4 Triggers Cause the Majority of Team Conflicts - Deepstash
4 Triggers Cause the Majority of Team Conflicts

4 Triggers Cause the Majority of Team Conflicts

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4 Triggers Cause the Majority of Team Conflicts

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Managing conflict in a team

Conflict management is one of the biggest fears of new managers. Conflict is not always destructive. It prevents complacency and groupthink. But it can cause havoc on your team if not managed well.

Managing conflict is a skill that few leaders are taught. However, as a new leader, you can mitigate most conflict before it gets out of hand.

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Digital communication can cause more misunderstanding as clear communication often relies on non-verbal cues. Picking the wrong communication tool can create confusion and hurt feelings.

  • Use email if you're sharing non-sensitive information that doesn't require a response.
  • Use Slack or a phone call if you're looking for a response in real-time.
  • A video call or in-person meeting is best for a situation that can lead to misinformation, discussing a sensitive topic, or delivering bad news.

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First-time managers often quantify and track everything their team members do to measure performance. It is confusing as team members don't know which tasks to prioritise and which ones are not measured. Managers may leave standards open to interpretation, which can negatively impact relationships on their team.

  • With the company's larger mission in mind, what skills, goals, and outcomes are most important for your team?
  • Use a tool like Trello or Asana to help your team members track their tasks.
  • Set clear, non-ambiguous standards around how each person's performance is measured.

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Manage time expectations

Misalignment of timing or deadlines may cause conflict between team members. For example, when peers collaborate on a project and one person misinterprets how long it will take their partner to complete a task.

  • A helpful strategy is to encourage your team members to track their hours so that they know how long each task will take rather than making assumptions.
  • Review your team's trackers weekly and identify opportunities for improvement.

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Clarify task and role expectations

Assuming that someone else is responsible for completing a task may lead to missed deadlines and finger-pointing.

  • Create a guide that lays out the expectations you have of your team members, their roles, and assigned tasks. 
  • Your guide could include how tasks are assigned, how you communicate with each other, and how customer feedback gets logged and where.
  • Keep it simple. Ask your team what they expect of themselves and you and use that feedback as a starting point.

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