Conflict Resolution Strategies

Topics: Active listening, Conflict Pages: 5 (1614 words) Published: January 23, 2007
Thesis Statement
Developing conflict resolution strategies for a team charter does not prevent conflicts, using them as a reference when conflict arises should enable a team to get back on track because the strategies have been developed and agreed upon by each team member and the success of a team is directly related to the ability to resolved conflict(s) effectively. Developing Conflict Resolution Strategies

The first step in developing effective conflict resolution strategies for a team is for all team members to understand what causes conflict and the types of conflict that can arise. Since preventing conflict in a team is impossible, developing strategies for dealing with conflict(s) will provide the tools needed in order to overcome any conflict that arises so that they can successfully complete the project(s). By working on the strategies at the beginning when the team is first formed, not only will this make team member aware of the types of potential conflicts, this awareness could provide a preventative affect. Team members need to identify the types of conflicts and how they will affect the performance of the team. "Types of conflict

1.Interpersonal conflict – occurs between workers because of differences in their goals or values. 2.Intragroup conflict – arises within the group because the members disagree. 3.Intergroup conflict – occurs between groups.

4.Interorganizational conflict – occurs across different organizations." (Jones, George, 2006) Conflict can be positive or negative to the performance of the team. If team members "can approach conflict positively, it can: •Improve the quality of decisions

•Stimulate involvement in the discussion
•Arouse creativity and imagination
•Facilitate employee growth
•Increase movement towards goals
•Create energetic climate
•Build more synergy and cohesion among teams
•Foster new ideas, alternatives and solutions
•Test positions and beliefs" (Stack, 1997-2006)
Unfortunately, "if conflict is approached negatively, it can: •Be destructive and uncontrollable
•Create ineffective working groups
•Cause productivity to suffer
•Reduce the exchange of ideas and information
•Develop animosities
•Break down communication
•Diminish trust and support" (Stack, 1997-2006)
Once the team members have identified the types of conflict, and determined whether they are a negative or a positive impact on the team's ability to function effectively, they need to identify the sources of conflict. Sources of conflict

Teams need to be aware that poor communication and listening skills are the leading causes of negative conflicts. When communication is not effective between team members they are unable to share ideas, thoughts and opinions, and when active listening is not employed, misunderstandings are the result. Other sources of negative conflict are as follows: 1."Different goals and time horizons – workers differ on these important points. 2.Overlapping authority – two or more individuals both claim authority for the same activities. 3.Task interdependencies – interdependent workers or teams have the potential for conflict. 4.Different evaluation or reward systems – production managers are evaluated for lowering costs, while marketing managers are evaluated for increasing sales. 5.Scarce resources – financial resources are in demand by all departments and promotions are not given to every manager. 6.Status inconsistencies – workers have different statuses in the organization's pecking order and this can create conflict." (Jones, George, 2006) Teams where team members do not develop the ability to identify sources of conflict and learn to work through them in a constructive manner will be doomed to failure. In order for teams to become high performance the team members must be able to trust and bond with each other. Teams that are considered to be high performance have worked through the five stages of team development...

References: Wayne State University, (1997-2004). Tools and Tips for Resolving
Stack, Laura (1997-2006)
Jones, G. R., George, J. M. (2006). Contemporary Management. Retrieved December 11,
2006, from Chapter 17 Web site:
Kelly, M. (2006). Active Listening. Retrieved December 12, 2006, from
About: Secondary School Educators Web site:
(2006). CCR International. Retrieved December 14, 2006, from Centre
for Conflict Resolution International Web site:
Deragon, J. (2006, 11 12). Team Development. Retrieved December
14, 2006, from Human Resource Factors Web site:
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