The team had a five-page paper due the last day of class. Everybody in the team seemed to be getting along great and working well together. Each team member developed his or hers own paper, and they were going to meet and decide on a final topic. During the meeting, problems arose, two of the team members thought their ideas for the paper were the best. This conflict went on for a half an hour before it became obvious that there was not going to be a solution. Another team member spoke up and said that since were ahead of schedule, the team should talk about this another day and decide. The whole team agreed. Meanwhile, time went on and still the team couldn't come to an agreement. This is a task-oriented conflict and just one example of many problems that can arise when team members work together. The real issue is how to approach this conflict and devising the solution to end the problem.
Finally, what is the best way to prevent this type of conflict and others that may occur in a team setting?
Conflict in our team scenario can be turned into a positive or a negative event. This outcome will be determined largely by how it is handled. In a team environment, conflict will occur. As Peter Varhol (Electronic Design, Oct 30, 2000) stated, "Not only is actual conflict greater today, but even the potential for interpersonal conflicts...is far greater than at any time in the past." (p.155). Understanding that conflict is going to be an inherent part of working as a team can assist us in dealing with conflict.
In dealing with the team conflict in our scenario, we must first define the conflict. After determining the nature of the conflict, we can than select...