How To Resolve Team Conflict Using StrengthsFinder®

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StrengthsFinder®, also known as CliftonStrengths®, is an online assessment that identifies a person’s top 5 innate strengths. Once everyone on your team knows their strengths, all of your team members can orient their work toward using their strengths more frequently and partnering with other team members to compensate for areas of weakness.

Team conflict can arise when a team member’s natural approach clashes with other team members’ natural approaches while working together on a project. Team conflict is also likely when team members are continually asked to take on projects in their areas of non-strength.

Below are examples of situations in which team conflict could arise.

Potential Conflict When Starting A Project
A team member with the StrengthsFinder® strength of Activator® would want to get the project started now. A team member with the strength of Intellection would want to mull it over for a day or two. A team member with the strength of Deliberative® would want to work through all the possible downsides before proceeding.

Potential Conflict When Reaching Out To Another Department
Team members who have only Executing and Strategic Thinking strengths would rather not reach out to colleagues in another department. Team members who have primarily Influencing strengths would prefer to set up a meet-and-greet right away. And team members with Relationship Building strengths would choose to reach out organically, getting to know the new people over time.

Potential Conflict When Deciding About Hiring A New Vendor
One team member who is a Maximizer® would want to hire the best vendor. A team member who is Analytical® would want to compare five or more bids. And a team member who has the strength of Consistency® would want to make sure that the new vendor is compliant with all rules and regulations.

How To Reduce Team Conflict In All Situations
To significantly reduce team conflict, you can begin with team building that emphasizes a culture that appreciates strengths and diversity. All strengths have intrinsic value, and none of the 34 StrengthsFinder® strengths is better than another. Yet, people tend to think some strengths are better than others. As a team, by noticing and talking openly about your biases, you can laugh and let them go.

Once team members know the top StrengthsFinder® strengths of everyone on their team, it becomes easier to resolve team conflict. Team members can begin to become aware of which of their own strengths and which of their teammates’ strengths frustrate them in certain situations. For example, it’s not a good idea to ask an Activator® to sit through two-hour team meetings, or to ask an Intellection® or Deliberative® person to make an immediate decision.

As all of your team members become more aware of each others’ strengths, you can begin to redistribute tasks and projects with people’s strengths in mind.

To help you reduce team conflict, we offer customized StrengthsFinder® coaching and training for individuals, teams, and leaders. We also provide remote StrengthsFinder® trainings for managers, leaders, and human resources professionals.

For more information about resolving team conflict, call Ann Strong at (720) 312-8737, or e-mail

Ann Strong has more than 25 years training and coaching experience and 20 years experience in StrengthsFinder®. She works in Denver, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico and with clients throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Check out these resources for team building with StrengthsFinder®:
Team Building For Remote Teams: How To Use StrengthsFinder®
How To Build A Team Around Strengths
What Are The Top Strengths That Make A Good Team
What To Do If Your Team Is Missing Strengths
What To Do If Your Team Doesn’t Want To Take StrengthsFinder®
How To Use StrengthsFinder® To Assign Projects And Roles
How To Use StrengthsFinder® For Pre-Employment Screening
How To Onboard New Team Members Using StrengthsFinder®
Why Hire A StrengthsFinder® Trainer For Team Building
StrengthsFinder®: Train The Trainer

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths®, StrengthsFinder® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths® are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.