Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.
Celebrating 25 years in business! CPD Member - The CPD Certification Service ilm Recognised Provider

Dealing With Conflicts of Interest Within a Team

Dealing With Conflicts of Interest Within a Team

What is the best method for dealing with conflicts of interest within a team?

All organisations exist to achieve their Ultimate Aims.

All organisations consist of subordinate teams, which should work together in a spirit of mutual cooperation to achieve the Ultimate Aim.

Conflicts between subordinate teams are dangerous, because organisations that suffer from internal "civil wars" are highly susceptible to failure.

So, it is important that "conflicts of interests" between warring factions, are resolved quickly.

Ultimately, there can be NO true "conflicts of interests" between subordinate teams, because they are all trying to achieve the same Ultimate Aim.

When there appears to be a conflict of interests, it is resolvable by judging the warring teams "conflicting interests" against the standard of the Ultimate Aim, and we find that one is more valuable (to the Ultimate Aim) than the other.

The general principle is:

If we have to choose between two or more competing interests: We always sacrifice the lesser values for higher ones, ie Whichever of the competing options adds most value to the Ultimate Aim, wins.

Who should make the decision?

The decision is made by the one who is paid to make important decisions, ie The senior person in the room should make the decision.

Decisions are not always binary.

There are many situations where a compromise between competing views is possible.

In that case, we don't need to choose between A and B.

Instead, we use this image to help us decide what to do:

  • One circle is: What Team A wants.
  • Second circle is: What Team B wants.
  • Third circle is: What is logically possible.

Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People : Dealing With Conflicts of Interest Within a Team

The solution to the conflict is to be found in the intersection between the three sets. We are looking for the set of "logically possible conditions" that satisfy the needs of both A Team and B Team.

Please note that this set of conditions is small, when compared to the size of the whole shape. Which means it is often difficult to see. And it may not even exist!

If we get everyone into the same room and we draw the three-circle diagram onto the board and ask all concerned to write down their needs, and their ideas on how we might achieve them, then a "practical compromise solution" may soon be found, by mutual agreement.

If a "mutually agreed compromise solution" cannot be found, then a solution is imposed by the Decision Maker, who uses the organisations Ultimate Aim as the standard, against which to judge the competing claims.

Conflict Management Training

To learn more about handling conflict, please join us on our Conflict Management Training Course.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Further Reading in Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People

  • Is the Karpman Drama Triangle Good for Resolving Conflicts?
    The Karpman Drama Triangle represents a commonly used method to resolve conflicts, but is flawed and ineffective. This blog explains what should be used instead to resolve conflict.
    Read Article >
  • De-escalation Skills
    De-escalation of a difficult situation is vital, in order to avoid it becoming a crisis or conflict. Take a look at these de-escalation techniques you should master that will allow you to take control of a situation and defuse a potential conflict.
    Read Article >
  • How to deal with a smelly person at work
    If you have the task of telling a colleague that they smell, these are the steps you need to take.
    Read Article >
  • How to deal with a bully at work
    Do you have a problem with a bully at work? Would you like to have the confidence to fight back? Follow these six simple steps to take control of the situation and defeat the bully.
    Read Article >
  • How to Handle Conflict Situations
    It is important that managers are able to handle conflict in an assertive, yet positive and professional manner. In order to do that they need to know the principles governing rational conflict management skills.
    Read Article >

Looking for Conflict Management Training?

If you're looking to develop your Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People Skills, you may find this Conflict Management Training Course beneficial:

Open Training Course Pricing and Availability

9 October
Online - Teams
£475 +VAT
9 October
Birmingham M6 J7
£475 +VAT
Course Full
16 October
London - Central
£475 +VAT
25 October
Manchester City
£475 +VAT
More dates and locations available
Save £50 on this course

Next Open Course Starts in 9 days, Online - Teams, places available Book Now >