Conflict in virtual teams

...is more likely to escalate because:

  • Colleagues are more likely to take disagreements personally when they don't have the context, nuance or even the facial expressions of the other person they are engaging with.
  • Communication is often impersonal, so it encourages a back and forth that escalates more quickly than during in-person encounters.
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Managing conflict in virtual teams
  • Assign tasks that demand interdependence among team members to complete, so that they rely on each other to succeed.
  • Set clear goals. Formalizing the team’s vision, roles, norms, work processes, and strategies can help keep a team on track.
  • Awarding teamwork is crucial to encourage them to work together and discourage an individual from going off the rails.
  • Be patient. Teams often overcome problems of virtuality over time.

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