How You can Manage Team Conflict as a Manager

By Dipankar Das, Gaea News Network
Monday, April 26, 2010

team Managing team conflict is one of the core competency area a manager should have. However, it is one of the most difficult skills sou should nurture as a manager. In order to resolve team conflict you need to ask yourself the following five questions.

  • What are the symptoms of the conflict: Conflict can be defined as a serious disagreement for the successful completion of the project. They include:
    • Not completing work in time
    • Not returning phone calls or e-mails
    • Not responding to requests for information
    • Finger Pointing
    • Complaints, verbal abuse and hostility
    • Not attending the meeting
  • Each behavior does not necessarily mean serious conflict unless they are extreme. The extreme behavior may be irreparable damage like poor performance or miss the deadline.

    On the contrary, a high performance team is a group of people who can understand roles and goals, and they are committed to achieve those goals together. An effective team uses their individual skills and support each other to work together to meet their goals, . They communicate and share information. They believe in team work.

    A high-performance team:

    * Works together to achieve mutual goals.
    * Accepts the fact that each member is responsible, a team player, and committed to achieving team goals.
    * Communicates with each other.
    * Shares the achievement and failure together.
    * Shares information, helps each other, and admits the fact that the success of the group is dependent on each individual.
    * They can handle conflict.

  • What are the reasons for the conflict: Conflict occurs when the goal is not very clear or unrealistic. The ability to resolve conflict effectively is an important team skill. The reason of conflict includes:
    • Poor or no communication.
    • Lack of problem solving skills
    • Lack of clarity in purpose, goals, objectives, team and individual roles
    • Not sure about resources and sources for help support
    • Bad time management
    • Bad leadership and management
    • Job is not challenging
    • Lack of skill set in team members
    • Personal problems
  • How to address the conflict:
    • You need to define the problem first: Most people jump to resolve the problem first without knowing what the problem is all about. We should initially focus to define the problem together. Problem definition may change while gathering the data or may be further refined during problem solving.
    • Gather Data:  The next step is to gather data on what is actually happening. This means collecting facts that that are actual,
      observable, and measurable. It also means observing through meetings, teleconferencing, or video conferencing.We need to know about individual performances, who’s meeting deadlines and goals, who works independently,  who comes up with good ideas, who initiates, who takes on extra work and performs it etc.
    • Analyze the data: Analyzing the data means we can address what is going on with the team itself, and figure out the role the manager is playing. To diagnose the performance we should consider a> Lack of Communications, b> lack of problem solving skills c> Lack of clarity of goal, team and individual roles d> Poor time management e> lack of leadership f> Personality Conflicts etc.
  • Choose the Best solution: As we analyze our data, we have to separate it into small areas such as communications, turnover, etc.We have to look into “root causes” versus symptoms. If we get answers to questions in each area, we can focus in on distinct areas of the problem.We can work on solutions and then find out the best solution.
  • Implement the solution: After we analyze the data
    and develop solutions, we select the best solution for our problem areas and begin to construct a plan. This plan will include actions to address each problem area, and will include a schedule for implementation with measurements. Work on one or two areas versus trying to fix everything at once.
April 26, 2010: 1:22 pm

This blog has so much excellent information in it that i could spend all week reading it.

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