Navigation The War Of Tech Egos

Does your business thrive on great, new ideas in tech? Do you have multiple heroes of networking, programming, system engineering, and security? Even if there is a clear ranking of the best talent in the company, the reality of innovation is that great ideas can come from anywhere--and that the proven innovators may be wrong from time to time. If your team's battles are born from professional passion and spill into personal pettiness, consider a few of these conflict resolution points to enhance progress while keeping those egos productively in check:

Is It Truly An Issue Of Right Or Wrong?

When professional disagreements happen, it's often because a rule or best practice is being created or broken. There are many times when a specific path is wrong, but there are also times when multiple right paths exist.

In some cases, someone needs to choose a single path for the sake of consistency. This is especially true when creating a new business process, such as a specific way to categorize users or a specific way to code a process. If the issue being argued over needs to be repeated by others, testing is necessary.

What if it's an argument about a single issue that might not be repeated? A new project, a theoretical technique, or brainstorming, in general, doesn't need to follow the lead of a specific mind unless no one else is contributing. If time isn't of the essence and you like all of the ideas, it's time to explore all paths.

This can be a challenge if resources are limited, but trying multiple paths can yield amazing, unplanned results and new ideas--even from the less successful ideas. Your best chance at using this technique is when the disagreement isn't at the shouting match level yet since you can take leadership from the dominant mindsets (which aren't necessarily the most skilled) and assign every idea as a task to try.

If the situation is already hostile, the competing thinkers may not work as hard on their opponent's ideas as they should. Why help a competitor, especially if they were wrong or mean? Make a single attempt at pushing for cooperation with all ideas, then split up the ideas into groups that aren't tied to the project.

Third-Party Productivity Resolution

If everyone at a table of more than two professionals has a hostile, opposing opinion, consider bringing in a third party to work on the idea. Don't choose a team that has a connection with the company, and don't allow any of your team members to meet up with the third-party experts beforehand. 

Each project can be assigned to people with the appropriate skills, and the results can be on display for all to see. Be sure to point out more than just the best results; figure out the small things that work with each technique, and catalog these features for later use. Show that while there may be a single "winner" if only one technique can be chosen, the other techniques are still necessary for future development.

Contact a business that can help you resolve business conflict to discuss other ways to bring skilled, competing professionals together when internal diplomacy fails.