Preventing conflict

The best way to manage conflict is to prevent it ever arising. You can do this, to some extent, by promoting collaboration and trust within your team – and by preventing any individual from advancing his or her own interests at the expense of other people’s.
Here are some specific hints and tips:

     Don’t make decisions that will affect people’s work without consulting them first.
     Don’t criticise anyone’s work unless you can make practical suggestions as to how they might improve it.
     Don’t make personal attacks on people behind their backs.
     Discourage other people from doing so.
     Don’t allow cliques and in-groups to form within your team – especially if they think they are superior and/or want to score off others.
     Reward people for being helpful and supportive to one another.
     Constantly find ways to remind your people that success depends on their being a team rather than a collection of individuals.
     Don’t back people into corners from which they can’t escape without either admitting defeat or escalating the conflict.
     Demonstrate by your own behaviour how disagreements can be resolved without one or both parties being left with bad feelings.

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