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How to Deal with Conflicts During Meetings

How to Deal with Conflicts During Meetings

Implement a clear agenda, use a talking stick, and enforce a three-minute rule to ensure respectful, uninterrupted communication and minimize off-topic conflicts.

Preempting Conflicts in a Structured Meeting

Conflict prevention during meetings requires the establishment of a framework to ensure clarity and fairness. In particular, a well-set agenda cannot solely help the participants keep matters focused and benefit from better preparedness but also control expectations and mitigate sources of potential conflicts. Other approaches to consider include assigning all the participants’ roles, establishing and upholding ground rules, using technology to streamline decision-making process, and implementing regular training on conflict resolution and effective communication.

Assigning Roles

Designate the meeting leader as a facilitator and assign roles such as a timekeeper, who would prevent any one matter from consuming the entire discussion’s duration, and a note-taker. A study has reported 25% fewer interruptions in the meetings taking advantage of assigned roles .

Establishing and Upholding Ground Rules

Create and enforce the rules of discussion for the meeting, such as no interruptions, no rejectable ideas, and fixed durations for matters of discussion . In the case of corporate meetings, ninety percent of the organizations utilizing this approach have reported a meaningful decrease in rates of conflict.

Using Technology

Employ technology to streamline decision-making, be it through real-time polling or utilizing shared digital workspaces . The information presented in the source suggests a decrease in sources of conflict and resulting misunderstandings and a thirty-percent decrease in incidences of conflict.


Train the participants on how to resolve conflicts and listen to others. A study suggests a forty-percent decrease in occurrences of conflicts.

Recognize and Separate Conflicting Personalities

Organising Smart Meetings requires a structured approach and an understanding of the interpersonal situation. It is important to identify and manage conflicting personalities early in the meeting as delay absorbing the potential clash of personalities may be pointed out. This technique can reduce the risk of conflict by up to 35%. The following are conflict situations and how to manage them:

Early identification of conflict prone personalities

Observing interaction patterns in previous meetings to detect potential personality clashes.

Mitigation of direct clashes

Since the potential clash has been identified, use preventative strategy of planning the seating arrangement of the board meeting such that a neutral party or parties will be between the meeting participants likely to clash . The rates of incidents for meetings planned this way show an improvement of over 20%.

Pre-meeting briefings

Hold a pre-meeting briefing with an individual to explain the agenda: Interlink, and emphasise the way in which; the important things can be communicated intelligibly. These led to the decline in the incidence rate of conflicts by 30%.


Nominate a neutral person if a meeting has a strong personality. This individual can intervene when things start to get heated; and adapt the conversation to a better path . This intervention technique can cause a 40% improvement in meeting performance.

Remain Calm and Professional

Cool-headedness in the heat of a meeting is paramount. Not only may a cool and composed demeanor defuse a potentially explosive conflict, but it may very well set the right example for others in the room.

Emotional Control Techniques

Using emotional control techniques, such as deep breathing and pausing before answering, may reduce the intensity of conflict. Studies show a 50% reduction in stress and agitation signs in people who apply these techniques to their conflict participation.

Structured Response

Develop a structured response to use in a heated argument. For example, this may go as far as acknowledging the other person’s point, clarifying your own position, and suggesting a way out. Companies that implemented this measure to reduce meeting disturbances reported a 40% reduction in interruptions.

Training Sessions on Professional Communication

Meet for regular training sessions on professional communication: both tone and language, and non-verbal communication. Teams that implement these training sessions into their routine practice show a 60% increase in professionalism during conflict.


You can practice conflict situations in role-playing. Data from a corporate training program show that role-play scenario participation may increase interaction performance by up to 70%.

Embrace Differing Opinions Respectfully

In a collaborative environment, it is often necessary to respect and embrace differing opinions. In addition to fostering a culture of innovation and mutual respect, such an approach will assist in reducing conflicts and improving group dynamics in meetings. These approaches are encouraged and taught throughout all stages of the MBA program so that students can apply them while training and in their professional roles.

Active Listening Skills

First, it is essential to develop and promote active listening skills. A study in teamwork shows that teams trained in active listening techniques are 30% more likely to avoid and solve conflicts . Practicing active supervision involves listening to the speaker without interruption, nodding, and summarizing or paraphrasing the opinion to confirm understanding.

Safety to Speak Out Opinion

Next, it is essential to make people feel safe to express their opinion. A concrete example could be a rule where each idea must be accepted for at least a minute, and only after that, the right to evaluate it or offer an alternative will arise. The use of the tools increased the diversity of ideas by 45% once applied within organizations . Another useful practice is a round-robin feedback sharing mechanism or feedback forms. These approaches ensure that all opinions are deemed important and valuable equally and found to make participants 50% more satisfied . One final useful mechanism for training purposes may involve highlighting and celebrating diverse opinions’ benefits and roles.

These approaches are overall encouraged because the evidence from business analysis states that diverse teams are more likely to capture new markets by 70% .

Strategies for Post-Meeting Conflict Management

Any meeting, including the ones held for conflict resolution, is not the end of the process, meaning that some type of follow up must be implemented. Follow ups also have to be strategic, being designed to guarantee that any problems that have not been properly resolved during the meeting do not have any lasting impact on parties’ subsequent interactions.

Timely Follow Up Discussions

Follow up discussions, during which properly trained managers once again seek to address the actual sources of the conflict, have to be scheduled as soon as possible – in fact, inclusive studies indicate that if problems are properly addressed within 48 hours, it will eliminate any chance of their escalation by 50%-60% .

Mediation Techniques

If, during the follow up discussion, the conflict is still not resolved, one should consider involving some type of a neutral third party, a mediator, who would use tested techniques to try and make sure that conflicting parties once again understand each other and come to some type of a mutual agreement. Such technique, for example, has been found to improve resolution success rate by 75%-80% in organizational settings .

Documentation and Learning from Experience

It will also be beneficial to keep records of all conflicts and subsequent resolution attempts, so that they can be reviewed from time to time, allowing to identify patterns. Organizations that have implemented this follow up strategy have reported a 50% reduction in repeated conflicts .

Positive Results Reinforcement

Finally, immediately after a successful conflict resolution, conduct a meeting or at least make a call, during which the outcome of the process and the lessons learned would be discussed. The idea is to let everyone learn from the experience and to make sure that the participants experience once again the positive impact of properly dealing with a dispute. In fact, companies that have implemented this follow up strategy have reported a 40% increase in team morale .

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