Conflict Resolution in Work Teams - GEN/300 UOP Required Paper

Essay by tpiegerUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2004

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Conflict Resolution in Work Teams

Have you ever found yourself working on a team that was experiencing unhealthy or unproductive conflict? Did you feel as if you wanted to help the team resolve the issues and move forward, but didn't have a clear idea of how or where to start? Dealing with and resolving conflict is one of the most difficult, and challenging aspects of working in a team environment. Conflict, when left unresolved, may create problems with team unity; ultimately, the production and output of the team may suffer. On the other hand, successful conflict resolution leaves team members feeling satisfied and validated. The result of successful conflict resolution and its byproduct of improved team chemistry may be an increase in team productivity and quality. Unresolved conflict within teams is usually not a result of team members being uninterested in identifying conflict and working toward solutions. Oftentimes, teams and team leaders merely lack the knowledge necessary to understand what types of conflict styles there are, how to identify them, and how to resolve them.

They also do not have the skill set to proactively prevent conflict and manage that conflict when it appears. Conflict within teams is a natural output of different and diverse people working together. The team's ability to identify, manage, constructively resolve, and prevent that conflict will determine that team's failure or success.

Identifying and defining conflict is an important first step in the conflict resolution process. What is conflict? The word conflict usually conjures up ideas of negative feelings such as hatred, anger, hostility, and dissent. Even though conflict may contain these components, it does not have to contain negativity and negative emotions. The article, Conflict and Cohesion in Groups, defines conflict as "the disagreement and disharmony that occurs in groups when differences are expressed...