No matter what organization you are working in conflict is unavoidable and shouldn’t be feared by a project management team.
How you deal with conflict in project management is vital as it has been previously noted that several advantages can arise from conflict taking place. Some advantages could include:
• Improved communication among the project team
• Boosted morale among employees as they feel that they are being listened to
• Breaking down any barriers that have been hampering projects
If you are the Project Manager and you are faced with the situation where conflict does arise the following are ways in which to deal with it:
1. Confront: Confront the conflict head on and fan out all issues in the hope that a solution is on the horizon. This approach could be looked as being slightly daring however it may be the ideal one to go with in a particular situation.
2. Be a good listener: By simply listening and keeping your mouth shut can work wonders in a situation that is conflict is arising. Listening allows the conflict to take its course by giving the people involved in the conflict a chance to give their opinions.
3. Get a middle man involved: Sometimes conflict between parties needs an individual who is equal and doesn’t take any sides in order to mediate a resolution.
4. Nip it in the bud: Ensure that you take on the conflict when it arises initially and to take the correct steps to resolve it. Don’t allow conflict to get to a point of no return. It can be tempting to just ignore the situation and hope that it boils over and is forgotten about. However this is rarely the case and if this approach is taken it could end up putting serious pressure on the individuals involved to the point of breaking.
5. Empathize: Empathize with all involved this will help defuse the conflict and help deliver an air of positively to the situation. It is important not to take sides when you are following this approach.
6. Compromise: It’s not an ideal situation for everyone, as all involved will have to give up something in order to reach a decision, however everyone should gain a small bit of satisfaction. In a situation like this the parties involved just have to agree to disagree and come to a compromise.
7. Develop a plan: Sometimes it will take a combination of the above to deal with the issue so establishing a conflict management process for projects, which includes these tips, will give you a consistent way to plan for dealing with conflicts.
Conflict in project management is inevitable and every situation where conflict arises in the course of managing a project will be different.