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Preventing conflict: strategies for building strong team relationships

Dr. John Gottman, a specialist in marriage science, says that conflict is bound to happen. The key is to manage it effectively. 

He can predict how a conversation will go within the first 3 minutes!

That’s why starting things off on the right tone is crucial.

Managing conflict is a skill that we can learn

We can learn this in our professional lives, just like we do in our personal lives. 

You see, conflict isn’t necessarily bad in teams: 

good conflict can lead to fresh ideas and innovative solutions. 

But bad conflict is a red flag – disrespecting colleagues, talking behind someone’s back, and withholding knowledge. 

These are all symptoms of deeper issues like unclear goals and mismatched ways of working.

How do you deal with tension and conflict?

Let’s start by managing our own emotions

It’s important to distinguish between facts, opinions, and feelings. It may sound complicated, but emotions are facts too. 

Instead of using “You” statements, which can sound accusing, “I” statements and requests work much better. 

And don’t forget, facts are your friends – so focus on them!
Give this a go in your work life. If you’re curious about how much conflict is affecting your team, take 2 minutes to do this Team Health Check.

LOUISE GILBERT

Founder & Director

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