Resolving disputes is a critical part of being a leader.

Passionate, motivated people will fight – it comes with the territory. They take ownership seriously and seek to bring about conditions where they and hopefully everyone else can succeed. When titans fight and are unable to resolve their differences, wise leaders step in, facilitate a discussion and find resolution.

Let’s not be too simple minded when it comes to stepping in. This is a specialized skill set.


To be a great facilitator, you need:

Active listening skills

A place to discuss the matter in private – possibly over lunch or not during normal business hours. A place free from digital and job-related distractions

To have the best interest of the team and the customer at heart, always

To be impartial – taking sides or the perception of will undermine the process

To be able to think on your feet when suggesting possible solutions

The fortitude and authority to enforce any agreed-upon solution.

A person of the opposite sex you can trust – it is never recommended to have one on one meetings with someone of the opposite sex. Wise leaders understand and live by this

Have a ton of emotional intelligence. People will not be satisfied unless they feel they have been heard, understood and validated – their point of view matters.

Separate a person’s raw emotions from the facts. Their feelings may be justified. Their actions, not so much.

Know the policies, procedures, and culture. Operate consistently within them.

Ability to keep long term perspective on what is best for the person, the team and the company as well as which takes the highest priority,

Be able to keep your emotions in check, shrug off personal attacks or pressure to make a hasty decision.

Be aware of bias from any previous encounters and prevent it from having an effect.


Do not be afraid to ask for help from a seasoned professional. Your team’s future depends on disputes being resolved rather than swept under the rug.

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