How to Preempt Team Conflict
HBR, June 2016, p79
By Ginka Toegel and Jean-Louis Barsoux
This is one of the few articles I have seen in HBR that does not assume that the reader has an advanced form of mind or is at a later stage of leadership development. The article is well written and covers all of the relevant material, what to do and what to watch out for. It lays out the information is a way that should be accessible to almost everyone.
Differences between people on a team are inevitable and addressing them at the beginning of the project or when there is a change to the operating environment, such as a new manager, will go a long way toward preventing difficult conflicts later. The article focuses on five sets of broad differences between team members; how people look, act, think, speak, and feel. Each set of differences gets its own conversation and several sample questions are given for each topic so that the team leader can facilitate the discussion.