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Transcript of Conflict
Conflict is unavoidable, but some level of conflict can be beneficial to a group.
Some level of task conflict is necessary in creative problem solving groups in order to stimulate innovation
Minimal amounts of task conflict in the group can bring issues to everyone's attention and avoid disruptive, and destructive conflicts
Too little conflict can cause a group to become stale and results in a lack of innovative ideas.
If people fear what they say will be held against them, they will be reluctant to challenge ideas, or rock the boat with a unique idea.
A conflict is effective if it...
Speaks to what is possible
How Should a Manager Create a Productive Conflict?
First, ensure the stakes are high enough to warrant a disruption.
Unnecessary conflicts waste time and slow down the organization
Tie the conflict to the
fundamental values of the organization.
Help the group avoid concentrating on whose side is winning or losing.
Second, lead the group away from placing blame, and focus on how to resolve the conflict for a better future.
Working out the conflict without focusing on who is wrong results in a better solution
Instead, explain to both parties how successfully exploring and resolving the conflict will result in the best outcome for all.
If managed successfully, some degree of task conflict can be an effective way for companies to foster innovation and minimize destructive conflicts.
How would you ensure sufficient discussion of contentious issues in a work group?
How can managers bring unspoken conflicts into the open without making them worse?
How can negotiators utilize conflict management strategies to their advantage so that differences in interests lead not to dysfunctional conflicts but rather to positive integrative solutions?
Can you think of situations in your own life in which silence has worsened a conflict between parties?
What might have been done differently to ensure that open communication facilitated collaboration instead?
If people feel as though they will be judged for what they say, then they may be afraid to share ideas and give input
If no one passes judgements to each other, then everyone will feel comfortable speaking their mind and healthy communication can begin
Managers need to be creative in finding ways to bring unspoken conflicts into the open
One option would be a suggestion box, where employees anonymously input ideas
When the manager addresses the issue after reading the inputs, it can then be discussed openly without anyone having to bring it up themselves
Conflicts over differing interests will occur in groups, but once a conflict becomes dysfunctional then there is a problem
Managers need to take action to avoid dysfunctional conflicts
First, make sure everyone is on the same page
Sometimes a conflict arises but some members of the group are unaware of it
Once everyone understands the conflict, the group can focus on resolving it
Instead of focusing on individual interests, focus on a solution that benefits everyone
Managers should encourage the group to focus on their shared interests
show the group how productively resolving the conflict will result in a better outcome for all
Silence worsening a conflict
I worked with a co-worker who did not pull her weight, which put a burden on our fellow co-workers and I
I chose not to confront her, despite the fact that there was a conflict, because I didn't want get into an argument
Over time, tension developed between us as my resentment for her actions grew
When I finally talked with her about the problem, she was upset; Not because I felt she wasn't pulling her weight, but because I waited this long to tell her
From this I learned that organizations need open communication to operate effectively
Had I sat down with her in the beginning and openly discussed the issue with her, then there may not have been a conflict between us.
Talking directly to someone about a conflict may can be uncomfortable, but talking face to face about the issue in a private setting can help to reduce the tension
As the situation worsened, I knew I needed to address the issue
Resolving the Conflict