Conflict Resolution - Problem Solving

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Conflict is a natural part of life. If the process of conflict resolution is considered as an opportunity for growth and change in the work environment, the potential for a positive outcome is immense. Whether as a team or on an individual level, the ability to solve problems through collaborative efforts and managing change is crucial in achieving overall success. It is imperative that the team establishes a common goal and creates roles and responsibilities. Once identifying conflict and the reasons why it occurs, team members should look for peaceful and mutually satisfying methods to minimize conflict. Learning to work as a team is a critical organizational competency that is based on the characteristics of the team. Participation on a team does not require that one change his/her personality. Interpersonal skills and technical skills are a good combination of skills to blend. An important aspect when constructing a team is that the team members share the same objectives and goals and is clear on the mission and purpose of the team. An effective team is a group of people with different backgrounds, skills and abilities, highly communitive, working together on a common purpose with clearly defined goals blending successfully, and getting along. Goal setting, clarifying the reason for the team coming together and what the team hopes to accomplish must be further defined as well as methods to measure progress. An open line of communication is very important to the success of the team. Responsibilities and tasks associated with the project should be clearly explained so that the members of the team are aware of their contributions to the effective and efficient outcome of the product. Multiple methods of communication should be utilized so that each team member is kept in the loop. E-mail, written correspondence, conference telephone calls, and meetings are mechanisms utilized to keep the team abreast of project progress. Open communication enhances team morale. If information is withheld, it has a tendency to give that team member power. Team support is very important. All conflict is resolved through communication. Willingness to communicate in unpleasant situations is a positive reaction. Communication also requires good listening skills and sometimes listening skills need to be taught. Communication is the ability to ask advice, interested enough to listen, and dedicated to respond. Team members have a responsibility to the team. The members need to know that what they are doing individually contributes to the team’s success. A team member should not compare oneself to the other team members, but focus on what she/he contributes to the goal. A work team is not the place for internal competition. Working with a team is a self-esteem enhancer. Therefore, when you commit your time, skills, and abilities to the goal, you are bringing you expertise to the table and you are also learning something. You become a better person, a more knowledgeable person. Developing a team evolves over time. Teams accomplish more and reach a higher performance level than an individual. Roles exist within a team, and each member of a team will share the leadership role. The role of a leader is to facilitate processes and support team members. The leader set general direction and assist with the goals. Leadership is the ability to help an individual or organization become better. Potential leaders can be recognized if they have the ability to motivate team members to do more with less and solve problems. Good leadership should have highly developed interpersonal skills. In order to guide your team, you must create an environment of trust. Your team members should know that you would go to management on their behalf. Team leaders may be concerned about organizational effectiveness but not at the expense of the team members. Therefore, a balance is needed with a focus on the tasks as well as a focus on the needs of the people/team members....
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