Resolving Conflict on Distributed Teams

Mark Kilby is an agile mentor playing many roles on the software and product lifecycle stage. Currently, Mark serves as an agile coach with Sonatype, a completely distributed agile software development company, focusing on automation of software supply chains. Previously, Mark has led agile transformations from startups to Fortune 50 companies.

Interpersonal conflict on any team can impact an entire team—and for distributed teams, it can be devastating. When remote team members are in conflict, the rest of the distributed team can only guess at how things will turn out and everyone proceeds with caution (or not at all). The remote team members in conflict can't easily walk into a private room and resolve their issues. Or can they? What if resolution is more about how we think about the conflict instead of where opposing parties are located?

If you are in conflict with someone else on a distributed team, there are a number of things you can do to help resolve the conflict.

Stop the storyteller
When you feel you have been wronged by another team member, you are better off pausing than reacting. When we react, we get into trouble jumping to conclusions, especially when we are in conflict with a team member in a remote location that we do not know well. We tell ourselves a story about the other person's intent, which is usually based on past experience. The problem is that past experience may be more about experience with other people, teams and organizations and may not necessarily be true for the current situation. So you have to stop yourself in that “storytelling” and put the emotion in check.

Rewind and replay the facts
Next, take the time to carefully think back to the events and…

Please log in or sign up below to read the rest of the article.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue reading...

Log In
OR
Sign Up
ADVERTISEMENTS

"I would never die for my beliefs, cause I might be wrong."

- Bertrand Russell

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors

Vendor Events

See all Vendor Events