Conflict Resolution BY Drearn2212 Although individuals working in a team may share differences of opinion and ideas, anticipated or unanticipated problems can be resolved through conflict resolution. According to Austin E. Grigg (2004), “conflict, in theories of personality, is usually considered a state of discomfort or stress caused by an individual’s experiencing two or more desires or needs that are incompatible” (‘1 1). Conflict, while uncomfortable and unavoidable, can bring positive results in a team environment.
Often times the best result come from a conflict where individuals are able to voice their opinions nd make an argument on what direction they would like to see a learning team go.
This allows individuals to give their information and take in another’s information. Based on a group decision, all materials are deciphered and the best chosen for a group. “Constructive group conflict has many positive outcomes. Issues and people are better understood through an open exchange. The quality of decision making improves as opposing viewpoints and concerns are discussed.
Expressing differences constructively can make a group discussion more interesting and promote participation. ” (documentation learning kit) People in a learning group need to nderstand that arguing statements do not necessarily mean negative conflict. If you have a group that is willing to work as a team, then naturally all person’s involved will want the best possible solution to a problem. There is always the case though of intent by an individual to sabbotage a project or integrity of the learning team.
This can cause misunderstanding and mistrust to the learning group and disrupt efforts to complete tasks undertaken.
Therefore, there are tools that can be used within the group to help resolve this type of conflict. Communication is an extremely valuable tool we all use on a daily basis. Whether it’s reading, writing, listening, or speaking; without communication we wouldn’t be able to get by. This is why communication is so important, more so when it comes to working in teams. We need to be able to use all forms of communication so there is always that understanding.
If there’s one thing that’s avoidable, it’s lack of communication. Listening is a valuable communication skill. Listen with the intent to understand. Try not to only focus on what you want to say, but objectively listen to what your team member is saying. If you want him/her to listen to you, you need to listen Just as well. Pay attention and focus energy on the words that are being said. Give that person the same respect they give you. Effective listening is also incredibly important. According to Steven R. Covey, “empathetic listening gets inside another person’s frame of reference… The essence of empathic listening is not that you agree with someone; it’s that you Tully, deeply, unaerstana tnat person. (2 10 practlce your erective llstenlng sKllls, “put yourself in a situation where you have to prove you are listening”, said Stephen D. Boyd. Listen as close as possible to what your teammates may suggest. You may ot always agree, but you’ll send out the message that you’re taking into consideration what’s being said. Attentive listening allows your team members to feel that you care about what they say. Let your team and team members know you’re interested in what they are talking about.
It will assure them that you were listening and have absorbed what was said. Ask questions if necessary, this will help clear things up that may have been misconstrued . You never know, another one of your team mates may have been wondering the same thing. Also, when talking (no matter who you’re talking to) one of the most important lements of communication is eye contact. You should always look the person in the eye when he/she is talking. You’re showing them that they have your undivided attention. It’s not a good thing when a team mate, co-worker, friend, supervisor etc. s talking to you and you’re doing other things such as writing, filing, crunching numbers on a calculator or other things like that. You want them to know that you’re focusing all your attention on them and nothing or no one else. When someone is talking or explaining something to you, especially in a group or team environment, you should remain quiet. This allows you to practice aggressive silence. As difficult as it may be for you to remain quiet, this is telling the person providing the information that you are listening and do not intend to interrupt.
Once the person speaking is finished, then you may get clarification or ask questions if needed. Cooperative communication is another valuable asset to a learning group. All members should contribute our thoughts and ideas to our group. You’d be amazed what you can come up with when you put your heads together. We should all learn to take in and utilize others input Just the way we present ours. When working with your co-workers, in a team, or with a group of individuals we have what you call combined communication. This is when we are all sharing our message with each other and have a multiple of opinions on the table.
What’s so great about this is we have so much we can discuss and make use of. Since we all have different ways of looking at things, we have so much more to talk about. As for responsibility sharing, we are all obligated, when working together, to share the workload. It wouldn’t be fair if some worked on a project more than others. We should all have an equal amount of responsibility. There are some individuals who are able to get the project or assignment done in a short amount of time. When this happens, he or she may want to go back to that group or team and see if anyone needs help with anything.
Working in a team and or group of students / co-workers has it’s advantages, and one of those advantages is the fact that we have a pile of unified thoughts and ideas. What makes this a great advantage is, once you have all agreed on something, it’s easier to go from there. You should always be on the same page as your group or team. Constructive vs. destructive criticism has both Its’ advantages ana Olsaavantages as well. You nave Dotn nelpTul ana useTul information and bad not so good info as well. This is where conflict in a team usually arises.
I think you should hear each other out and come toa conclusion the whole team agrees on. Conflict can be a healthy incentive for teams. If approached with the perspective of opening ones mind to approach the project openly, it is an excellent stimulus. Too often, conflicts take place that create negative responses and it can make the other individuals want to avoid the situation. According to (Sheila Porter, J. D. IJOP, pg 1, 2003), when various people project the utcome of a situation, and it isn’t clarified, it could become a closed environment. Conflict will happen due to different perspectives.
