Chapter 11

Resolve Conflicts Constructively

Most of us go to great lengths to avoid conflicts. We smile and nod instead of proposing alternatives. We give in and do things “their way.” We’ll deny outright that conflicts even exist when asked (the “Nothing’s wrong—everything’s great” scenario). But on teams, conflicts are inevitable.

Why Conflicts Arise

Typically, team members don’t try to cause trouble or seek negative attention. More often, they become embroiled in conflicts for several reasons:

  • Different work styles. To arrive at a team contract, members had to compromise. Most likely, at least a few rules of conduct don’t jibe with their own personal preferences. That’s why team-building conversations can be so difficult: It’s not easy for ...

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