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Team Conflict

By | April 2008
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It is unavoidable; any effective team will face conflict. Teams with knowledgeable members will accept conflict and set one good idea against another to determine the best idea for the team.

-Causes of Conflict
Substantive Conflict: When members disagree about ideas and issues that affect the group. This will occur because all members are focused on the teams’ goals. Time management, for example, could be a substantive issue because a schedule could be useful, but getting all members to adhere would cause conflict. Procedural Conflict: Team members will disagree on the method or process used to attain the overall goal. There are several methods that can be used; discussion, gathering of info, secret ballot or show of hands. Deciding how to decide can spark conflict. Affective Conflict: Happens when there is a difference in personalities, communication styles or emotions. Members might feel threatened or that they have not been heard or valued. This can occur when members struggle for leadership roles. Members may feel that they have been treated unfairly. Affective conflict is generally the hardest kind of conflict to recover from. -Consequences

Conflict only becomes good or bad when a team reacts positively or negatively to it. Positive conflict takes place when team members pose disagreement in a way that is respectful of the others. It is good to disagree and to have open discussions as long a everyone values others contributions. Conflict has a positive affect when it enables more involvement, creativity and productivity, and leads to inventive solutions. Negative conflict happens when team members employ destructive behaviors against one another. Many times this can lead to hostility, insults, threats or unproductive arguments. This dysfunctional attitude will cause stress, anxiety, loss of purpose and hinder any progress towards the teams’ goal. Team members become inflexible, making it hard to resolve anything. This will lead to a breakdown of team...
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