Handling Stress and Conflict

If your meetings are dealing with important issues, then it would be unusual if some of those issues do not on occasion create some degree of stress or conflict within your meeting.
Stress and conflict are natural within meetings – the challenge is to ensure that they are addressed productively and to avoid any negative fall-out.

Stress and conflict can arise for a number of reasons. It could be:
  • Because the group has lost alignment on what they are trying to achieve (misaligned objectives): perhaps because they want different things, or because politics are at play, or because the objective is being foisted upon them but they have no ownership for it
  • Because there is confusion in the group. This might be as a result of issues in communication, or because people have made different assumptions, or because roles and responsibilities are not clear
  • Or because of issues in trust. Lack of trust can arise simply because people adopt different (unexpected) approaches which other people lack confidence in, or because they lack confidence in the ability (credibility) of the individual(s) concerned, or because they do not trust their motives.
Clearly, these are quite different reasons, and require different strategies to address them. Therefore, if we are to be effective in resolving stress and conflict we must begin by understanding its source – is it because of misaligned objectives, confusion or lack of trust, and what appears to have brought this about?
Once the source of the conflict has been identified, the next step is to do what we can to resolve it: agree the objective; resolve the confusion; or provide required levels of confidence in the people or approach.
However, being realistic, these things are not always possible (at least in the short term) and while we endeavour to fix things properly, we may need to effect a temporary strategy of minimising the impact of the conflict. This might be by directing a new temporary objective, or asserting control over the confusion, or bringing confidence through options to limit the potential damage if things go wrong.
There are a number of tools which can help you to do this, and you might consider using one or more of the following:
  • Parking lot
  • Group discussion
  • Syndicates
  • Refer to the objective
  • Tackle it outside
  • ….

Please subscribe to access clinic content

Subscription to the Inspirometer Information Service is free of charge and grants you instant access to a wealth of meeting effectiveness resources and guidance. It also provides you with regular updates direct to your mailbox at a frequency of your choosing.

I am happy to consent to the Inspirometer cookies and Terms and Conditions

Your use of the Inspirometer Information Service is subject to the following terms and conditions, and is subject to our privacy policy which can be reviewed here: https://inspirometer.com/privacy-policy

■ We will not use your information for any other purpose than to keep you informed of developments in meeting effectiveness and the Inspirometer system, and we will not share your information with others.
■ You are able to unsubscribe from this service at any time. Each email you receive from us will contain a link where you can reset your preferences for all future emails, or unsubscribe for the service entirely.
■ We will contact you on a minimum of a quarterly basis to ensure that our service is continuing to meet your needs, to give you a general update on key developments in our service, and to provide you with the option to change your contact preferences
■ We will hold your data on file to enable your access to the Information Service until such time as you unsubscribe from the service
■ If we hold your data outside of the information service as a result of you contacting us by email or purchasing our service, we will hold your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy (https://inspirometer.com/privacy-policy). We will delete such data, in situations where we are not legally required to retain it, on receipt of a verified request from you
■ All information provided by us is provided in good faith. All information submitted by you is to be provided in good faith.
■ In compliance with the GDPR 2018, you acknowledge that clicking the subscribe button grants us your consent to hold the data you have provided, and to contact you using that data, in the manner described above.
By clicking the button below, I agree with the Terms & Conditions.
Track your progress to ensure the efficacy of this strategy.