To manage conflict among team members effectively, the Alexander Hamilton Institute has these tips for leaders:

  • Ask those who disagree to paraphrase one another's comments.  This may help them learn if they really understand one another.
  • Work out a compromise.  Agree on the underlying source of conflict, then engage in give-and-take and finally agree on a solution.
  • Ask each member to list what the other side should do.  Exchange lists, select a compromise all are willing to accept, and test the compromise to see if it meshes with team goals.
  • Have the sides each write 10 questions for their opponents.  This will allow them to signal their major concerns about the other side's position.  And the answers may lead to a compromise.
  • Convince team members they sometimes may have to admit they're wrong.  Help them save face by convincing them that changing a position may well show strength.
  • Respect the experts on the team.  Give their opinions more weight when the conflict involves their expertise, but don't rule out conflicting opinions.
source: Making Teams Succeed at Work