International Project Management Day




Project Leader's Role in Managing Conflict


Quick Summary
Screenshot This guideline provides a rich overview of the Project Leader's role in managing conflict during a project, a framework for addressing any conflict constructively, specific techniques for handling different kinds of conflict, and pointers to additional resources for handling each type.


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What this is

This guideline provides a rich overview of the Project Leader's role in managing conflict during a project, a framework for addressing any conflict constructively, specific techniques for handling different kinds of conflict, and pointers to additional resources for handling each type.


Why it's useful

Conflict is one of those areas where our leadership skills show — or don't. Every project has conflicts — among people, over hard decisions, over priorities... The key is how artfully and proactively we handle all that conflict — and also how we even encourage constructive conflict at the right times.

If you find project conflict uncomfortable, this guideline will cast the subject in a new and much less dread-ful light. And even if conflict is something you don't particularly dread, these tips will make clear all the things you can do (including very early in the project) to master, and masterfully handle, different types of project conflict.


How to use it

  1. Your conflict situation: First, even before reading the guideline, take a mental step back and think about what types of conflict tend to happen on your projects, or focus on a specific current and important project.
    1. Are there personality conflicts, where people aggravate each other just due to differences in their personal styles of work or communication?
    2. Clashes over approaches to the project including the specific solution?
    3. Disagreements over priorities?
    4. Tenseness due to tough deadlines or problems that arise?
  2. Role of a project leader: Read the guideline for its discussion of the overall role of a project leader with regard to conflict, early in the project and throughout.
  3. Different types of project conflict: Read the sections for each type of project conflict. What techniques resonate as something that could help your team — especially in your most critical areas of conflict?
  4. Additional resources: For the conflict types that seem most prevalent and/or destructive on your project(s), note the deeper dive resources mentioned in each section; you may want to check these out for further tips and techniques.

This template requires a Premium Subscription
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Related Resources

See our blog posts on Conflict.

See our templates and guidelines for different aspects of conflict and issue management.




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