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To handle this cases from my experience:
1.Maybe based on level of conflict maybe need one to one meeting before the team members meeting.
2.Bring the team's on same table or room so we will discuss and decide everything together and resolve the conflict.
3. Set a priorities regarding the actions.
4. Document the lesson learned about the conflict to not make it happen again.
5. Create a plan to make sure everything is recorded.
6. Start Track it and check team behaviours.
this is the normal steps but for sure not standard to apply in all conflicts but not at least the above.
I really like everything my peers stated above. Beyond those good tips and wisdom, I was exposed to Motivational Interviewing. I often revert back to the Motivational Interviewing strategies I've learned to help me deal with conflict in project management. My nature is to avoid conflict, but learning motivational interviewing gave me "tools in my toolbelt" to use when facing conflict that have been very effective. Has anyone else been trained in Motivational Interviewing? Do you use it in Project Management?
Whenever it is possible I try to figure out on which level of the human psychological pyramid the root cause of the problem resides. Whether this is just a matter of physical behavior or bad mood, unfulfilled needs, missing skills, knowledge or wrong convictions, ending up with offended values. I know it is tricky and usually requires time as well as heroic patience. But when executing properly it works perfectly as in many cases we judge the conflicting situation only by the appearance and as a result the incorrect solution is applied.
I found that developing friendly relationships at work is a great tool for conflict management as well as for when I'm fighting for scare resources.
I try to be nice and friendly to everyone I interact with and to know my co-workers at some personal level.
When conflict happens I try to always keep the conversation as professional and impersonal as possible, and focus of the issue. Since I already have a personal relationship with the other party, they understand I'm all about solving the problem and nothing I say will be directed against them.
Handling conflicts is one of the day to day functions of PM.
Identify the sources of conflict. Most common sources are scarce resources, scheduling priorities and personal work styles.
Develop team ground rules, group norms, role definition and communication planning to reduce the amount of conflict.
PMBOK techniques to resolve conflicts:
Withdraw/avoid. Retreating from an actual or potential conflict situation; postponing the issue to be better prepared or to be resolved by others.
Smooth/accommodate. Emphasizing areas of agreement rather than areas of difference; conceding one’s position to the needs of others to maintain harmony and relationships.
Compromise/reconcile. Searching for solutions that bring some degree of satisfaction to all parties in order to temporarily or partially resolve the conflict. This approach occasionally results in a lose-lose situation.
Force/direct. Pushing one’s viewpoint at the expense of others; offering only win-lose solutions, usually enforced through a power position to resolve an emergency. This approach often results to a win-lose situation.
Collaborate/problem solve. Incorporating multiple viewpoints and insights from differing perspectives;requires a cooperative attitude and open dialogue that typically leads to consensus and commitment. This approach can result in a win-win situation.
theoretically, there are lots of tools and techniques out there. In practice, you must take the steps outlined by Athanasios for most of the cases.
Having developed conflict management techniques in the U.S. Army, I deal with most issues head on. However, like Joseph said, not all issues are worth engaging and forgetting that can be very counterproductive. I adopted my conflict resolution skills the same way I addressed safety violations during my time as a marksmanship instructor:
1st time: address the issue publicly
2nd time: address the individual
3rd time: find the root cause and ensure it is corrected.
A conflict may be either of personal nature which is not directly related to work or it may be of professional nature. As per William Schutz there is an 'interpersonal underworld' which is unseen & unacknowledged. Personal conflicts may cause an increased number of work related conflicts. Professional conflicts, if managed properly, may be beneficial to the project.
Individual personality types differ in how they see, interpret or communicate ideas. Often the real reason, which may be a small issue, lies much deeper and piles up for some time before it erupts and becomes visible.
Understanding MBTI framework can help the manager to understand & resolve such conflicts effectively. Additionally, I find Six Thinking Hats method developed by Edward de Bono to be very useful in resolving / avoiding conflicts. Engaging your team in team building games and activities will improve 'trust' within the team & will help in reducing the conflicts of personal nature.
have one or more storming sessions where the team can set the ground rules, discuss the potential sources of conflict etc.
Conflict management is a science in itself and there are no shortcuts or silver bullets.
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