Handling Conflicts in Project Teams

A team member challenges you about changes you've made to the project's reporting templates, schedule and RACI matrix. How do you respond to this situation?

Disagreements and conflicts are normal in any project. This situation requires patience, listening skills and other leadership skills. I would:

  1. Calm down as it is counterproductive to discuss when your personal feelings may cloud your ability to analyze the situation in a less than objective manner.
  2. Arrange a one-to-one meeting with the team member to start a constructive dialogue to understand his/her concerns, and to clear up any misunderstanding. The objective of the meeting would be to consider his or her feedback, explain my thought process and come to a mutually acceptable agreement regarding the processes/tools.
  3. Once we have reached an agreement, we’d communicate this to other stakeholders and implement the processes/tools.
  4. If the problem persists, I would involve an expert/third party to work with us to  find a solution as sometimes you need an 3rd party view point.

Once the situation has been resolved, I would learn from it – maybe I could have communicated the changes better; I could have perhaps better involved the team in making the changes; I would treat this situation as an opportunity to grow as leader & better understand my team.

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