How to handle conflicts between team members with different workloads?
Reading time: 4 min.
1. Assess the situation

1.1 There is a large amount of books and reference materials on conflict management, but in fact, when faced with the first situation of real conflict in his team, the manager is left alone with it. Assess the situation, find out the reasons and eliminate them, provide first aid - quick and decisive actions by the manager can extinguish the conflict while it is still small.

1.2 The skill of conflict resolution is acquired in practice, experience comes only with time. A good approach is to design the system to minimize the possibility of conflicts. Just like a building built taking into account all fire safety requirements and equipped with an emergency fire extinguishing system, the work process is built on preventative daily actions and habits.

2. Communicate openly

2.1 Open and honest communication when resolving a conflict allows you to guide its participants in the right direction. It is important to speak kindly, respectfully, calmly, confidently.

2.2 Different team members perform different tasks - that's normal. It is important to regularly remind them that they need to focus on personal goals, personal workload, personal development, etc. A culture in which team members compare themselves to others with envy and resentment is unhealthy. If such symptoms appear, treatment should be started immediately.

3. Reallocate or delegate work

3.1 A team is like a flower garden: flower growers know that some varieties of flowers require free space, while others require neighbors and close cooperation. Please design your flower garden correctly from the very beginning.

4. Monitor and support

4.1 It is better to Systematically prevent fires (conflicts) than to extinguish them.

4.2 If a fire (conflict) does occur, then it must be extinguished in any case, but it is better to do this while it is still small.

Key points

1. Various interactions between multiple workflow participants are potential hot spots. One-time solutions to local conflicts, instead of properly tuning the entire system, can solve problems for a short time. In fact, a manager does not always have time to resolve the conflict while it is still at the early stage.

2. One thing I have found helpful in designing various processes and systems is a healthy work environment (I called it "a dream work environment") - like a strong immune system in the body prevents or quickly resolves conflicts on its own. With this approach, not only the manager, but also each participant makes sure that no conflicts arise/the conflict is quickly resolved at the initial stage and for the benefit of the entire team.

Good luck!
Methodologist of Guidbase
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