Being on a team can be a rewarding experience, but being on a team can also be challenging. When the latter occurs, the team must determine what steps will be taken to resolve the conflict. Each situation is unique and needs to be dealt with as such. The reasons for conflict are many and can range from personality differences to bad communication. Whether the team is successful can be determined by how the conflict is dealt with. Conflict resolution can be defined as "the ability of the team to discuss and resolve differences" (Parker, 2004, p.170). Ultimately, the team will determine in which direction it will go and how it will get there.
Understanding the ConflictManaging and resolving conflict are two different processes. Conflict must be understood before it can be managed. According to Engleberg et al (2003), one approach to understanding and resolving conflict is the 4Rs Method. This method has four steps.
Each step is described by a word beginning with the letter "R":1. Reasons. "In this step, the causes or reasons for the conflict are explored and openly, yet respectfully, discussed" (p. 154).
2. Reactions. "In this step, team members look at their own reactions to the conflict. If those reactions are destructive, rather than constructive, individuals can self-correct and take the necessary steps to recommit to team success" (p. 154).
3. Results. "If the conflict is not resolved, what might happen? How might the team work together to resolve the conflict in a constructive manner? "(p. 154)4. Resolution. "Which approach to conflict resolution could be used to effectively resolve the conflict?" (p. 154).
Reactions to ConflictAccording to Ralph H. Kilmann and Kenneth W. Thomas, authors of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, there are five different ways individuals typically react to conflict. They are avoidance, accommodation,