Conflict Resolution

Essay by mike2680 September 2007

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AbstractConflicts are unavoidable and they do not have to be a negative experience. Destructive conflict is defined as hostility towards others. Constructive conflicts shows team values and promotes the ultimate intention of the group. Conflicts are different and unique as some are easier to remedy than others. There are five general approaches to conflict resolution: avoidance, accommodation, competition, compromise, or collaboration.

Conflict ResolutionThroughout history from the dawn of time there have been conflicts. They have been happening since Cain slew Abel to the present middle east crisis. Conflicts are inevitable even in the team dynamic. They can be constructive or destructive depending on the perception and reaction by each team member. Since no one conflict is the same, no certain remedy is best or right for every situation. There are gains and losses when dealing with any method of conflict resolution. However, there are some guidelines that can be used to decide which approach is most effective for a particular situation.

Ralph H. Kilmann and Kenneth W. Thomas authors of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument have identified five general approaches to dealing with conflict: 1) avoidance, 2) accommodation, 3) competition, 4) compromise and, 5) collaboration.(pg3)AvoidanceNormally when avoiding or denying the existence of a conflict, the dispute will not go away. Conflicts often lead to unresolved problems, little understanding and increased tension. Sometimes avoiding is the best approach, especially when people need to collect their thoughts or the issue is not truly that important to them. Oftentimes when emotions are running high, it is best to reschedule the groups meeting so that team members can collect their thoughts and approach the issue rationally and calmly.

AccommodationWhen using the accommodation method, one person goes along to get along with another person. This approach can be appropriate if the issue is not as...