IT Management Slideshow: 10 Ways to Defuse Conflict Within Your IT Teams

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 07-22-2011

10 Ways to Defuse Conflict Within Your IT Teams

Assess outcomes (the "is it worth it?" factor)Teams should know when to stand firm and when to give ground by measuring the best possible results against the potential for disruptive confrontation.

10 Ways to Defuse Conflict Within Your IT Teams

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Nip problems sooner, not later.You and your employees should pinpoint job-performance issues or personal exchange patterns that may present issues down the road -- and deal with them early on.

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Recognize broad, lingering problems that lead to hostility.These include confusion about goals and tasks, deadened creativity, defensive postures toward internal or external customers, and an increase "blame game" sessions.

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Treat people fairly.Conflict often emerges over perceived inequities. Model a standard of fairness for your employees to emulate.

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Encourage documentation.Tension builds over who was responsible for what. Make sure team leaders distribute clearly defined project summaries in writing.

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Stay visible.When you hide in meetings all day, employees may feel a leadership void, resulting in office free-for-alls.

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Encourage physical release.No, not shoving matches. Employees need breaks to exercise and find other positive ways to relieve pressure.

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Mediate serious, simmering conflicts in a neutral place.Sit down with opposing parties in a conference table, or at an informal, out-of-office setting.

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Evaluate confrontational issues by eliminating personality biases.In assessing where things went wrong, focus discussion exclusively on participants' actions.

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Conclude mediation with an actionable plan.Each participant should walk away with a clear sense of to-do's and best practices. Follow up this session with a distributed, written summary.

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