Coffee Chat on 15 September at 11 AM EST: Handling Conflicts in Your Team ☕

  • 13 September 2021
  • 58 replies
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Our next Coffee Chat session is happening on Wednesday, 15th of September at 11 AM EST

We hope to hear from you during the chat!

The topic of discussion: Handling Conflicts in your team

Please block your calendars for about 45 minutes to answer five questions. To keep this session as engaging as possible, I’ve chosen a topic that all of us can relate to, and here are the
key-segments:

 

1. What are the different kinds of conflicts you see in a small/big team?
2. Is there a protocol to deal with conflicts. Please give us details!
3. When and how do you decide to escalate it to your HRBP?
4. How is conflict management different remotely?
5. How do you empower your teams to share clashing viewpoints comfortably? (edited) 

 

 


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Second question for today is here!

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the quote the option

Q2. Is there a protocol to deal with conflicts. Please give us details!

A2… protocol - depends on the conflict.  If it is internal with the team (conflict between two members) i would speak with each member individually and then mediate a resolution - meeting all together after personal meetings if possible or helpful.   If it is external or interdepartmental (? 😂) I would meet with the other manager and we would then mediate between our teams and individuals. 

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A2. (part 2) I don’t have a team now but when I did I used to ensure that issues such as the “hidden” conflicts I mentioned earlier were brought up at team-member one-to-ones by asking open questions such as:

  • What’s making your work life harder than it needs to be?
  • Is anything making you worried, upset, or unhappy?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you to do your job?

This was good for drawing out conflicts and other issues.



Wow. These are great. I can use these at open-table meetings or 1:1’s may be.

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Handling conflict requires all team members to be open and honest. Conflict can not be resolved until its acknowledged and all parties agree to resolve their differences.  As a manager / director, if I see conflict within my department I first give my team a change to resolve it, if that doesn't happen I will step in.

 

It important that all parties realize mediation is not punitive. No judgment or sides will be taken, were all in this together. 

One thing that seems to help is team building, the stronger we are as a team the easier it is to handle conflict within the team. Usually its a bottom up approach in this scenario. Even other team members not involved in the conflict usually push their colleges to resolve the conflict, before I have to get involved or before I even here about it.

Userlevel 1

Our next Coffee Chat session is happening on Wednesday, 15th of September at 11 AM EST

We hope to hear from you during the chat!

The topic of discussion: Handling Conflicts in your team

Please block your calendars for about 45 minutes to answer five questions. To keep this session as engaging as possible, I’ve chosen a topic that all of us can relate to, and here are the
key-segments:

 

1. What are the different kinds of conflicts you see in a small/big team?
2. Is there a protocol to deal with conflicts. Please give us details!
3. When and how do you decide to escalate it to your HRBP?
4. How is conflict management different remotely?
5. How do you empower your teams to share clashing viewpoints comfortably? (edited) 

 

 

A3: If interpersonal conflict resolution within the team itself is not going well, then it might be time to take an extra step. Only if there doesn’t seem to be a resolution or compromise after all parties have given resolution a solid shot, then it should be time to bring an external moderator, like an HRBP.

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Second question for today is here!

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the quote the option

Q2. Is there a protocol to deal with conflicts. Please give us details!

A2… protocol - depends on the conflict.  If it is internal with the team (conflict between two members) i would speak with each member individually and then mediate a resolution - meeting all together after personal meetings if possible or helpful.   If it is external or interdepartmental (? 😂) I would meet with the other manager and we would then mediate between our teams and individuals. 

Perhaps, I should have phrased my question this way - “What’s a good protocol to follow when there’s an internal conflict” 

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A2. (part 2) I don’t have a team now but when I did I used to ensure that issues such as the “hidden” conflicts I mentioned earlier were brought up at team-member one-to-ones by asking open questions such as:

  • What’s making your work life harder than it needs to be?
  • Is anything making you worried, upset, or unhappy?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you to do your job?

This was good for drawing out conflicts and other issues.


