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MLP 064: How To Deal With Conflict In A Team Meeting

Sometimes a healthy back-and-forth turns into the kind of bickering that is a distraction. When this happens, an effective meeting leader knows how to step in and get everyone back on course. 

In episode 64 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast, we talk about ways you can deal with conflict without losing that necessary edge. The goal is to establish a meeting environment where constructive disagreement is encouraged, but only within useful limits.

We’ll cover 3 suggestions for actions you can take to resolve conflict in meetings, and a link to our podcast on the 9 questions you should ask about the people in your meeting room.

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

00:00 – Show Opening

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach, with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership podcast with Gordon Sheppard.

00:27 – Start Here – Podcast content starts here!

Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard and I just want to say thank you so much for choosing this show for a couple reasons. One, you’re coming here to find another leadership skill that you can put in your tool belt and two, you’re also looking for strategies that you can use to go into your next meeting to make it significantly more productive and you’re trusting this show to do that. I really appreciate that you’re spending the time here today. 

00:54 – Conflicts are often necessary for progress

Today we’re going to get into a really important topic that every facilitator has to figure out because today we’re going to talk about how to deal with conflict in a team meeting because the reality is that passionate disagreements are often necessary to make progress during a meeting. But if they turn into a real fight, then I want to make these three suggestions to help you get things under control.

01:17 – Suggestion #1 – Enforce a rule that only one person speaks at a time

Number one, if people start to argue thing, then get them to be quiet and then say from now on, only one person speaks at a time. This will create an immediate air of trust, and once you get this done.

01:31 – Suggestion #2 – Reassure everyone that arguments will focus on issues, not personalities

Then you can move on to number two and that’s the moment when you’re going to reassure everybody that the argument will be focused on the issue and not on the personalities. That is the moment when you really need to kick into your top gear as a facilitator because if anything gets personal from that point on, you just got to put a stop to it right away and allow people to trust that they’re going to deal with the issue itself. 

01:54 – Suggestion #3 – Let the silence do the talking

Finally, we move on to number three and that is to let the silence do the heavy lifting. Can you feel your skin kind of crawl when there’s that pause there? This is a concept that I take from Fierce Conversations. It’s a brilliant book by Susan Scott. A must read, I can’t recommend it enough. Please practice this at home. If you can get that physiological understanding to be comfortable with silence, the silence can say more than a zillion words in the right moment. Can you imagine what’s going to happen after you master these facilitation techniques? Not only will your confidence grow, but your team will feel a new air of trust, a place where they can really truly express themselves. 

02:47 – Recap of suggestions

You can get back to where we started at the beginning, where passionate disagreements are welcomed and fighting is not. Now let me take a moment to recap the three ground rules that you can use to deal with conflict in a team meeting. Number one, one person speaks. Number two, make it about the issue and not about the person.Number three, let the silence do the heavy lifting.

03:05 – 9 People Questions To Answer Before You Book A Meeting Room –https://meetingleadershipinc.com/59

 If you really want to be proactive as a meeting leader because you think there might be a conflict coming up in your next meeting, then check out episode 59 on the Meeting Leadership podcast. It’s called nine people questions to answer before you book a meeting room. You’ll find that episode at meetingleadershipinc.com/59

03:26 – Meeting Leadership Academy –https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy

I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now if you want to grow your leadership skills, if you want to learn how to run highly productive meetings as you do this, then visit meetingleadershipinc.com/Academy to learn more. As always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership podcast.

03:50 – Podcast Outro

Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader. Don’t forget to write and review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow. Right here on the Meeting Leadership podcast.

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Connect With Gordon Sheppard

• LinkedIn – http://linkedin.com/in/gordonsheppard

• Twitter – @gordonsheppard1

Gordon Sheppard

Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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