Updated: May 15
A team’s productivity and temperament can drastically be affected by the way team conflict is dealt with. Misinterpretations can easily lead to emotional escalations especially in a distributed environment where body language and tone are not always clear.
A cooling-off period can be established in the working agreement for tense situations, allowing any member to initiate a period requiring all involved parties to temporarily drop the issue and regain their composure.
The rules of this cooling-off period include the continuation of research on this topic. Once the team is ready to discuss it again, members can prepare to have a civil conversation with research to back up their position. This technique allows members to escape a tense situation with the understanding that the topic will be discussed when everyone is more level-headed and can respectfully come to an agreement.