LOVE this!! this is great - not just for conflict resolution - but just as a general regular check in!

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Hey everyone! Welcome to our coffee chat. 

Apologies for the delay, we’ve been facing some downtime with out platform. It’s up and running now, so here it goes! 

First question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the quote the option

Q1 What are the different kinds of conflicts you see in a small/big team?

A1. Great question, Akshara! I think in big teams, some conflicts that come up fairly often are individuals working in silos and not completely understanding how one person’s work informs another. We run risk of repetitive work or redundant work which could cause conflict. In small teams, I’d say that there is more work per person and so if two or more parties butt heads, there is a chance that a lot of work gets stopped in bulk.


That’s an interesting observation, Divya! Most often it’s the repetitive work or redundant work that causes conflict.

This is a great point - that while we say “Don’t sweat the small stuff” sadly we often do. With the smallest and easily resolvable issues often the ones that cause conflicts.

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Third question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the quote the option

Q3. When and how do you decide to escalate it to your HRBP?

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Third question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the quote the option

Q3. When and how do you decide to escalate it to your HRBP?

A3: Whenever my teammates, friends, manager, and skip-level manager are unable to fix things. That just means, it’s time to knock on the HR’s door and honestly, there’s only so much a manager can do/change up things for you. HR’s help in giving more clarity on the kind of policies and ideas to be emulated in such situations, in my experience, I just love how our HRs deal with this - they go all out and give in their best to solve.

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A2. (part 2) I don’t have a team now but when I did I used to ensure that issues such as the “hidden” conflicts I mentioned earlier were brought up at team-member one-to-ones by asking open questions such as:

  • What’s making your work life harder than it needs to be?
  • Is anything making you worried, upset, or unhappy?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you to do your job?

This was good for drawing out conflicts and other issues.


LOVE this!! this is great - not just for conflict resolution - but just as a general regular check in!

I know right. And if you’re an individual contributor, it’s a good exercise to ask this to yourself to do some introspection. 

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A.5 I think one of the ways to empower your teams to speak up during uncomfortable/clashing view-points is by having a mediated open-space forum where team-members can freely voice their opinion without judgement. They have to be assured that the main motive it to resolve the issue and that speaking up will not have any adverse repercussions or brought into other areas of work.

While this is idealistic - a good point of starting out is giving them a safe space to express themselves!

 

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Third question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the quote the option

Q3. When and how do you decide to escalate it to your HRBP?

A3. I would escalate if the mediation does not solve the problem… we do not have an “HR” department as a very small company - but if I could not find a resolution then I would pull in my manager and possibly the owner (as a last effort) to resolve.

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Third question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the quote the option

Q3. When and how do you decide to escalate it to your HRBP?

A3. It’s tricky because I guess as with Mafia movies you want to keep it “in the family.” I would only ever bring in HR expertise and assistance if our internal attempts were getting nowhere or the matter at hand (i.e. the conflict and its cause(s)) was of a certain nature and/or causing personal or serious operational issues. For instance, related to individual wellbeing or the inability of the team to work together as needed.

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A1: Hi everyone! I think that big teams need a well-organized workflow. If you build a workflow considering the risks, there will be no conflict because if you have so many point views you can take a step confidently. However, small teams are harder to manage. There are a few people in there and democracy may not help to solve, especially personal, conflicts.


So interesting!! I think small teams are easier to manage because its a small group of people working towards a common goal - with well managed (and communicated) expectations it should be easier right??

But if the personal matters are reflected to work this can be the worst scenario in the small teams because after all times you spent together some relations may be fragile. You may come to the milestone to choose your friends or being professional. It is not as easy as writing :) 

 
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Handling conflict requires all team members to be open and honest. Conflict can not be resolved until its acknowledged and all parties agree to resolve their differences.  As a manager / director, if I see conflict within my department I first give my team a change to resolve it, if that doesn't happen I will step in.

 

It important that all parties realize mediation is not punitive. No judgment or sides will be taken, were all in this together. 

