January 1998 Web Brief
Learning to be Successful

Quote of the month: "Problems are only opportunities in work clothes" Henry J. Kaiser

How to Deal With Conflict
Source: Communication Briefings ideas that work

To handle conflict among team members:

  • Ask those who disagree to paraphrase one anotherís comments. This may help them learn if they really understand one another.
  • Work out a compromise. Agree on the underlying source of conflict, then engage in give-and-take and finally agree on a solution.
  • Ask each member to list what the other side should do. Exchange lists, select a compromise all are willing to accept and test the compromise to see if it meshes with team goals.
  • Have the sides each write 10 questions for their opponents. This will allow them to signal their major concerns about the other sideís position. And the answer may lead to a compromise.
  • Convince team members they sometimes have to admit theyíre wrong. Help them save face by convincing them that changing a position may well show strength.
  • Respect the experts on the team. Give their opinions more weight when the conflict involves their expertise, but donít rule out conflicting opinions.

Source: Making Teams Succeed at Work, Alexander Hamilton Institute, 70 Hilltop Road, Ramsey, NJ 07446