Employees face many challenges in the workplace. Being on a team can be a difficult task. While being on a team employees may face some type of conflict. Steps to take to resolve the conflict can help the employee(s) prevent small issues turning into a disaster.
Conflict can be defined as an instance in which one party is negative towards another that will directly cause an issue for the other party (Baack,2017). An issue I had to deal with was with being on a team with my peers on a class project. The level of conflict we had to deal with during that time was the conflict of strategies, communication, and personalities. Once the team met, we were all on the same page at first. Things quickly change when it was time for the process of getting the project started.
The conflict of strategies was the first issue of this team. There were six members on the team for this class project. We had chosen a leader we all agreed on. We all had different ideas and how we should use a strategy to get the project started. Some of the members agreed that their ideas and topics would be better than the final decision. The leader stepped in to finalized what the topic will be for the project. Some agreed to the leader’s decision and the others disagreed.
Communication conflict was next. We all had each other’s email and phone numbers to contact each other. This was done so we could meet with updates on research or any other issues or concerns we may have with the project. We each had a part to complete for the project; researchers, typist, and submitter. During the calls we would give details on where we were in details our part of the project and how would the typist want the information submitted to them for the final paper. During a few calls and texts, the communication process did not seem to work as before. The members who weren’t on board with the decision made by the leader started to have other plans and could not be on the calls but stated they would have their weekly part of the project complete and submitted to the typist. Some became controlling and unruly. This was the beginning of communication conflict amongst the other team members.
Personality conflict was the next issue we had on the team. Each of us has a different personality. Some of us got along. Some of us didn’t and you can tell. The ones some of the members didn’t get along with, where the member who mainly disagreed with the leader and group decisions. Some was a ‘power’ struggle between them and the leader. It made it difficult to complete the project with those team members and trying to be the median became difficult as well to concentrate on completing my part of the project. When the attitudes got out of hand, and it involved the leader, the next step to take was getting in contact with the professor.
The steps taken to resolve the conflict of the strategy was appointed a strong leader who was a take-charge person. At the beginning of the project, we had to submit a personality survey to our professor and the results of the survey was presented to the team. The results of the survey gave the team members an idea on who had the personality of a strong leader. The survey also gave us an idea on who would do best on the project. Once we chose the leader, they became responsible for the team and the outcome of the project. The chosen leader was, in fact, a strong person who used strategies that were positive for the team.
The next step to resolve communication conflict was to find a common ground so we all could get along long enough to complete the project. At times, the leader was the mediator. On one incident, one of the team members felt that their suggestion was not heard and had completely stop communication. The leader reached out to the member and asked what the issue and concern was and was it ok for the team to listen to the problems(s). We all had the opportunity to speak on the situation and stated why we felt as a team, what they had suggested was not a good idea. We came to the conclusion to use not only one topic for the project but to use two topics for the project to make it a make in-depth view of what we wanted the project to come across to the professor. By having the leader take the initiative to reach out to the team member, we would have to reassign team positions on the project.
To resolve the personality conflict of this team was not as difficult as one may think. We had strong personalities on the team and we saw that from the results of the survey. As stated earlier in the paper, some of us got along and some of us didn’t due to the “power” struggle a few had with the team leader. We all had to communicate the reasons for this conflict to end and concluded that some of the members were not a good fit for this team to be successful with the project. We all used positive tones while communicating differences. We all gave input on reasons to why we felt that there was a division on the team which may have caused an unhealthy ending. All confrontations were notated by the team leader and ultimately had the professor get involved. Between the team lead and the professor, the issues were resolved, and the project was completed on time just as planned when the team was first formed.
Three conflict outcomes to resolve conflict used was one, knowing how to communicate. Having open communication helped with the communication conflict the team had. We each had the opportunity to express our concerns and focused on the issue and in turn, ended in a positive for the team communication. Active listening also played a huge role to resolve conflict within the team.
The second outcome to resolve conflict is reviewing the options we have when it comes to the team and the decisions make for the project. Not only is the leader responsible for a solution(s) for every problem the team had, but asked questions to find out where we as team members stood and what did it take for the team to be successful and received a high passing grade on the project. By asking these questions made it easy toward the end of the project to complete.
The third outcome to resolve conflict is everyone wins. We had personality conflict within the team. The professor did have to become involved in the issues at hand, but once explained in detail the importance of all working together in getting the project completed and the grade received, we all put the disagreement we had behind us to complete the project. And even though two of the members decided to leave the group, the remaining members pulled together to get the project completed in a timely fashion and received the grade we all wanted.
Conflict will happen if we want it or not. It depends on how well one handles it. If handled positive, the outcome will be better than expected. By following the conflict resolution steps will benefit not only the parties involved in the situation but the outcome from the situation as well.