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Four Common Types of Team Conflict and How to Resolve Them

Conflicts are a natural part of life, both in our personal lives and in the workplace. Workplace conflicts occur because team members don’t always agree or know how to work together despite their differences. These differences could be in the way they manage their tasks, their work styles or personalities. For a team to work together effectively, conflicts need to be resolved in a timely and professional manner that minimizes disruption to productivity. The ability to resolve team conflicts is crucial to the success of any organization. Whether you’re involved in a conflict or acting as a mediator, you’ll need to remain calm throughout the process and work to understand the different perspectives of all parties involved. In this article, we’ll examine the most common types of conflicts that can arise, steps for resolving these conflicts and why conflict resolution is important in the workplace.

What is team conflict? Team conflicts arise when there are disagreements over their goals, methods or needs of the team. Conflicts can also occur when there are differing personalities. At first, these conflicts may seem commonplace, but failing to resolve them could hurt productivity and overall morale. When conflicts between team members arise, addressing these disagreements and coming to a mutual understanding allows everyone to collaborate harmoniously and productively. Conflict resolution is a valuable leadership skill to have. Individuals with the ability to recognize conflicts, acknowledge differences and find quick and peaceful resolution are essential to any organization.

Why is conflict resolution important? Conflict resolution is important for the success of any team. Leaving a conflict unresolved can negatively impact morale and productivity, resulting in a tense and uncomfortable work environment for all. Resolving conflicts in the workplace allows teams to trust each other and work better together to achieve their goals. Conflict resolution allows team members to understand each other better and create smoother working relationships in the future. Types of team conflicts. Here are four different types of team conflicts common to workplace environments:

Task-based conflicts Task-based conflicts occur in situations when team members rely on each other to complete a task or project. When one person on the team doesn’t complete their part of the task, it can affect another team member’s ability to finish their part on time. For example, if an employee always turns in their reports late, it causes the accountant to be late with their reports as well. To avoid these conflicts, make sure everyone on the team knows what they should be doing in their position so tasks can be accomplished efficiently and on deadline.

Leadership conflicts Some conflicts occur because of differences in leadership styles. Everyone has their own way of leading their teams. Some leaders are directive, while others are more open, inclusive and encourage collaboration with their team. To prevent leadership style conflicts, it’s important to recognize and appreciate these differences throughout the team. If you’re in a management role, you should be aware of your own leadership style and how you interact with your team. It may be necessary to make adjustments to your leadership style to accommodate the different needs and personalities of your team members.

Work style conflicts Just as there are differences in leadership styles, there are differences in work styles as well. Work style conflicts occur because team members have different preferences on how to accomplish tasks. Some work quickly and move onto the next task as soon as possible, while others prefer to complete tasks slowly and mindfully. Some people are self-starters who require little to no direction to finish a task, and others need guidance every step of the way. The best way to avoid these types of conflicts is to recognize that everyone’s work style is different and find ways to collaborate to achieve the same goal despite those differences.

Personality clashes Personality clashes are some of the most common types of team conflicts. These types of conflicts are caused by differences in personality among team members. You’re not always going to get along with or like every person you meet, whether they’re your coworker, supervisor or peer. It can be challenging to work with someone whose personality disagrees with your own. However, it’s important to try to understand their differences and learn how to work together peacefully and productively.

How to resolve team conflicts Many conflicts at work are caused by misunderstandings and a lack of communication among team members. However, when these conflicts are resolved properly, team members can develop better working relationships and are more productive as a result. Here are some productive steps to take to resolve workplace conflicts:

Stay calm When a conflict arises, it’s important to stay calm and professional. Take several deep breaths and clear your mind before attempting to address the conflict. Come up with a plan to resolve the conflict before tension grows and things worsen.

Communicate (and listen) Find a place where you can discuss the conflict in private. It’s important that all parties involved have the opportunity to share their side and listen to what others have to say. Be attentive and empathetic, and try to understand how the other person feels while still saying everything you need to say.

Acknowledge the conflict and find a resolution Part of conflict resolution includes acknowledging there’s a problem in the first place. Once the conflict has been recognized, everyone involved needs to agree upon reaching a resolution. Try to see the conflict from the viewpoint of your other team members and focus on the things you can agree on. This will help you better understand what they feel and how they think and allow you to come to a resolution together.

Involve leadership or HR In some cases, you may need to involve your HR department or a supervisor if a conflict can’t be resolved, whether it’s because someone is failing to cooperate or something much more serious, such as harassment or discrimination. Resolving workplace conflicts requires teamwork and an understanding of each other’s differing viewpoints. Once conflicts are resolved, the best way to move forward is to recognize that mistakes happen. A team that is willing to work together to resolve workplace conflicts can strengthen their relationships and accomplish their goals.


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