Conflict Resolutions: Handling Disagreements Smoothly (French version available)
There is no “I” in teamwork, so goes the adage. And as much as you want to believe that everything will go smoothly in group tasks or projects that require your participation, one way or another, there’s always a possibility that you’ll encounter a team member, or members, whose ideas will differ from yours.
Reaching a compromise to reach an end goal is the best strategy, of course; however, that tends to be easier to say than do. However, consider these four approaches to work through differences to accomplish your mission.
- Take time to listen.
As COVID forced most of us to conduct meetings and discussion in an online setting, it’s been much easier to talk over someone else or monopolize conversations, without being fully aware of it. And if you don’t agree with the views being presented, you may become easily frustrated. As a result, you tend to shut off and don’t make an effort to pay attention to what’s being said. However, keep in mind that listening to what others have to say is the first step in handling conflicts.
- Be empathetic and understanding.
When you want to make a point, sometimes you get carried away and become too self-involved that you fail to recognize emotional cues from the other participants in your meeting. They may be having a tough time with following the topic at hand, or they may be having issues at home that they’re not ready to talk about and are affecting their current disposition. Do all you can to drive your point home, but be sensitive in your tone and manner of speaking if you notice someone seems to be having inner turmoil.
- Don’t underestimate the theory of democracy.
Everyone has their own plan to accomplish a task. Sometimes, certain factors come into play like personal preferences or tastes. For instance, if you were assigned to do a group outing to build team rapport, and you prefer to head to a museum because you love the arts but others have suggested a picnic at the park, then put it to a vote. This way, you and your team members come to a decision that’s fair to all.
- Be open to compromise.
The skill to learn how to compromise with your peers can’t be developed overnight. However, if you open your mind to it, in due time, you’ll be a master at this. Remember, collaboration skills take practice, and it requires a mindset of taking into consideration other people’s needs and working around them to meet your own needs as well.
No matter what setting you’re in or how old you are, you’ll likely find yourself in a situation that requires you to put your conflict resolution skills in full gear. During these times, always take things in stride and remember that team effort overpowers individual effort.
MindTools. “Managing Conflict in Meetings.” https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_65.htm.
Morreaux, Angelique de la. “How to Lead a Conflict-Resolution Meeting.” Chron. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/lead-conflictresolution-meeting-10665.html.
Neely, Joe. “10 Most Effective Conflict Resolution Tips for the Workplace.” Toggl. https://toggl.com/blog/conflict-resolution-tips.