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How to Defuse Turf Wars During Decision Making

Here’s a quick tip for defusing “turf wars” and “power struggles”!

When 2 managers or teams are arguing over the right solution for a decision & advocating for their idea, it’s often labelled as a turf war. Just labelling it as turf war is damaging, as we then question the motives of the other and encourages us to develop “them and us” thinking

If you’re a manager in the middle it’s stressful, an energy drain and holds back progress. Whichever solution you go for it will be perceived as a Win/Lose

So what you can do to move things forward?
1: Bring everyone together, invite them to take a step back
2: First make sure they know the difference between their proposed solution & their actual needs. E.g. the solution is “we need to be in control of resource allocation & setting deadlines” the need is “we’re worried that the other team are focused on a different goal and will let us down”
3: Ask everyone to answer these questions “What are my needs in this situation?” & “What do I think your needs are?”.
4: Once everyone has expressed their needs & fully understood the context of the other group, go through a participative process of generating alternative solutions that address a broader range of needs (while not compromising quality)
What tips ad strategies do you have for defusing and preventing turf wars during decision making?

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