One thing that seems to help is team building, the stronger we are as a team the easier it is to handle conflict within the team. Usually its a bottom up approach in this scenario. Even other team members not involved in the conflict usually push their colleges to resolve the conflict, before I have to get involved or before I even here about it.



You’re right. Giving teams a platform to change and operate is great. And the fact that we have to eliminate bias is way to go.

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A.5 I think one of the ways to empower your teams to speak up during uncomfortable/clashing view-points is by having a mediated open-space forum where team-members can freely voice their opinion without judgement. They have to be assured that the main motive is to resolve the issue and that speaking up will not have any adverse repercussions or brought into other areas of work.

While this is idealistic - a good point of starting out is giving them a safe space to express themselves!

Those are some great points, Alyssia! 

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Third question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the quote the option

Q3. When and how do you decide to escalate it to your HRBP?

A3. I would escalate if the mediation does not solve the problem… we do not have an “HR” department as a very small company - but if I could not find a resolution then I would pull in my manager and possibly the owner (as a last effort) to resolve.

Great approach for a small organization, @foxcubmama 

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Fourth question for today is here!

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Q4. How is conflict management different remotely?
 

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Fourth question for today is here!

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Q4. How is conflict management different remotely?
 

A4: Communication becomes super important here. While in-person, a calendar invite and a cup of coffee could do but now, being on top of emails, slack chats, and zoom invites are really important. Being descriptive enough is a skill that takes time and typing long messages can be frustrating but we got no choice right.

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Fourth question for today is here!

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q4, start your answer with A4 and use the quote the option

Q4. How is conflict management different remotely?
 

A4. I think it’s very different (and likely more difficult) at every step. It’s likely that there are more misunderstandings caused by communication issues – from what’s been said to perceptions of inequality. Then it’s harder for a manager to spot and address the issues (meaning that the conflicts fester). It’s also harder to draw the issues out in remote 121s, even with video turned on. And finally, it’s harder to get people “together” to work toward a conflict resolution.

It means that managers need to work harder to identify and address conflicts through the regular interactions they have with team members.

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Fourth question for today is here!

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q4, start your answer with A4 and use the quote the option

Q4. How is conflict management different remotely?
 


A4.  everything is different remotely!!! but communication is key! I generally communicate with my remote workers with email or text - but for conflict management I switch to phone call or even video chat so they can hear tone and/or see facial expression which is so important.

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5. How do you empower your teams to share clashing viewpoints comfortably?

A5. It’s a subset of generally empowering your people by providing them with a safe workplace where they can speak openly and influence ways of working. Tips on how to bring up issues help too. For example, sharing advice on how to offer constructive criticism, having empathy for others and their opinions, etc. Plus, reminding people that we win or lose, in work terms, together.

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Fourth question for today is here!

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q4, start your answer with A4 and use the quote the option

Q4. How is conflict management different remotely?
 

A4. I think it’s very different (and likely more difficult) at every step. It’s likely that there are more misunderstandings caused by communication issues – from what’s been said to perceptions of inequality. Then it’s harder for a manager to spot and address the issues (meaning that the conflicts fester). It’s also harder to draw the issues out in remote 121s, even with video turned on. And finally, it’s harder to get people “together” to work toward a conflict resolution.

It means that managers need to work harder to identify and address conflicts through the regular interactions they have with team members.

Different and Difficult it is. 

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Last question for today is here!

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Q5. How do you empower your teams to share clashing viewpoints comfortably

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Last question for today is here!

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the quote the option

Q5. How do you empower your teams to share clashing viewpoints comfortably

A5: Since I’m a marketer, we gather as group so we have different thoughts  to the table and that might serve as personas for our customers. We set clear rules:

- Give constructive feedback

-  No personal attacks or flame wars

- The person who is seeking feedback should be the "Direct Responsible Individual(DRI)" for that piece of work. You can't seek feedback for someone else's work.

- Be respectful, inclusive, and polite. There’s no need to get personal. 

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