Teamwork Conflict Resolution in Workplaces Improving Communication Skills

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TEAMWORK CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN WORKPLACES
IMPROVING COMMUNICATION SKILLS

CONTENT
INTRODUCTION …………………………….……………………………………………..3 I. AN OVERVIEW OF TEAMWORK CONFLICT …………………………………....3 II. DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO CONFLICT IN TEAMWORK………………......4 1. Five main conflict reaction modes suggested by Thomas Kilmann ………………4 2. How do we usually deal with teamwork conflict………………………………… 6 3. Avoiding negative styles of conflict……………………………………………... 6 III. GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN TEAMWORK

CONFLICT…………………………………………………………………....7 1. The four-step process……………………………………………………………… 7 2. Skills required for effective communication in conflicts………………………….. 9 CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………… 12

INTRODUCTION
It is commonplace for organizations today to work in teams in the hope is that productivity, creativity, and results will be greater in a team environment. While this is a proven approach, any time you bring together people from differing backgrounds and experiences, it is inevitable that conflict will occur. Many people and organizations view conflict as a negative, or something to be avoided. Yet conflict, differences, or disagreements are a natural result of people working together. The challenge then becomes, how should the team be prepared for and manage through it?

I. AN OVERVIEW OF TEAMWORK CONFLICT
"Conflict arises from the clash of perceptions, goals, or values in an arena where people care about the outcome" (Alessandra, 1993, p. 92). If the management of that conflict is not effective, it can totally disrupt the entire group process. However the old saying "that which does not kill us will make us stronger" illustrates how successfully managed conflict can benefit the group. That explains why conflicts is either functional or dysfunctional. Functional conflict is at a level that enables a group to maximize it's performance, and the outcomes are desirable. However; when that conflict escalates to a level that disrupts the group and gets in the way of accomplishing its goals, then it has become dysfunctional. Managing that balance is the key to effective groups. There are typical reasons that lead to conflict on the job:

- Changing in the workplace (different perspectives of the old vs. the new) - High-stress workplace.
- Unclear lines of responsibility
- Lack of communication. (lack of in time information)
- Diverse viewpoints in the workplace.
However, most of us do hesitate to deal directly with problems arisen because we think: It’s not nice to have conflict, Conflict is the same as a fight (win – lose result) and A true team has only harmony, never conflict. Although most people like to avoid conflict, it is a natural result when people work together. In any group, conflict is inevitable because people have different viewpoints, different backgrounds, experiences, values and different levels of commitment. Since conflict is natural, the goal of the group or leader should not be to eliminate conflict, but to view it as essentially healthy. It can be healthy if it is handled and resolved constructively. The group is enhanced by exploring differences and new ideas, consequently new learning results. Usually when conflict arises and is dealt with openly, people are energized and more willing to listen to new ideas and other possibilities. Through this process the group begins to trust you as a leader. It shows the group members that you truly care and that you want the group to succeed.

II. DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO CONFLICT IN TEAMWORK
1. Five main conflict reaction modes suggested by Thomas Kilmann "Conflict situations" are those in which the concerns of two people appear to be incompatible. Each conflict is unique, and depending on the individual circumstances of the disagreement and the personalities involved, different strategies are needed to reach the best solution. According to Thomas Kilmann, there are five main conflict reaction modes,...
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