know and heed on.
1. Personality Conflict
You will encounter people with distinct personalities and characteristics when you look at a team. They have different views and outlooks on how things should be. The difference in perspectives sometimes produces a dispute, resulting in a personality conflict.
It is a common occurrence in teams with diverse employees. Every individual feels like their views and opinions are undeniably correct which can lead to a dispute. As a manager, it is your responsibility to bring everyone on the same page to achieve the organizational goals and objectives in the long run.
2. Conflict with Boss
Imagine a situation where the manager of a team misuses his control. The boss asks the team members to finish the job on his behalf while keeping the rest of the tasks on hold. It may establish a severe disagreement between the members and the manager of the team. While this is just a single scenario, disagreements can arise from many other factors.
3. Task Conflict
Task-related conflicts are one of the most common occurrences of disputes between team members. When a team is assigned a particular job, there is a balanced division of responsibility among the team members. The employees are dependent on each other for the completion of the job. However, when a person on the team does not complete their designated task, it halts the progress, and the project gets stretched beyond the deadline.
Such circumstances disturb the unity of the team, and collaboration between the employees diminishes drastically.
4. Work Style Conflict
Everyone has their way of accomplishing tasks. Just like different leadership styles, there are diverse working styles as well. A work style conflict arises when team members want to have varied approached to complete a task. Some like to work swiftly, while others take their time and complete their job mindfully. Different work styles can affect a team’s collaborative efforts which can make it difficult for people to gel well together.
To avoid these types of conflicts, you must understand that everyone has a different working style and respect the way they work. It will give them autonomy and they will have a sense of responsibility which in the long run will improve the team’s efficiency.
How to Deal With Conflict in a Team
Addressing the conflict in the right way is crucial to keep the smooth workflow intact. It takes good conflict resolution skills to resolve disputes in teams. Here is a list of a few of the skills that you can hone.
1. Communicate Everyday
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of office communication. To resolve any conflicts between team members, you will need to have the right communication skills to understand the heart of the problem. A leader will have to be a good communicator and a listener as well. You need to put forward the message you want to convey clearly and concisely so that the team can understand.
Without the right skills, there is a chance that your message will get misinterpreted and make the dispute even worse.
2. Ditch the Bias!
If you are biased by nature, it can be a barrier when leading a team. A leader must be fair and honest with everyone.
While resolving any dispute in a team, you need to get to the bottom of the problem and present a fair and feasible solution. A fair leader will respect everyone’s views and formulate strategies accordingly so that team dynamics do not break and a healthy work atmosphere is retained.
3. Empathy is the Key
In a conflict, we often lose our minds because we do not put ourselves into others’ shoes. Perspectives that we can gather by being more kind and empathetic help us keep ourselves calm in difficult situations. Being empathetic encourages you to understand how others feel so that the response is appropriate to solve the problem.
Empathy is a skill that gets better with time and experiences. It helps you to broaden your vision and have an open-mindset so that you can see things from different aspects and keep the team morale intact.
Read more: Empathy In The Workplace.
4. Be Observant
You cannot predict disputes between team members. It comes unannounced and creates a rift that can disrupt workplace harmony. As a leader, becoming observant is quite crucial and is a skill that can do wonders while resolving conflicts in a team.
If you see that team members are prone to harsh tones and languages, have varied facial expressions, and avoid each other during meetings, then there are chances that a cold conflict is building. Observe these signs and try to get to the root of the issue. Devise solutions accordingly and settle issues while maintaining team unity in the long run.
5. Be Patient
If you try to address a conflict in a hurry, the situation will worsen. Resolving differences in a team needs patience and a calm mind. A composed mind will allow you to assess the situation professionally, and you will make correct decisions. However, if a dispute needs time to resolve, take some time off and evaluate what went wrong. Once you root out the issue, determine how you will process the necessary solutions and deliver them with the appropriate action.
Summing It Up:
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