Although individuals working in a team may share differences of opinion and ideas, anticipated or unanticipated problems can be resolved through conflict resolution.
According to Austin E. Grigg (2004), “conflict, in theories of personality, is usually considered a state of discomfort or stress caused by an individual's experiencing two or more desires or needs that are incompatible” (¶ 1). Conflict, while uncomfortable and unavoidable, can bring positive results in a team environment. Often times the best result come from a conflict where individuals are able to voice their opinions and make an argument on what direction they would like to see a learning team go. This allows individuals to give their information and take in another’s information. Based on a group decision, all materials are deciphered and the best chosen for a group. “Constructive group conflict has many positive outcomes. Issues and people are better understood through an open exchange. The quality of decision making improves as opposing viewpoints and concerns are discussed. Expressing differences constructively
can make a group discussion more interesting and promote participation.” (documentation learning kit) People in a learning group need to understand that arguing statements do not necessarily mean negative conflict. If you have a group that is willing to work as a team, then naturally all person’s involved will want the best possible solution to a problem. There is always the case though of intent by an individual to sabbotage a project or integrity of the learning team. This can cause misunderstanding and mistrust to the learning group and disrupt efforts to complete tasks undertaken. Therefore, there are tools that can be used within the group to help resolve this type of conflict.
Communication is an extremely valuable tool we all use on a daily basis. Whether it’s reading, writing, listening, or speaking; without communication we wouldn’t be able to get by. This is why communication is so important, more so when it comes to working in teams. We need to be able to use all forms of communication so there is always that understanding. If there’s one thing that’s avoidable, it’s lack of communication. Listening is a valuable communication skill. Listen with the intent to understand. Try not to only focus on what you want to say, but objectively listen to what your team member is saying. If you want him/her to listen to you, you need to listen just as well. Pay attention and focus energy on the words that are being said. Give that person the same respect they give you. Effective listening is also incredibly important. According to Steven R. Covey, “empathetic listening gets inside another person’s frame of reference. . . ]
The essence of empathic listening is not that you agree with someone; it’s that you fully, deeply, understand that person. (240) To practice your effective listening skills, “put yourself in a situation where you have to prove you are listening”, said Stephen D. Boyd. Listen as close as possible to what your teammates may suggest. You may not always agree, but you’ll send out the message that you’re taking into consideration what’s being said. Attentive listening allows your team members to feel that you care about what they say. Let your team and team members know you’re interested in what they are talking about. It will assure them that you were listening and have absorbed what was said. Ask questions if necessary, this will help clear things up that may have been misconstrued .You never know, another one of your team mates may have been wondering the same thing.
Also, when talking (no matter who you’re talking to) one of the most important elements of communication is eye contact. You should always look the person in the eye when he/she is talking. You’re showing them that they have your undivided attention. It’s not a good thing when a team mate, co-worker, friend,...
References: Institute of Management & Administration, "10 steps for managing Conflict in Your HR dept"
Human Resource Department, Management report: 1, 11-12, Septmber 2000. ISSN:1092-5910
March 21 2004
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