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Brain circuits

Five steps to preventing conflict on teams

Published 9 November 2021 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

There is no shortage of things that cause stress these days, and as we go back to the office unaddressed tensions within teams can sap productivity at work. Many leaders make the mistake of addressing tensions as they surface, but it can be hard to undo a negative relationship between coworkers. A far more effective strategy is to lead teams proactively to form bonds and prevent negative undercurrents from developing into waves of discontent.

If you act in the early stages of team’s existence, you can help proactively keep them on track to form stronger bonds and foster a positive atmosphere. There is a five-step process that can help you do this.

One of the first steps you can take is to lead discussions by posing questions that help team members analyze their own judgements when they are exposed to the others for the first time. There are five key questions you can ask. You can read how to do this in detail here.

The next step in leading teams to early understanding of one another is to ask several questions and then consider what different people’s motivations are for their behaviors. Behind this you will discover their values. Read more about how to do this here.

The third step toward developing a healthy team dynamic is to address differing communication styles. Two parties may interpret the same words very differently and that can affect even how they interpret the organization’s goals. Read how to address this here.

The fourth step addresses the biggest source of conflict within teams: the varying ways in which members think about the work they are doing. You can ask each other questions that will reveal each team member’s mindset on how they approach their work. Read what to ask here.

The final step to preventing conflict on teams is to address how teams deal with emotions. Team members will differ widely in terms of the intensity of their feelings, how they convey passion in a group, and the way they manage their emotions in the face of disagreement. Read how to address these issues here.

Further reading: 


The Emotionally Intelligent Manager by David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey



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