Team Conflicts: Resolution and Prevention

Conflicts are disagreements between the team members when they are not able to reach a mutually agreed decision.

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Conflicts, however, provide an opportunity for the team to become mature. Healthy conflicts bring good changes in the way of team’s working and improve their productivity eventually.

Types of Conflicts

Conflicts can be constructive or destructive.

Functional or Constructive Conflicts: –

These types of conflicts are under the control of the organization’s code of ethics and policies. They do not affect the team’s productivity; instead, they motivate the team to find creative solutions.

Dysfunctional or Destructive Conflicts: –

These conflicts are the ones that arise because of personal differences or when few people try to take the opportunity of others or situations. Such conflicts are not healthy, and they harm the timelines and work aligned to the team.

Resolving team conflicts

Everyone has their way of handling the conflicts and drifts but let us discuss a few things that could help.

To settle any discord, we need to find the root cause of it.

Identify the conflict and its severity

Digging deep into the root cause of the conflict may lead to finding solutions for the same. If the conflict is constructive, provide your guidance to sculpt great ideas and innovative solutions to solve the issue. In case the conflict is not constructive, identify the reason and discuss the issue individually by one-on-one meetings. Discourage unethical practices and take actions to address the issue.

Do not avoid conflicts:

Not looking for a solution and avoiding the conflicts can become a bigger issue in the long run. There is no way to move out of the situation before finding a resolution for it and giving the issues a chance to become a concern.

Do not delay resolving the conflicts. Take action as soon as the conflict is in front of your eyes.

Talk personally with involved parties

Listening to both sides of the story is essential to understand what leads to opposing viewpoints. Talking in person helps to understand the circumstances better, leading to providing solutions without being bias.

Try to create a win-win situation

It might not always be possible to reach a consensus that is acceptable to all, but we could often. Any senior person or a scrum master should always try to find a satisfactory solution, and suitable for everyone if that is possible.

Preventing or Reducing team conflicts

While we should be resolving team conflicts, it is much better to reduce them. Team conflicts can be reduced through open communication and adding transparency.

Be Proactive

Managers and Scrum Masters should be proactive in understanding the team as this might be one way to minimize some conflicts. Talk to the team as frequently as possible to maintain a good relationship with team members. Be aware of their issues and discuss their concerns.

Build a Platform 

Everyone should be given a fair chance to voice their opinions if the team has a platform to discuss their ideas, nothing like that. A forum to speak their mind and get recognition gives everyone an equal opportunity, and none feels mistreated. Instead, they feel empowered. An example of such a platform is Sprint Retrospective Meetings. Remember, transparency always raises enthusiasm and progress.

Teach the team to be vocal

It is also a possibility that team members do not trust each other much. The frequency of discords is much higher in such teams, and if that happens, the team cannot solve the issues on their own. The team should communicate more and more with each other. Therefore, there must be enough trust in the group to speak up their minds.
Scrum Masters can guide the team with the agile principles, which emphasize communicating with each other. Team-bonding and a lot of team-building activities help the team to be open.

Connecting with team

Arrange meetings periodically for the team with senior management and other stakeholders if necessary. Though product owners bring all the critical points to teams’ attention, having a team connect with a larger group will ensure that they know the policies and strategic decisions the organization is taking. Combining with the team provides them with a mindset on handling situations and avoiding them getting into conflicts. They become aware that non-healthy conflicts are neither good for them nor the organization.


Recognize and acknowledge the conflicts. Listen to each party involved patiently and help the team uncover a non-bias resolution to generate a win-win situation.

We hope this article helped you with resolving and reducing team conflicts. Good Luck !!!
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