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Conflict Resolution in Teams

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Conflict Resolution in Teams

Oscar Loaiza, Kalyan Venkataraman, Aaron Ung, Brian Lyla

Gen 300

Mr. Lazzarini

February 19, 2005

Conflict Resolutions

In order to resolve conflicts in a team environment, there are many factors to consider. Communication, technical problems, disagreements or differences and time management must be resolved. If none of these are resolved, it could undermine the efficiency and purpose of a team. The team will not succeed and the work will not get done in a timely manner.

Communication is the main issue that keeps team members informed. Communication can be unilateral, bilateral or collaborative (multilateral). When an instructor lectures, it’s mostly unilateral. When there are two parties involved in communication, it’s considered bilateral. It’s been said that communication is a two way street. In the form of a team, however, it is more than just a two way street. There are many people that have to get the same information. It is crucial that this information is not passed from one member to another in the form of hearsay, since miscommunication can occur. As we learned in newsgroup one, “miss communication” is one lady we don’t want to deal with. Rather, in an online environment, it’s important that most information be either e-mailed or posted in continually from all members of the team. This assures that all team members are aware of what’s going on. It’s also important this communication be “collaborative” (McNamara & Watson, 2005, p. 185). One person may have a different approach. As that person shares his or her ideas, everyone’s thinking is enhanced.

We have noticed that in an online newsgroup, some communication can be lost, if one is not specific. In an online environment we loose body communication. Face expressions and hand movements are lost. In fact, the “Dictionary of Conflict Resolution” by Wiley states that communication is to “transmit information or express oneself so that one can be understood by another. In the legal usage, a communication typically implies a deliberate attempt to communicate. In conflict resolution, persons might communicate information unknowingly or unintentionally.” (Dictionary of Conflict Resolution, 2002, Wiley)

One thing I have done in the online environment is to interject additional words in a sentence. This might throw off whoever is reading it. Although I run spell check, spell check may not let me know I have additional words. The spell checker will also not catch correctly spelled words such as “their” (belong to them), there (referring to a place) or they’re (referring to they are). It is, therefore, important to use grammar check within a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word. Fortune’s ’99 winter article entitled “Technology Buyer’s Guide” states that “holding meetings with other disembodied souls in cyberspace isn't always easy. As in any other interchange, those who hold virtual meetings need to be clear about their roles, communication strategies, and ways of resolving conflicts.” (Fortune, 1999, p. 190)

That brings us to the next subject, “Technical Difficulties.” As Brian points out:

Working in a team environment can be a good and bad thing; good if a team member is able to pick up the slack for everyone else and bad if you’re the one picking up the slack for everyone else. Direct communication with each other is important and making sure everyone is completing their assigned task is even more important. There are many approaches in dealing in a “team environment” especially in situations where team members are not able to communicate with another team member, or a team member is having problems with their computer making it impossible to view messages or new assignments. These are what people might call “Technical Difficulties.”

I have been dealing with this issue for quite a while now and have been able to troubleshoot my way out of those hectic situations. For example having problems with the computer; I’m not a whiz on computers nor do I have a fast computer and logging on into the system was not easy. I called technical support for answers and they were able to provide some answers, only my computer wasn’t compatible with some of the programs. What I decided to do was every night while leaving work; I’d make a stop to my friend’s house and log on from there. It’s much easier and less time consuming; or else going to the library would be another method. There would be times where for some

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