There are many reasons why a conflict arises and it can be difficult when it happens. But a conflict that is resolved can lead to the people or team involved developing and learning new things. Of course you want to avoid a conflict, but when it does arise, make sure to deal with it directly as there is a chance to resolve it in a constructive and good way for everyone involved.
As a leader or team member, you can be helpful by listening to the different sides, without placing any value in who is right or wrong. Start by having a meeting with each party individually so that they can calmly share their perspective. Ask questions and ask them to develop their reasoning. Also ask for suggestions for a solution or what it is that is most important to resolve the conflict. It often feels better already after these conversations because the various people involved feel listened to and seen.
Have a joint conversation
After you have heard both sides, you book a joint meeting where both sides can tell their version and then come up with a proposal for a solution. As a leader or colleague, you have the role of ensuring that both sides get to speak, listen to each other and focus forward, on solutions. If the conflict has been going on for a while, several meetings may be needed, where in between you get time to digest and think through what is important.
Getting through a conflict can be hard, but when you come out the other side, it’s often very good for everyone. You strengthen your relationships and learn that it can be okay to disagree with each other and you know that it can be resolved. It is also not unusual to come up with new thoughts, ideas and ways of working that make it easier to collaborate going forward.