Conflict during a meeting can help provoke new ideas and thoughts, but it can also be disruptive. Anne Thornley-Brown, an event planning blogger on Cvent.com, has some ideas to take the heat out of confrontations.
First, take a time out to refocus on the original issue. Allow time to identify concerns and consider the desired outcome and solutions, perhaps by writing ideas down.
Agree on some basic rules of civility before a battle breaks out.
Give everyone a chance to air their views and, once they have been heard, let the ideas be discussed. If possible, get the group to agree on the basic facts and identify answers that everyone can get behind. If there is still a disagreement in some spots, consider forming a subgroup and have it come back later with some suggested solutions.
And remember, if things really start to get out of hand, refer to Robert’s Rules of Order until the storm settles.
Most of the time, conflict resolution means compromise. Try to get a consensus and avoid calling for a vote unless there is no other option.