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Conflict Resolution In Work Teams

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Conflict will always exist when a group or team is composed with different people with different approaches and ideas with dealing with situations. Learning to work together with dealing with conflict can and will provide your group or team with a quick resolution. Conflict can not be avoided and is inevitable in letting a team develop and provide a constructive and possibly beneficial outcome in managing the conflict.

When we generally think of conflict it is a very negative thought about the team member. Usually there is arguing, yelling or disagreeing which can make others feel uncomfortable. Learning how to deal and handle these disagreements constructively will usually improve the productivity and create new ideas and help develop personality of other in the team. Each team will go through stages of growth and development. “Team conflict can be resolved quickly and effectively and only requires one key ingredient and that is a team leader who can diagnose a team within stages of team development and choose from an array of effective team leadership skills.” (Warren, Jon) Letting the team members get to know each other in forming better a workable group with the support and direction of the leader.

There are many stages in dealing with conflict. The start of the conflict is the storming stage which is dealing when the conflict starts, then norming stage will let the team members start to work out there differences and the leader should try to be there and be supportive for the group. Lastly the performing part is when the whole team can move forward and work together and then the leader can finally be supportive and directive.

When a conflict arises there are different approaches in handling the situations. When the conflict is beginning, it is best to deal with the problem so it does not get out of hand. Here is a list of different ways in trying to overcome a conflict (Swales, Cheri)

1. attack the problem not the team member

2. focus on what can be done, not on what can not be done

3. listen to understand the other person’s point of view before giving your own

4. show respect for the other person’s point of view

5. solve the problem while building the relationship

If the conflict gets out of hand, the group probably needs to take a break and get back at a later date and time.

Making an atmosphere for the group is a very important concept in conflict resolution. Thinking about this idea the team member should be getting ready in a positive fashion in dealing with the issues on the table with an open mind. The meeting time should be making when it is best for all involved so no one feels pressured with time.

If there is a conflict everyone involved should understand the situation before they get involved with sorting it out. Understanding everyone’s needs with dealing with a conflict is a start with building positive outlooks and actions to be more effective with the group. “Positive power promotes building together and strengthening partnerships.”(Rupar, Ted)

An advantage with conflict with a team is the diversity of resources, knowledge and ideas that will be brought to the group. But, this can also cause a situation. “Conflict remained the number-one problem for most of the teams operating within a large energy company, even after repeated training sessions on how to resolve conflict and how to minimize the negative impact on team members.” (Varney, 1989)

Most conflicts are seen as a negative issue; some teams require this conflict to perform effectively. The team needs cooperation in making effective problem solving and decision making to motivate the team to look at the problem. Encouragement for the team will energize to problem solve and creating solutions that will benefit the all.

Listening is a task and skill that needs to be managed. Listening without interrupting will let the team member explain their idea in a different light and could make an alternative solution to the problem. Listening can cause different feelings amongst the team members. Listening can cause a conflict because each individual sees a different point of view. This can cause a conflict or can stimulate and energize the team members to create an alternative plan for the issue trying to be resolved.

“Conflict is a driving force for change.” (McDaniel, 1998) If a conflict is handled appropriately the results will be positive. If the conflict stays without being resolved it can cause a lowering of the energy of the team and less productivity for job accomplishment. The best way to deal with the conflict is to realize there is a conflict and the leader needs to manage the situation effectively. The object of managing the conflict is not to make it smaller it is to handle it in the appropriate fashion to try to resolve the situation.

Some members could have a difficult time at being a team player if they are accustom to making there own decisions. When you enter a team group you are giving up your independence with the decision making. When a person gives up this individuality of independence it can cause a conflict with the member and the group. Participation should be done in a balanced way with no member more dominant than the other. Relationships are important with managing the conflict in the right manner. Task accomplishment is the responsibility of the whole team and functioning that way will make a healthy relationship for all involved.

Conflict can have a devastating effect on work teams. It has the potential to lower morale which in turn lowers the out put of work completed. Whenever there is a problem with teammates productivity comes to a halt. While the traditional structures require team working in managing ongoing processes, the temporary task structures are being created to respond to change, to provide flexibility and to stimulate innovation and productivity. (Hastings, Colin) Emphasizing how important the assignment is and communicating to each team member can help build a foundation. Each team member must take responsibility for his or her own actions. With an effective group if the group delegates problem solving solutions in the beginning this might alleviate tension and productivity will prevail. If any team member is unclear about there specific roles this could lead into unwarranted problems. Each team member must understand the guidelines clearly to make an effective group work. It is important to communicate ideas and discuss questions you may have so that your team can help you reach



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