Conflict Management Builds Better Teams

02 Dec. 2010 General

Misunderstandings in a team leads to clashes and there arises a need for conflict management. The first and the most important aspect that leads to many misunderstandings is lack of proper communication. The tendency to underestimate the importance of speech creates fiction within the team members which as a result hinders team growth and also makes team loose focus on achieving organizational goals. Common barriers in communication are a) Poor listening skills b) Ignoring team members c) Wrongful interpretation and lack of sharing information.

Conflict does not always become destructive because a healthy argument /discussion over issues results in many ideas that can be in turn help the team. It can also lead to a variety of ideas and give team members an interest in dealing with problems. Conflict can give individuals the opportunity to develop their communication skills and express their personal thoughts to their team members. As a coin has two sides so has conflict. A conflict becomes negative when it is left to escalate to the point where people begin to feel defeated and a combative climate of distrust and suspicion develops.

The most important aspect of conflict management contributing towards making an effective and successful team is the need to enhance skills to develop a healthy environment of team work:

Listening: There is a time to talk and a time to listen where the time to listen comes twice as often as the time to talk. We can often find ourselves so concerned about what we have to say that we never really hear what the other person is saying. Instead of focusing on what they are trying to convey we are thinking about what we are going to say next, in which time we miss their entire point.

Sacrifice: Each team member has to evaluate what they are truly willing to sacrifice and then continue to be willing when the time comes that they are asked to sacrifice it. It could be everything from time, to resources, to positions of power.

Sharing: What one person knows maybe the key to the other person’s problem. We have to be willing to share those keys even when it will make someone else look better.

Communication: When there are problems or successes a team has to be willing to communicate effectively what went right and wrong. It is important to analyze issues that you have in a project or as a team but it is also important to analyze your successes.

Language: It is important that you establish a habit of speaking in an uplifting way. If you are at all demeaning or domineering or insulting it will grind the team to a halt. People will still be willing to sacrifice, share and discuss just not with every member of the team.

Hard work: Team members have to be willing to work hard on an individual basis and then turn that hard work over to the team so that as a whole you can make your work meaningful and achieve a greater goal.

Persuade: Everyone should be encouraged to exchange, defend and then eventually rethink their ideas. You have to love your idea but Teamwork takes individual work for a collective good that ultimately increases the good everyone receives.

These conflict management skills are a basic list but that will help you start now to be a better team with greater success. You won’t master them all in one day but take every opportunity you can to practice them and they will help.

Comments by readers will be forwarded to the author. Response to comments will be posted subject to the editorial guidelines & policies of Rishabh Software.

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