No matter how strong an idea your startup has, proper execution from your team is what leads to success. However, one conflict between team members, if not handled properly, can bring down your entire startup. Most people react differently to conflict, but there are some behaviors that can lead to a conflict never being solved or leading to the demise of a business leading to wasted money and time. These behaviors are generally observed as a form of disengagement or avoidance which can be observed as excuses for not engaging or engaging poorly. These behaviors take several forms.

The first 5 behaviors deal with the conflict as it’s developing where a team member is oblivious to the conflicted situation or becomes entangled by accident after which they become angry and/or withdrawn:

  1. Doesn’t see conflict coming.
  2. Gets into conflicts by accident.
  3. Takes conflict personally.
  4. Allows conflicts to fester.
  5. Avoids conflict situations and people.

The last 4 behaviors are where a team member is engaged but they begin to show signs of serious weakness ranging from becoming upset, to failing in their role, to eventually just giving up to make the conflict go away.

  1. Gets upset when facing conflict.
  2. Can’t operate under conflict conditions.
  3. Accommodates by wanting everyone to just get along.
  4. Gives in too easily.

These behaviors are devastating to the unskilled team member but also their colleagues and the startup. Startups will aways have situations where team member are in conflict. It’s extremely important that everyone learn how to manage conflict. Recognizing there is a problem is a first step. Take time to educate everyone on how to manage conflict. Your startup’s success depends on it.

To learn more about Managing Conflict visit