Workplace conflict in remote teams can be a significant challenge! it can hinder productivity, damage team morale, and affect your business’s success.
If you're a remote team leader or aspire to become one, you'll likely find yourself dealing with disputes among team members. According to a study by the American Management Association (AMA), managers spend 24% of their time resolving conflicts. With the right tools and knowledge, you can effectively manage these issues.
Here are seven simplified tips to help you handle conflict in your remote team:
1. Foster Open Communication
Encourage open dialogue within your remote team. Create an environment where team members feel safe sharing their concerns. Emphasize active listening and teamwork. This approach can prevent conflicts from escalating.
2. Assess the Situation
Understand the nature and cause of conflicts in your remote team. Is it miscommunication, differences in working styles, or something more serious? Address each conflict with the appropriate solution to prevent ongoing issues.
3. Promote Self-Resolution
Not all conflicts require immediate intervention. Remote team members can work out minor disputes among themselves. Give them space to collaborate and resolve issues. However, step in if conflicts risk escalation or discomfort among the team.
4. Take Action When Needed
Determine when it's time to get involved in conflicts. Step in when issues involve bullying, explicit language, harassment, or negatively impact team productivity and morale. Promptly address any complaints from your team.
5. Listen Actively
Ensure everyone involved in the conflict has the opportunity to share their perspective without interruptions. Your role is to actively listen, remain impartial, and promote understanding. Team members are more likely to find common ground when they feel heard.
6. Keep Records
Maintain documentation of discussions, resolutions, and employee-related incidents in your remote team. This helps you track behavior over time and provides protection in case of legal issues.
7. Find a Comprehensive Solution
As a remote team leader, your role in conflict resolution is to guide team members toward a fair solution that satisfies both parties. Address conflicts swiftly, but take the time to find a comprehensive resolution.
Remember these steps: Understand the conflict, identify common ground, brainstorm solutions, reach an agreement, and follow up.