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Group Work

Dealing with Group Conflict

Conflicts are a natural part of life, both in our personal and professional lives. A moderate amount of conflict during a group project can lead to new ideas and boost creativity—but too often, conflict is allowed to escalate because group members don't know how to step in and de-escalate difficult situations.

In this section, we'll talk about issues and obstacles that happen during group projects that can lead to conflict. We'll also look at different approaches you and your group can take to resolve conflict before it becomes unmanageable.

This section covers:


  1. Don't attempt to resolve conflict when you're emotional, triggered, or upset.
  2. Don't treat your assumptions as true—you don't know what's happening in the other person's life.
  3. Don't accuse people or label them as 'being' a certain way—it will make others defensive.
  4. Don't believe you own 100% of the truth and ignore other's perspectives.
  5. Don't treat people how you feel (e.g., if you're angry, don't yell).
  6. Don't believe that you're great at resolving conflict unless you've studied it!


  1. Do set up a time when you can talk in a neutral, calm space.
  2. Do communicate your assumptions, beliefs, and perception of the experience.
  3. Do frame your language based on your own feelings and observations of the experience.
  4. Do listen and be curious—ask questions and seek to understand.
  5. Do remain in control of your behaviour and how you treat someone else.
  6. Do educate yourself about conflict management—start with this module and include things like taking a class, watching videos, reading books, etc.