Workplaces are formed of individuals who come with different personalities. This often makes the office a fertile ground for team conflicts. Left unaddressed, conflicts between team members can wreak havoc for managers and the organization. The core task of an effective manager is team conflict resolution to ensure that work objectives are met. Let us take a look at some team conflict examples, types of team conflict, and methods of addressing conflict within a team.


  1. Team Conflict Resolution

  2. Team Conflict Examples

  3. Methods to Resolve Team Conflict

  4. Managing Team Conflicts



Team Conflict Resolution


Despite the attempts at keeping employees happy and engaged, team conflicts are inevitable. Team conflict resolution is important because workplace discord can greatly impact employee morale and productivity. Listed below are some useful tips for managing team conflict.

Transparency and creating a healthy corporate culture for your team are crucial. Employees must be praised and recognized without bias. Managers must aim for honesty and openness while engaging with their teams.

Identifying initial signs of conflict between team members, such as lack of concentration and negative body language/tone of voice, can help in managing team conflict.

Quick redress of employee complaints is imperative. Take swift action to help resolve team conflict before it aggravates.

Adherence to rules for handling team conflict can be an effective way of listening to team members, respecting them and putting their feedback into action.

Staying impartial by not taking sides is one of the methods of addressing conflict within a team.


Team Conflict Examples


As a budding HR manager or a new boss, you must acquaint yourself with the types of team conflicts you’re likely to face so that you can handle them well. Various types of team conflict can occur in your professional life when dealing with a boss or co-workers. Let’s take a look at some examples to get insights into handling team conflicts.


1. Conflict With The Boss

There are some work situations where employees have frequent clashes with their boss or superiors. This usually stems from a lack of communication and respect. To better handle team conflicts with the boss, an environment must be fostered where employees are trusted to do their jobs without micromanagement. Clashes and team conflicts usually occur around the suitability of roles and promotions. This should be avoided to minimize conflict.


2. Conflict With A Colleague

With the world moving to virtual workplaces, collaboration between team members is very important to manage team conflict. Tight deadlines can make the office a stressful place. There is a likelihood of tensions flaring up for a number of reasons—lack of recognition, different views, favoritism, extremely high workload, etc. This can cause conflicts to creep in and make day-to-day working difficult. Some of the worst types of conflicts are ego clashes, personal value clashes, and office politics. A certain degree of tact is needed as a method to handle conflict.


3. Conflict With Juniors

Managers have to deal with those who report to them directly. Conflict with team members who report to you can escalate if they slack off or are not taking on their share of the workload. A sudden change in the workplace, such as a new boss or a new role, can also lead to team conflicts. This happens when workers are trying hard to adapt to a new situation. Sometimes, clashing personal and team goals can also cause strife.


Methods to Resolve Team Conflict


Over the years, several methods have been instituted to resolve team conflicts. By engaging with employees and having a thorough understanding of the conflicts occurring within the team, such conflicts can be managed.

Conflict With The Boss

Conflicts and disagreements with the boss are surprisingly common. This matter can be dealt with by having an intuitive understanding of your boss’s goals and motives. It is a type of team conflict that requires sensitivity. Allowing workers to express their concerns without compromising on the boss’s strategy is a great method of addressing team conflict with the boss. Micromanagement, often a cause of stress and conflict, needs reasoning and a positive outlook to be dealt with.

Conflict With Colleagues and Juniors

With a transparent approach, most types of conflicts with colleagues can be immediately resolved. Most of these conflicts are centered around how a task should be done. It is important that managers find a middle ground and recognize all different ideas contributed by employees while handling team conflict with a colleague. Intervention from higher-ups sometimes helps, especially when you cannot reach a middle ground. To resolve the really difficult conflicts with colleagues, it is important to adopt a positive attitude to find solutions without getting into a blame game. A similar approach can be adopted while dealing with a junior. 


Managing Team Conflicts

Managers and senior managers who handle large teams have to walk a fine line while working with employees with different quirks and working styles. This is where conflicts arise, which can snowball into a big issue if not dealt with in time. One of the methods to handle team conflicts is to look at problems objectively, where expectations about behavior and roles are made clear to employees at the very outset. Expression should be allowed, and team members should be encouraged to put forth their credible ideas.

A workplace where there is some conflict is not a bad thing. It means employees have goals and personal values which they feel must align with the company goals. Conflict is normal and even healthy as it paves the way for problem-solving and brainstorming. Knowing how to deal with team conflicts is an important trait for all managers, lest it creates a toxic work environment. Effective conflict resolution can create sparks of innovation and creativity. Treating conflict with tact, respect and developing ingenious ways of handling it can go a long way in making the workplace a positive space. Sign up today for Harappa’s  Inspiring Faculty Program and embrace growth!

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