Conflict Intervention in Team Environments

Pages: 5 (737 words) Published: May 29, 2014


Conflict Intervention in Team Environments

Abstract
Having a diverse crew has many benefits but it also has its downfalls. Diversity brings many ways of thinking and problem solving but it also brings different personal views. Everyone has a different role in a team and cohesion is very important. There are different ways to deal with conflicts within the group and early intervention is key to avoid bigger and more complex problems. An aware and well informed manager could help place or work with challenging attitudes.

Conflict Intervention in Team Environments
According to Zander (1993), “one reason why teams can work together effectively is because they establish a positive, trusting group climate, based on interpersonal liking and shared norms and values” (p.310). I have seen a lot of great outcomes from health care team work. If team members can put personal feelings and political points of view aside, you would have great outcomes. But we are human and cannot just turn it off like a machine. As a socially aware manager, when picking teams you try to keep the team diverse but at the same time with a little similarity to keep unity. Nurse A has a great sense of team cohesion. Knowing everyone’s role is important and having a small idea of what your teammates do helps everyone stay on task and produce quality work. The table on page 126 in our text list recommendations on strategies of how to organize your teams. One of the main ideas for an effective team is to keep the teams small. This way there are fewer chances of different attitudes colliding. I noticed that rotating team members is not listed as an option. I know that it takes time to get used to working with someone and changing teammates often could cause a problem. On the other hand, if teams stay together too long you might have a situation like Nurse B. That’s when team erosion may occur.

Nurse B could be one of those rare team members that do not like working with other people. She has a miserable time at work and probably brings the whole teams morale down. When the manager is made aware of the conflict within teams, a simple anonymous survey would help the manager with a starting point. Putnam and Wilson developed a way to have team members discuss how they, as a team, respond to conflict within the team. Team members respond to the statement: In my team, we usually deal with relationship conflicts by… Keeping the survey anonymous will give you a more honest response and a better idea on what to do next. Keeping the team satisfied is key to running an efficient and effective team. You could introduce this survey at the end of the training session on conflict resolution. Also, since the survey will be distributed at the end of the training session, a follow up question on how the team member would handle their situation would give the manager a different perspective.

The next intervention if the training sessions did not work could be reevaluating the goals. It could be that the team itself did not produce the goals set and they have lost sight of such goals. After working with the team, a set of new goals drawn up by the team members would not be a bad idea. This will also reinforce the goals set and force them to draw up a plan on how to achieve the goals. This could bring Nurse B focus back on achieving the goals.

If none of the interventions listed above succeed, the manager could redesign the teams. Now that the manager has observed the different competencies and abilities of the team members, you are able to better place them with teammates that would complement each other. (Kozlowski and Ilgen, 2006) Nurse B could be someone that does not work well in a group environment. It is preferable to task a person like this on a project that does not require working with anyone closely. The morale for that person and the people working around...

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