Conflict Management

Conflict management is an important skill for project managers to possess, as conflicts are a natural part of any project and can impact the team's productivity, morale, and overall success.   Conflict is inevitable in any team environment.  Today's project teams bring together a variety of personality and skills, each perceiving tasks and actions is in different ways. This diversity is what gives the team depth and broad range of skills required to successfully achieve the project objectives. Yet, this diversity will inevitably bring conflicts ranging from simple disagreements on task details to fundamental personality clashes. 

Simply stated, Conflict is the discrepancy between what is the perceived reality of the situation and what the is seen as the ideal.

Conflict can be healthy and will allow participants to expand their understanding of issues and tasks.  Applying the appropriate approach to conflict will help manage conflict when it occurs.  Encouraging consensus will allow you to increase buy-in from the client and team members.

Project Managers must consider two aspects of any conflict to successfully mange conflict:

  • The affect of conflict on the personal relationship between participants
  • The affect conflict will have on the tasks being performed on the project

In order to foster strong relationships between participants and promote the continued progress toward project objectives, Project Managers will need to employ a variety of conflict resolution approaches. Managers will find out what are the five approaches for conflict resolution.  Managers will also need to recognize the approach that others are employing in order to identify the common ground between individuals involved in a conflict.  

Here is one perspective on Conflict Management