Five Ideas… Sherry Iqbal’s tips for dealing with team conflict

Tuesday 28-07-2015 - 13:20

To coincide with the start of our new Lead and Change training courses, we’ve turned to well-versed friends from the movement who have all offered some of their top tips for being an officer.

With the second of our two Lead and Change: Presidents courses taking place next week, here are five ideas for dealing with team conflict put forward by Sherry Iqbal, former President of Middlesbrough College Students’ Union.

1. Approach conflict positively

Acknowledge there is a tension around a disagreement as soon as possible. Make sure you are specific about defining your positions and the impact the conflict has caused so far. This will help to depersonalise the situation and rally everyone towards resolving it as quickly as possible.

2. Agree to a cooperative process

Fix your attention on the objectives you share. This often means putting a team or group objective above your own ideas and opinions, at least in the short term. You may need to be aware that if someone else wants to win more than he or she wants to resolve the conflict, you may find yourself at a stalemate.

3. Agree to communicate

The most important thing throughout the resolution process is for everyone to keep communications open. The people involved need to talk about the issue and discuss their strong feelings. If necessary ask someone to mediate a conversation between you.

4. Focus on solutions

Listening to others with the intention of understanding their position better will help to find workable solutions.

5. Admit your own failings

Nobody’s a superhero. How could you have understood their position better? What false assumptions did you make? How could you have behaved in a more helpful way? Did you stay calm, own your emotions and recognise their consequence on others? Did you recognise the validity of others’ experiences or disregard them as different to your own? There are always lessons to be learned.

Are you attending a Lead and Change course this summer? Get networking across social media using the official hashtag, #NUSLeadChange


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