Any organization, no matter how collaborative, encounters internal conflicts from time to time. If tensions are becoming thick, agree on facts first, then listen to each other and determine what the highest common good available to you might be. For a virtual team it is just as important to resolve conflict as it is face to face. It may help if a third person can facilitate, to listen and ask questions that prompt combatants to find a mutually acceptable solution.
Conflicts will erupt any time. Diffuse tension by:
- Articulating underlying facts (not perceptions), e.g. I want …, You want …
- Listening to each other.
- Striving to agree on the highest common good thats sought (We agree on ) Where necessary, bring in a third person to ask questions and progress matters towards a helpful outcome.
- Setting up agreed respectful behaviors.
- Not letting conflicts escalate, especially with virtual teams, who need to reconnect by phone or on screen.
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