Question Page

How do you go about resolving conflict between team members?

Tamara Niesen
Tamara Niesen
WooCommerce CMODecember 5

Escalate. Do not hesitate to escalate. I know this can be uncomfortable, and you don’t want to throw any team members under the bus. 

Something I learned from one of my leaders is “clean escalation”. You identify the problem, document the problem statement and possible paths forward with all the respective tradeoffs. It’s crucial that this is data driven, supported by proof points and is 100% objective. If it’s objective, it’s less awkward, and the most important step before you escalate: write the document, share it with your conflicting team member(s) first and allow them to provide feedback first. And when you do send or share the document for escalation, ensure all the conflicting parties are included in the same email, slack message, meeting etc. when it’s presented to the decision makers. No backchanneling.

If I am the leader who is being escalated to, I would ask the impacted parties to complete this process so I can make an informed, objective decision that covers all angles and tradeoffs.

705 Views
Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing LeadFebruary 22

This is a difficult task that needs to be managed with care. Before conflict even begins, from day one as a leader, you should foster a safe space. This way, when conflict arises, team members feel it is safe to discuss their perspectives. Brené Brown refers to this as a rumble and I highly recommend you read her work in Dare to Lead.

It’s critical to listen with an empathetic ear. Be sure to offer validation of feelings and perspectives. Approach the conflict with open communication, respect, clarity and transparency. As a leader who hopefully has been modeling this behavior, it will be familiar to team members.

Try to cultivate common ground and compromise. Get down to the root of the conflict. Was it a misunderstanding? A piece of information that was not clear? Tough conversations have the opportunity to end in an enlightening place.

Please note: If the conflict is of a nature that you are not comfortable managing or should not manage, please feel empowered to escalate the discussion to an HR professional to handle it according to company protocol.

425 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeOctober 3

Here's some actions I might take:

  • Ask the team members if they feel comfortable addressing the conflict themselves first and highly encourage this (after all, we are all adults in the workplace and responsible for our own actions and behaviours)

  • If they do not feel comfortable with this, then I would offer to meet with each of them individually to understand the context from each side

  • I would then ask them to each prepare 3-5 questions they would like to have addressed/answered regarding feedback on their behaviour and the conflict

  • I would then offer to share this feedback in writing or to host a mediated/facilitated session where we can discuss the conflict via the questions they prepared and give each person space to answer

389 Views
Matt Hummel
Matt Hummel
Demandbase Vice President of MarketingSeptember 5

The best piece of advice I got here and can confirm through experience is the art of "breaking bread." When conflicts arise, don't sit on it - that doesn't mean you should react immediately - which can often be clouded with raw emotion - but don't let it fester. Beyond that, don't try to resolve it by email. If you can, go grab lunch. Grab a coffee. Work remote? Grab a virtual coffee! Send a $5 Starbucks gift card to someone and block time on their calendar.

Talk through things. Most of the time it's a misunderstanding or misalignment of expectations. While that's not always the case, it often is, and generally people want to get along. Again, just don't sit on it - things don't typically "fix themselves."

363 Views
Top Demand Generation Mentors
Matt Hummel
Matt Hummel
Pipeline360 Vice President of Marketing
Micha Hershman
Micha Hershman
JumpCloud Chief Marketing Officer
Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field Marketing
Krista Muir
Krista Muir
Snowflake Senior Manager, Streamlit Developer Marketing
Sheena Sharma
Sheena Sharma
JumpCloud Vice President, Revenue Marketing
Mindy Servello
Mindy Servello
Calendly Head of Demand Generation
Joann Guo
Joann Guo
Spotify Associate Director, Growth Marketing
Kanchan Belavadi
Kanchan Belavadi
Snowflake Head of Enterprise Marketing, India
Laura Lewis
Laura Lewis
Addigy Director | Head of Marketing
Sruthi Kumar
Sruthi Kumar
Notion Account-Based Marketing