Managing and Resolving Conflict The storming stage of teaming

If two [people] on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless. - Darryl F Zanuck

What does the TEAM need at this stage of conflict?

  • Relationships among members is the most volatile component of teamwork at this point.
  • Learning how to handle disagreements without becoming disagreeable or judgmental.
  • This is the time to reexamine how well roles, norms, and communication skills are being implemented.
  • An unclear vision results in confusion, whereas insufficient skills to accomplish the vision causes people to feel anxious.
  • When the incentive or payoff is not perceived as worth the effort, passive response or active resistance is likely to result.
  • If the team cannot resources, frustration sets in and the if the team doesn't have consensus on clear action steps, anything from a series of false starts to total abandonment of the vision is likely.

Building trust and maintaining trust will be key to team success. Trust is the intersection between being trusting and trustworthy.

  • It is tempting to make assumptions when you don't have enough information or you have a preconceived notion.
  • Paraphrasing may be one way to improve.
  • If paraphrasing improves, then blaming tears down.
  • There is no room for shaming or blaming in productive team work.
  • When things go wrong it doesn't matter whose fault it is.
  • What matters is how we choose to respond to disappointment and adversity.

Instead of reacting like victims, successful teams ask themselves how they can proactively address the difficult situation. They take charge of the the problems situations by analyzing the problem, owning it, finding a solution, and taking action.

Tackle issues, not each other.

Most conflicts result from errors or misunderstanding that are co-created.

Never choose to be miserable because of a teammate's poor behavior and remember that people cannot correct problems they are unaware of. Have a private conversation to let people know where they stand, in a way that neither blames nor judges.

You cannot control your feelings, but you choose how you react to those feelings.

  • Initiate a problem-solving conversation within a week.
  • Avoid all shaming and blaming during these conversations.
  • Go directly to the person(s) before telling or involving a third party.
  • Do not become the third party in anyone else's conflict.
  • Be open to both positive and negative feedback.
  • Remain open to adjusting your expectations.
  • Be ready to come up with several solutions for every problem that surfaces.

When conflicts continue, there are numerous choices that will not destroy trust, none of which involve complaining to others.

Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight: indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind. - Gordon Graham


Created with images by flosca - "dove pigeon innocence" • PublicDomainPictures - "punch fist hand" • hang_in_there - "Trust" • Nick Kenrick. - "Olive branch"

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