It is up to the individuals to decide how it will be managed. When is conflict healthy and when is it unhealthy? It’s healthy, when it stimulates the individuals to create mind maps with the subject. With these mind maps it could enable team members to build and develop processes and thoughts that would create excellent results. It is negative, when the situation becomes a closed session and individuals are left completely frustrated and are unable to see any positive outcome. How can conflict be managed: There is an analysis called the 4RS Method (Engleberg, Wynn, Schuttler, pl 54, 2003). Reasons” – Why is there a conflict “Reactions” – Why are you responding to it in this manner “Results” – What is the outcome if we don’t work this out “Resolution” – What should we do to find a solution After we perform the analysis and we are able to identify what the problem is, there are ways that it can be approached. Terrence Wheeler of the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution, and Conflict Management, outlined five main types of conflict management styles: 1) co-operative problem -solving, 2) competing, 3) avoiding, 4) ccommodating and 4) compromising. Ralph H. Kilmann and Kenneth W.
Thomas, authors of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument has also identified five general principles: 1) avoidance, 2) accommodating, 3) competition, 4) compromise, and 5) collaboration. In reviewing these principles, you are able to note, that these principles are derived from research and study on what approaches should be utilized for a team to resolve negative conflicts. Each of these principles have guidelines and could be utilized to ascertain a solution toa conflict. Each situation is original and therefore the outcome will be decided after careful review and ollaborative efforts.
Problem Structuring James Corner, John Buchanan, Mordecai Henig, Journal of Multicriteria Decision Analysis, indicates that problems structuring is obtained from various views and approaches. There is a distinct and clear synopsis that the approach that is utilized has to have specific measurements and outcomes. “This approach endeavours to Dr10ge tne gap Detween prescrlptlve ana aescrlptlve aeclslon proDlem structuring”. Decision Support In most organizations, there are rules in place to deal with conflict. According to David K Pruitt, Law and Order, losing experienced and productive employee are not n option.
They have a facilitator work with developing the methods and getting the individuals to focus. If there is no one managing this process, it can reduce productivity and minimize collaborative relationships. If the team cannot reach a decision after thorough evaluation and review, and the situation is critical, someone will be assigned to make some decisions. This can proceed with them reviewing all the data and bringing the team together to give them additional information to process. This process can have the ability to reenergize the teams. You have assisted them to formulate a decision.
It can also proceed with the facilitator taking the dictator in order to resolve the issue. When differences arise in a team, a resolution must be reached in order for the team to reach its objective. There are many different ways for a resolution to be reached. There is the “Mediation process,” which can be broken down into “five steps. ” According to Ray Gaitan and Brian H Kleiner in Equal Opportunities International those steps are as follows: The Mediator’ opening statement, the disputants opening statement, the discussion stage, the caucus, and reaching the agreement. This Process is more of a formal way to solve a conflict.
This is used for lawsuits and contract negotiations. The other, less formal ways of solving a conflict, is to listen to one another’s problems and put yourself in their situation. To find a common ground will help you resolve the problem a lot faster. In order to facilitate this it is a good idea to right down what the parties do agree on. Then the focus should shift to the differences. This will help the team find out the origin of the problems. Finding the origin of the conflict makes it easier to fgure out options for resolution. An example is: Team member “a” has a problem with team member “c” over how they should ake a presentation.
Team member “a” wants it to be an informative speech, while team member “c” wants it to be a lecture where the audience interacts with the speaker. They must find common ground and solve their differences or go their different ways. How a conflict is handled can make or break a team. If neither team member is willing to give something up, then both sides will fail. It is also possible for one team member to have more leverage on the table and maneuver the resolution in their favor. This can be a dangerous tactic to use because the loosing party will almost certainly resent the other party and performance will suffer.
And in rare instances both parties may achieve their goals. This is why it is important that negotiations be concluded only when both parties have a sense that they have accomplished something. In “10 steps for managing conflict in your HR Dept” by Human resource Department report It states tnat unresolved conTllcts would cause “personality contest involving threats, intimidation, and blame for past actions. ” A “personality contest involving threats” would be where one party is nice to another party in order to sway their support and threatened the other party with removing them or themselves from the project. Intimidation”, s when you use some leverage you have to overwhelm the other party. Blaming people for past actions is what politicians live for. Every one has made mistakes in the past and to bring them out into the “light” makes one party seem more credible than the other. This report also states that “there are no real grown-ups. ” That is why most adults in conflict behave no better than a five-year-old fighting over an ice cream. References Institute of Management & Administration, “10 steps for managing Conflict in Your HR dept” Human Resource Department, Management report: 1, 11-12, Septmber 2000. ISSN:1092-5910 March 21 2004