Managing Conflict In Teams Essay

1780 words - 7 pages

Managing Conflict in TeamsConflict exists everywhere. An airplane traveling through the sky is in constant conflict with the forces of gravity and wind resistance. A moving vehicle is also in conflict with surface upon which it travels. Conflict can be both good and bad. If the forces of gravity overcome the airplane, that would be bad. If there were no conflict between the moving vehicle and the road known as friction, the vehicle would be out of control. While these examples are of a physical nature, we will look at conflicts arising between different people in different situations, and ways to overcome.A team is usually a small group of people that have the same goals and belong to a larger group of people with the same goals. People have formed teams for as long has man has been on the face of this earth. Most early teams were known as tribes that banded together for survival purposes. While teams are not ideal for every situation they are used in many different environments and they have evolved just as much as man has. Large corporations, small businesses, and schools, are just a few that use some form of a team. Whether it is a team that has been formed to complete one specific project, or a focus group that has a more permanent task of customer satisfaction, it is possible to ensure that teamwork increases both employee satisfaction and productivity. Each team has different components depending on the desired effect and desired impact that they want to achieve. The benefits of teams working together can be pretty obvious. The collaboration of multiple people working together on a project offers different views and opinions. It is this same benefit of multiple opinions that can also become the downfall of any good team if proper conflict resolution techniques are not used. It is amazing how many companies are out there that want to help you build the perfect team. There are activities, seminars, retreats, games, and treasure hunts all designed to motivate your team. But what are the different ways to manage conflict and keep a team moving like a well-oiled machine?By using the 4Rs method of analyzing conflict, a team can decide what process of conflict resolution will be best to use. The first model, the A-E-I-O-U model for resolving conflict, developed by J. Wisinski, is used when individual team members give their ideas and suggest a solution to the conflict. A-E-I-O-U is defined as: A: Assume the other people in the conflict mean well, E: Express your own feelings, I: Identify what you would like to see happen, O: Outcome- express the outcome you would like to see while remaining open to another outcome that may satisfy your needs and concerns, U: Understanding- the agreement should be understood, and committed to, by each member of the team. (cited in Managing Conflict in Learning Teams, 2003)Another resolution process is negotiation. In this method, team members agree upon a solution that will have a positive impact on all team...

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