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Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution Strategies

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Essay title: Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution Strategies

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Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution Strategies

Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution Strategies

University of Phoenix

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Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution Strategies

Conflict resolution has many different elements, situations, and approaches. Everyone has ideas about how conflict should be resolved. But until someone becomes part of and understands what a team is, any approach towards a resolution may prove to be difficult. At this point, team dynamics come into play. According to "Team Skills Institute.com" The difference between a group and a team are explained. In a team, people contribute by matching what they do well with what needs to get done. In a group, people do what they want to do, the way they want, and complain about the rest of group. Worse, they want to change everyone into a perfect person. When responding to conflict, "Teams Skills Institute.com" gives 4 different types of style:

1. Identify each person's choices and needs in a conflict to affect a positive outcome.

2. Learn new highly effective tools for managing conflict.

3. Learn to view conflict as an opportunity for positive growth and change.

Four ways of achieving this are:

1. Just do it.

2. Do it right.

3. Do it together.

4. Have fun doing it.

Another way of resolving conflict is through team commitment. The team needs to agree on a shared goal and how to achieve that goal. They need to develop an understanding of a clear

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shared goal, take time to find agreement between each team member, look for the personal interest of each member, and establish personal accountability.

Webster dictionary defines conflict as a "state of disharmony." In the book "Leadership, Enhancing the Lessons of Experience," Richard Hughes claims that conflict occurs when two opposing parties have interests or goals that appear to be incompatible. According to Hughes conflict is a breakdown in communication. Conflict can have both positive and negative effects. The negative effects are common and more often than not the result of conflict. Small doses of conflict can be healthy. Hughes gives five conflict resolution strategies: 1. Competition. Competition is a win-lose orientation and is appropriate when quick decisions are vital. 2. Accommodation. This strategy is important when trying to appease the other party. 3. Sharing. Sharing is a compromise where medium assertiveness and cooperation are prominent. 4. Collaboration is the strategy of negotiation where everybody wins. 5. The final strategy is avoidance. This strategy is usually reserved for issues which are too trivial to waste time on. It allows others to cool down and take time to resolve the conflict.

Katzenbach and Smith (1993) define a team as "a small number of people with complimentary skills who are committed to a common purpose, purpose, performance goal, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable." "A team is a group of people brought together in order to accomplish a task or resolve a problem that cannot be done by an individual. One of the biggest challenges for a team is conflict resolution and can be very frustrating. When a team is unable to resolve conflict it affects the team's ability to complete the task or project.

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Dr. Brian Polkinghorn of the Center for Conflict Resolution at Salisbury University has a great deal to say on conflict resolution. His paper on "Making the Most of Conflict," truly puts an important emphasis on conflict. He points out some of the causes of conflict as the eight M's:

1. Miscommunication

2. Misrepresentation

3. Misunderstanding

4. Misconceptions

5. Misperception

6. Misinformation

7. Misdiagnosis

8. Missed Opportunities

Dr. Polkinghorn states that conflict puts a strain on relationships, causes group tension, and presents organizational

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