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Analyzing and Resolving Conflict Essay

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Essay title: Analyzing and Resolving Conflict Essay

When working in teams, unresolved or poorly managed conflict is a major obstacle to a team performing well. While conflict can occur at any stage in team project planning, it typically occurs during the brainstorming stage. During the brainstorming stage members suggest ideas and solutions to meet the team’s goals. This can cause conflict because of the differing ideas, opinions, personalities, and backgrounds of the team members. It is inevitable that when working in teams conflict will arise. Many times conflict is seen as negative, but it is neither positive nor negative in itself. Rather how the conflict is managed and resolved can be positive or negative. Conflict can actually have benefits; it can spur team members to be more productive and to reach better solutions.

Conflict can be categorized into three types; substantive, procedural, and affective. The first Substantive Conflict is when team members disagree over issues or ideas related to the project. The second is procedural conflict, where team members disagree about the procedures that should be followed while working on the project. For instance what order they tasks should be done in. Third there is affective conflict; it is much more difficult to overcome because it is more personal. For example when team members feel that they are not being heard or valued, or when team member’s feelings are involved (DeJanasz, Dowd, & Schneider, 2001)

These different types of conflict can be constructive or destructive. Constructive conflict is when team members are open, and objective. Constructive conflict can actually help the group to reach better solutions. On the other hand destructive conflict is when team members are hostile, competitive, or unable to compromise. Destructive conflict can cause the group to fail.

Although many times managing conflict and conflict resolution are sometimes confused, they are two separate things. Managing team conflict is the process in which teams learn how to communicate, understand, and use conflict in a positive manner. Once the conflict is properly managed conflict can then be resolved to create new ideas and unique solutions.

Before teams can mange team conflict, they must first analyze the conflict so that they can choose the best management method. One method of conflict analysis is the 4r’s method. In this method there are 4 steps, reasons, reactions, results, and resolution. First team members discuss the reasons for the conflict. Then team members explore their own reactions to determine if they are constructive or destructive. Next the team discusses possible results if the conflict is left unresolved and how the conflict can be resolved. These steps help a group to identify and examine the conflict and decide which

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