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Learnings from Safety Professionals: Best Practices To Improve Team Engagement and Problem Solve Conflicts

Tamara Parris

During this months member discussion we had Expert Michael Toebe share his knowledge on best practices to improve our teams engagement, and insights to help problem solve conflicts that our teams might struggle with.

Michael discussed several key areas in depth which where:

  • - Key to Team Success
  • - Building Team Engagement: Reflective Questions
  • - Problem Solve Conflicts: Reflective Questions
  • - Recommended Best Practices
  • - Implementation

We began our group discussion looking at the various keys that have been identified to lead our teams to success.

Keys to Team Success

When speaking about the main sucesses for our teams, being mindful of culture and foundation, and thinking and behavior will go a long way toward growing a strong, healthy team.

These are foundational to having health engagement, the trust to manage;conflict, and motivation to drive the team towards success.

A leader that understands this usually holds great influence and can be more persuasive when necessary, which is less often.

Michael shares it is important to frequently and skillfully reflect if your teams are communicating.

Are they asking; questions, listening actively, gaining understanding, responding and problem solving, not just when there are major issues but when signs of problems are emerging.

It is key here to consider how receptive is the culture to that sort of protective, critical feedback.

The second portion of our open discussion focused on sharing our knowledge around team building and problem sovling conflicts. Michael shared the following ideas with our members during our session.

Building Team Engagement: Reflective Questions:

  • - How frequently and skillfully are team ideas being considered, ego regulated, and people working for the greater good, focusing on their specific vital, critical role?
  • - Is teams successes being celebrated on a regular basis?
  • - Are “wins” being acknowledged?
  • - Do team members see their unselfish attitude and good work producing team results --- and then being acknowledged for their role in that team success?

Problem Solve Conflicts: Reflective Questions

1.When conflicts arise, and they do at times, even on the best of teams, what are the problems?

  • - the vision
  • - improvement
  • - people not feeling heard or supported
  • - leadership ego

2. Are conflicts ignored, dismissed or are they engaged in, discussed thoroughly and respectfully, and then problem solved with proposals and counter proposals?

To conculde our dicussion, we looked at 5 pactice recommendations, and suggestions on how to implement what we had discussion above.

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Clear Objectives and Expectations: Set clear team objectives and expectations for engagement.
  2. Frequent Communication: Communicate often (talking, encouraging and expecting feedback from every voice, listening actively and with empathy and being receptive to learning) in ways felt as respectful by team members. Create an inclusive environment.
  3. Clear Vision and Goals: Focus on and clearly articulate the primary vision and subset visions, primary goals and subset goals. 
  4. Emotionally Intelligent Cultural: Create a culture standard of being emotionally intelligent.
  5. Conflict Management Strategy: Have a defined, practiced and applied strategy for conflict management that includes a healthy attitude, actively listen and use a proposal, or counter proposal, after clear diagnosis of the right problem to be solved.


  • Create strategy with a person with conflict management skills as an effective and proactive advantage.
  • Communicate with your team the strategy, and “why's” behind your decision.
  • Communicate the payoff for the team and the resulting individual benefits; (tangible and intangible).
  • Be secure enough to be reflective of the conflict.
  • Be courageous enough to talk about it. Learn from evaluated experiences.
  • Ask for feedback, encourage and support it on potential critical problems, and listen well and respectfully to learn of possible flaws, oversights or alternative views.
  • Seek details and concise feedback about any possible impediments to implementation, and simultaneously ask them for 1 or 2 concise solutions.

We hope you join us for our next monthly member live discussion. Please keep an eye on the Events area for our next member event, and please share out your own events with our community.

Click here to view the recording of our members open discussion with Michael Toebe; Best Practices to Improve Team Engagement, and Problem Solve Conflicts

June 28, 2017 @ 04:28 PM EDT

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