Conflict and teamwork are two terms that, unfortunately, go hand-in-hand. Be it a misunderstanding or a serious fight “for the chair”, the PM is always in the middle. He usually needs to be quite the diplomat to make things work, for the greater good (of the product, of course)!
But being a diplomat/conflict manager is not an easy job.
Figure out your team’s personalities: be it through actual psychological tests like MBTI or JUNG test or by sheer observation, knowing your team will help you better manage conflict. You have to be aware of all the personality types of your team members, their behavioral patterns, and deal breakers.
Be open to new ideas: brilliant ideas can come from anyone and everyone, as long as you’re willing to listen. Every idea on the table is important and needs equal treatment.
Be assertive with your spoken and body language: Language is important when it comes to communication. But interpretations depend from one person to the other. Being assertive as the situation calls determines sometimes whether we can solve the conflict or not.
Control your emotions: It’s very easy to get carried away especially when the debate has been heading south for a really long time. But just as we’ve mentioned in a previous blog, EQ is very important when managing a diverse team.
Focus on facts and results: facts are called facts for a reason. It’s because they are not hypotheses, opinions, speculations, or dreams. Facts are truth coming from research and careful analysis. It’s easier to go with what sounds nice, but it’s more fruitful to go with what reality is telling you.
Compromise: Compromising is your best shot at ending the conflict. After listening to all the sides, it’s better to try to find the common points and go from there. Wasting time and energy on who’s right/better is an absolute no!
Now speaking of conflict and compromise, most office “wars” happen between the overly extroverted business team and the calm introverted tech team.
Want to know more? Stay tuned for our next blog: Extroverts Vs. Introverts.