How to avoid git conflicts when working with a team?

A new team member started working on the same project as me the last week.
After checking their first commit, I noticed they mixed refactoring with eclipse auto-formatting. What made this an even worse  transgression was that they have a custom maximum character width defined in their editor.  I am not against aggressively formatting or refactoring code Рexcept when it is related to critical production code.

GIT diff unfortunately cannot handle these kinds of source refactoring changes and lists the whole file as changed. See: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/21897386/git-diff-ignore-all-linefeeds-between-revisions

After reading I came across the following gem on stackoverflow (How to avoid git conflicts when working with a team? from User Christopher) which I quote/steal from.

Ask your team three questions:

  1. Do we enforce whitespace conventions?automatically finalize parameters.
  2. Do we generate textual build artifacts? For example, do we minify js, generate css rules from .sass or .scss files, or build xml configurations on the fly? Do we check them in?[…]

These three things cause the vast majority of our collective conflict pain:

Versioning Pain

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