Team Dynamics - Conflict Resolution Strategies

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Team Dynamics - Conflict Resolution Strategies People work in groups or teams every day, whether in their career, education, political organization, church, or any other social setting. Conflict while working in teams or groups is inevitable. When taking people of different backgrounds, personalities, moral and ethical beliefs, and putting them together in a group, conflict will arise. The key to achieving your team goals is to construct and conquer your goals while keeping the greater good of the team in mind. Conflict, as it arises, should be combated and abated through swift and thorough resolution techniques. When dealt with properly, conflict resolution can give rise to a cohesive and productive team. What Is Conflict? Conflict, as defined by Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, is "a competitive or opposing action of incompatibles: antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interest, or persons), Mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands." Simply put, conflict is the disagreement and disharmony that occurs in groups when differences are expressed regarding ideas, methods, and/or members (Engleberg, Wynn, and Schuttler, 2003). Conflict among teams or groups develops in many ways. In developing an effective team, members will generally experience the five stages of evolution: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. The storming and norming stages deal with the process of conflict (storming) and resolution (norming). During the storming stage, exact conflict has not yet been identified, and therefore chaos, disorganization, and disputes are apparent. The Norming stage is where conflict is identified and dealt with, and resolution strategies are implemented. Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies There are several effective conflict resolution strategies that can be used to resolve conflicts within a team. One such strategy is to identify the source of the conflict and address it directly. Another strategy is to encourage open communication and active listening among team members. Additionally, compromise and negotiation can be used to find a mutually beneficial solution to the conflict. Finally, it is important to seek the assistance of a mediator or third-party facilitator if the conflict cannot be resolved internally. Conclusion In conclusion, conflict is an inevitable part of working in teams or groups. However, by using effective conflict resolution strategies, conflicts can be resolved, and a cohesive and productive team can be established. It is important to keep the greater good of the team in mind when dealing with conflicts and to address conflicts directly and promptly. By doing so, teams can achieve their goals and work together effectively. References DeJanasz, S. C., Dowd, K. O., & Schneider, B. Z. (2002). Interpersonal Skills in Organizations. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 309-329, 371-393, 241-259. Engleberg, I., Wynn, D., & Schuttler, R., (2003). Working in Groups: Communication Principles and Strategies (3rd ed.) Boston: Houghton-Mifflin. pp. 146-170. Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A., (2004). Organizational Behavior (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. pp. 406-441. Parker, G., (2003). Cross-Functional Teams: Working with Allies, Enemies, and Other Str

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