Friday, April 2, 2010

Conflict Resolution

Humans are not perfect. In companies, it is essential that team members are able to work together on a positive manner in order to complete their specific tasks. If one team fails to accomplish their project, then their poor effort effects the effort of other teams and can effect the overall productivity of a firm. According to the article I read, managers often spend up to 30% of their time simply trying to resolve conflicts in the workplace. 30%! That's a lot of time that could be used to better the organization of a company, generate new ideas, new products, or bonding with their employees. In an ideal world, every employee would be able to keep focused on the big picture or at least their goals as a part of an important team and be able to put any differences aside for the sake of the company. Open communication is key to overcoming differences within a team. People should feel comfortable in voicing any concerns or ideas to their fellow team members, instead of letting their anger or confusion build to the breaking point and let their emotions affect the quality of their individual work, bringing down the quality of the team's combined work. In our class teams, we try to make sure everyone's voice is heard and make sure that we know what is going on in each member's life that could potentially cause them stress and to not be able to fully participate in the completion of an assignment. For example, when assigning roles to each member, we not only looked at each person's strengths and weaknesses, we also evaluated what outside activities (like basketball practice or class loads) would vie for their time. In this way, we were assigned roles we could not only do well, but also roles that would cause us the least amount of stress or conflict. The article I read reiterated a lot of what the book said in Ch. 13 and the steps in dissolving a conflict. Here are the steps:

"• Take a step back: Consider all of the
elements involved in the problem, and
come up with possible solutions. • Address the situation: Meet with the parties involved in a nonconfrontation- al setting, and get an idea of both sides
of the situation. • Listen: During the meeting, be sure to
listen not only to what the parties are saying but also to the emotions behind their words.
• Take a “snapshot” of the situation: Summarize what you learned from both sides, and be sure your perception matches what actually happened.
• Explore options: Discuss options for a resolution. Encourage the parties to
work together to come up with ideas
that are beneficial to both. • Assess the options, and determine a
solution: Make sure the ideas are fea- sible and attainable, and then steer the discussion toward the option that would best benefit everyone involved. Encourage the parties to come to a consensus on one of the solutions.
• Build up the relationship: Emphasize the benefits of the outcome the group decided on and your availability for fu- ture discussion. " (Elisa Becze)

Becze, Elisa. "Deal Effectively With Conflict in the Workplace." ONS Connect 24.2 (2009): 26. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 2 Apr. 2010.

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