Being a manager often means that you end up playing referee when you have a team with conflicting personality types. This can be mentally exhausting until you come up with a more effective solution. Here are some tips to help you cope with a team that’s at odds.
Lead with Dialogue
Talking out your issues is the best solution. You have to encourage your team to see the other person’s perspective. This can be an extremely challenging task depending on the personalities that are in conflict. Sit the team down as a group. Closed door meetings don’t serve the purpose of getting the team to work better together. Make sure to repeat back what you heard the person say. Encourage other members of the team to do this as well.
Understand the Dynamic
There are personality tests that may prove beneficial in helping your team understand each other. Use the MBTI test so that you can get a better handle on the dynamic of your team. This test will break down not only the inherent personality of a person but how they interact with others. Use this test as an icebreaker for your team. Encourage them to share their results with each other. This is one way for you to get them to communicate with each other in a non-threatening manner.
Foster Positive Encounters
Set ground rules for how conflict has to be resolved by the team. You don’t want the conflict to be colored by negative emotions. Have each member come up with a safe word. This word can be used when they need a break from the situation. It could be because they feel cornered or because their emotions are getting the better of them. You may have to encourage them to use their safe words when you notice the situation getting out of hand.
Resolve Conflict Quickly
Don’t let conflict simmer on the back burner. This can lead to other members of the team being pulled into the issue. Resolve it quickly so that hard feelings don’t become larger issues. You want to have a functional team at the end of the day. Harsh words can lead to mistrust and loss of respect. Ask for suggestions from other members of the team to help with conflict resolution. You may be surprised at the solutions that they generate.
Conflict doesn’t need to be seen as a bad thing in the workplace. When it’s handled correctly, it can create some of your best ideas.