With Teams, Clarify Each Person's Skills

Team members don't need to see eye-to-eye on every issue. But unhealthy conflict can arise when teams misunderstand each others' skills – for example, when a team member is overlooked for a role he thinks he is most qualified to do. Here are three ways to prevent this sort of disagreement:

Be aware of perceptions. Know that people will always hold varying opinions of each other's expertise. Being sensitive to this may help you avoid conflict.

Communicate your rationale: When assigning a task or asking someone's advice, be explicit about why: "I'm asking for your input because of your knowledge of X." Explaining your thinking may keep people from feeling slighted.

Encourage people to speak up: Tell people to ask questions when someone else gets an assignment they thought they were better suited for.

Source: Harvard Business Publishing : Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Manage Your Team's "Dissensus"" by Heidi K. Gardner.

Nick Kalikajaros 2019