Boss Lady

5 Reasons why your team members are always in conflict


Conflicts are not bad as long as they lead to an improved situation for both parties involved – they might even be necessary. But when they lead to fingers being pointed and heated debates, you know it’s time to stop and take action. Whether working for a small company or for a franchise, you need to know how to control your emotions.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why conflicts happen, and at some good ways to resolve them.

1. Confrontations are ignored or delayed

Confrontations are different than conflicts. Confronting a colleague means calmly expose the things that bother you. When these confrontations are avoided for too much time, they lead to conflicts, which are way more difficult to solve.

If you want to see a change in your negative work environment, you have to begin by changing your approach. Check out the next tips on how to confront a colleague.

  • Go straight up to them with calm, and say “I want to talk to you about something. Let me know when you have some free time.” Don’t confront them in front of other people – they might feel attacked.
  • Provide evidence on what you claim to be true. For example, “I noticed you interrupted me while I was speaking during the team meeting. I am not the only one who heard it, there were at least 12 people present that can confirm that.”
  • Separate the person from the issue. “Look, I am not mad at you, I am just uncomfortable with the situation you put me in when you interrupted me.”
  • Explain the impact it had on you. “It looked like you don’t value my opinions, and I felt hurt by it.”
  • Tell them you relate to their situation. “I understand why you did this, it happens to me too.”
  • Ask for their future opinion. “If you feel like I talk too much next time, let me know. I value your opinions, but please respect mine too.”

Using this technique, your relationships will improve, and you’ll feel good about confronting your colleagues with respect.

2. People blame each other

This is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen, but it apparently happens all of the time. People start pointing fingers at each other, and put the blame on the other person, like that is going to change anything. If you find yourself in that situation, stop it now. There is no point in blaming the person next to you, even if it’s his or her fault. Stand up for yourself and speak up, but do not point fingers.

“I did not do this, but I would like to give a helping hand to change the current uncomfortable situation.” Doesn’t that sound better than “I didn’t do it, Mark did it, so it’s not my problem anymore?”

3. Lacking responsibility

Taking responsibility should be part of every person’s set of values. You cannot work with people who constantly lie about their actions – it is just inconvenient. Playing the bad cop all of the time and trying to find out who screwed up whom is tiring, and it really gets old. If your colleagues are not willing to recognize the truth of their behaviours, confront them about it using the above confrontation scheme.

If that doesn’t work, reconsider working for that company. Employees usually reflect employer’s behaviour, so do not trick yourself believing that things are going to improve.

4. Who does what

Hierarchy within the firm can be a very hot topic, especially when employees are not clear on their responsibilities. Higher positioned people tend to leave small tasks in the hands of the newcomers, and that lays the basis for frustration between individuals.

If you feel disrespected at your workplace, let people know that, but under no circumstances talk behind their backs. Gossip does nothing but encourage more gossip, and soon you’ll find yourself living a lie. To earn the respect of your colleagues, you need to confront them with respect. Make sure that you point out how important knowing your responsibilities is during team meetings – in the end, that’s what these meetings are for, right?

5. Missing Rules

When things get out of hand and evolve into hazardous conflicts, there has to be a common ground on which to solve the problem. That’s when you use the rulebook – a mini-guide that contains all the necessary information, rules, and agreements the people in the company signed up for.


Confronting your colleagues will earn you their respect. Stop blaming others for their actions, and start giving out a helping hand. If you feel responsible for a certain action, own up to it and recognize your mistake. Remember -– things around us change when we are willing to change ourselves.

About Sharon Hooper

Sharon is a marketing specialist and blogger from Manchester, UK. When she has a minute, she loves to share a few of her thoughts about marketing, writing and blogging with you. You could follow Sharon on Facebook.

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