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« How to Get What You Want | Main | Building Project Team Relationships »

January 14, 2007


Sue Dyer

The strategy of course is not to AVOID conflict. A very effective technique to help your team resolve issues is by bringing them into the present (using the present tense) so that the team has the "power" to resolve the issues. None of us has the power to change the past. Talking about what happened, how it happened and the associated conflict defuses the team's power to actually resolve the issue. Bringing the issues into the present...What do we know, what are the options, how can we...This empowers the team to find resolution and actually then deal with the underlying hurt feelings, or frustration that was underlying the conflict.

I agree with you completely that conflicts are NEVER about what people say they are. Conflict is always personal and at a feeling level, or there wouldn't be conflict. There is a lot of energy in conflict. If you can use that energy toward constuctive solutions, excellent solutions are often found.

Team members are never of course not limited to discussing technical solutions. However there is a window of opportunity when a technical solution is possible. After that window closes, the project will be directed to move forward with a mandate. This is not the best solution for the project or team. The team failed to find a solution in the time available.

PM Hut

I like this article.

I agree with you about not avoiding conflicts, leaving things festering is not the right thing to do, and it will certainly create "bad blood" between team members.

On the other side, not all conflicts can be bad, check this article on constructive vs destructive conflict in project management: ...

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