“Thick air”: Insights from the workshop conflict management

Conflict is human

An agile corporate culture aims for harmonious teams — an ideal state that does not come about by itself, but usually requires intensive, continuous work on human relationships and communication in the team.

Conflicts as an opportunity for improvement

It is therefore important that Scrum Masters, in their moderator and mediator role, recognize, analyze and tackle conflicts early on. It is not about avoiding conflict at any price! Conflicts can also be valuable because they make existing problems aware and create pressure to change. Undetected and untreated, however, they disrupt collaboration, tie up energy and thus impair team performance.

Toolbox conflict management

At the same time, Scrum Masters have to manage the balancing act between neutrality and participation — with an analytical view, a large toolbox of suitable methods, and their sovereign selection and application. The management of team conflicts is therefore part of the champions league of moderation.

  • Know and recognize conflict types, triggers, and escalation levels
  • Giving & receiving feedback (enabling an open feedback culture)
  • Moderation and mediation techniques
  • Active listening and conversational skills
The content structure of our workshop “Conflict Management”
“One word expectations” of the participants at the beginning of the workshop
“Knowledge market” on feedback culture and conflict moderation

Excerpt of the trained methods

  • “Scale question” (self-reflection of the Scrum Master)
  • “I appreciate you, I wish…” (supports constructive and goal-oriented feedback)
  • “Recognize levels of conflict” (supports early diagnosis and prepares conflict moderation)
  • “Spot the Elephant” (identifying and naming unspoken, serious problems, e.g. in retrospectives)
  • “Tuckman Cycle” (status overview of team collaboration, e.g. in retrospectives or when teams are recomposed)
  • “Strengths test” (identifying and building on the strengths of individuals and teams, e.g. in retrospectives or before the team is formed)
  • “Team resource profile” (clarification of roles and early detection of conflicts, e.g. in retrospectives or when reassembling a team)
    A systemic approach to the analysis of individual and team situations



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