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Dealing with Difficult Team moments























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Dealing with Difficult Discussions

Articles & Posts by Bill Cropper, Director - The Change Forum

including extracts from The Change Forum's Conversational Coaching E-NEWS


  Dealing with Difficult Team Moments…

We all know every team has friction. You have people who ‘cross lines’, think rules only apply to everyone else in your team and never them, who don’t do what they promised, disagree over priorities or behave in ways that upset the rest of us. And confrontation becomes necessary.

Of the 10 Dimensions in our Team Functionality Survey I use to help teams like yours identify strengtheners and drainers, one of the most prolific repeat themes that keeps coming up is how well or not we handle difficult team moments (DTMs).

I’ve always believed it’s how teams deal with DTMs that makes all the difference. Of course, we both know that many teams love to dismiss conflict and dysfunctional behaviour as a ‘personality clash’ – as if it’s inevitable, unavoidable and irresolvable.

For me, admitting we have differences to resolve is the first step in coping constructively with them. The second step is mastering the emotional self-control and conversational courage to navigate those DTM’s in a balanced way that doesn’t leave us feeling as if we’ve just been put through the wash on a rapid-spin cycle.

In dysfunctional teams, where difficult discussions get handled poorly, feuds fester and bitterness lingers. A repeated complaint you hear is how the behaviour of a few spoil it for the rest of us when strong personalities clash.  

Dominating team-mates who are always at each other, can pull down the performance, focus and morale of the whole team. We can’t seem to bring things out in the open and sort them. People are quick to point the finger, blame, judge and talk-behind backs rather than discuss their issues with the people that concern them openly and frankly.

I hope it’s not like that in your team but I suspect we all have a bit of this now and again. For more about what trips up teams from time to time see my Article on 12 Team Trip Ups.

Of course some of us pretend we all get along and have no issues. Ostrich-like, there’s times we’ve all put our head in the sand and said things are fine. Or we’ve entertained a splendid but futile "hope it goes away" mentality, or put up a fake façade of harmony that deters us from having the constructive confrontations you need to have to sort things out and get your team back on a functional footing.

Blame, belittling, recrimination, reprisals, accusations and other toxic behaviours over time create stress-pits that drain your resilience, positivity and performance.

Gee but let’s not get carried away with the negatives! Isn’t it so great to also witness good teams be able to confront hard issues, give difficult feedback and still retain strong relationships!

...That’s what our Dealing with Difficult Discussions program is aimed at doing – helping you with the 3 R’s – Resolving the issue, Restoring Relationships and Reconciling differences.   Why not join me at one of our next Difficult Discussions clinics coming up near you...


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Articles copyright © Bill Cropper - The Change Forum 2003-18








More Articles and tips on the subject of difficult discussions in our Conversational Coaching E-NEWS


  for future News & Views, Topix and Tips

Contact Us to enquire about having a Dealing with Difficult Discussions clinic run in-house for your leader group or team.


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Dealing with Difficult Discussions

Our well-tested and well-regarded 2-day conversational coaching master class Dealing with Difficult Discussions is designed to help anyone wanting to become more adept and comfortable with handling themselves in challenging and confronting conversational situations.

Read more on-line or see the course Brochure and check our public program calendar for dates and locations coming up near you.

Frequently run in-house for leader groups and teams, why not arrange an in-house program for your team and practise using the tools together  to improve your team talk.

See Brochure for course outline

Read on-line Summary for locations & dates


Register On-line...

Discounts available

Call to enquire 07-4068 7591


Read FactFiles-8 & 15 on Difficult Conversations

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