In the pre-Pandemic world, it was easier to spot and manage conflicts that arose naturally on teams. But remote teams are different in several unique ways:
- Remote team conflict that arises can remain “unchecked” for a variety of reasons such as undisclosed misinterpretations or misunderstandings. These perceptions can build into team members “scorekeeping” against each other.
- Asking for deeper clarification can seem invasive or argumentative. Team members may back off from doing this in order to be “team players.”
Fixing the Conflicts
Here are two simple antidotes to ensuring less conflict on your team:
- Remote team conflict that arises and remains unchecked:
Consider meeting individually with team members to ensure clarity around team priorities and procedures. Leaders may assume that members are clear on the team’s shared goals or work processes instead of exploring possibly undetected gaps in understanding.
A simple way to do this is to use the “GRPI” model
The GRPI model assesses clarity on team goals, roles, procedures and interpersonal relationships. Download and use the link at the bottom of this article to access our 2-Minute read on Using the GRPI Model as a team assessment and share the model with your team.
- Coach team members to ask for deeper clarification:
Help team members build inquiry skills by using what we call “key phrases.” These handy phrases allow team members to explore issues without offending others:
- “Let me be sure. I understand…”
- “What do you think would happen if…”
- Tell me more about…”
Download and share our Two-Minute Read about these “Key Phrases” at the bottom of this article.
Conflict build-up is inevitable unless leaders detect and manage it. Think about conflict as unexplored information that can enrich and benefit the team. Surfacing and resolving issues paves the way to reinforce team trust and communication skills.
Find the resources mentioned in this article at https://www.corplearning.com/resources/.
CLI provides team coaching, training and strategy planning remotely and as we recover from the Pandemic – live at your site.