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Conflict Resolution and Negotiation

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Conflict Resolution
in
Engineering Project Teams
Interpersonal Effectiveness
Intermediate Level
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
1
Acknowledgment of Support
The material is based upon work supported by the National
Science Foundation under grant No. DUE-0089079:
“Implementing the BESTEAMS model of team development
across the curriculum.”
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations
expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the National Science
Foundation.
Additional support was provided by the A. James Clark School of
Engineering, the Mechanical Engineering department at the
University of Maryland, College Park, and Morgan State
University, the United States Naval Academy, and Howard
University.
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
2
“Conflict is a form of
interaction among parties
that differ in interest,
perceptions, and preferences.”
Kolb, David A., Osland, Joyce S., and Rubin, Irwin
M., Organizational behavior: An experiential
approach, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 6th
Edition.
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
3
Examples of Team Conflict
Describe:
•
•
•
•
Factual situation
Effects on team members
How the conflict was handled
Effects of Resolution on Team
Member(s)
“Why is conflict so difficult to deal with?”
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
4
Why Conflict Management?
•
Teams in engineering require both interpersonal
and technical competencies
• Breakdowns in either skill can cause team
disruption
• Therefore, conflict management skills are vital to
team harmony and productivity
Many projects have been endangered because of
feuding team members!
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
5
Constructive (functional)
Conflict…
Not all
conflict is
Forces members/subgroups to discuss their negative
differing viewpoints
Often results in mutual understanding
Helps a team to achieve its goals
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Example: Member A wants to use Method I
while Member B wants to use Method 2 to
design a necessary component
Resulting discussion clarifies A & B’s
viewpoints and a decision is reached
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
6
Destructive (dysfunctional)
Conflict…
Is a hindrance to the team
Leads to reduced productivity and morale
Conflict that
Should always be addressed and never
reduces
ignored
пЃ¬ Example: Member A wants to exclude effectiveness is
negative
Member B from future meetings
because Member B often is late to
meetings
пЃ¬ Resulting discussion reduces team
resources for project completion
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
7
Major Reasons for Conflict1
Differences in beliefs, values, & expectations often are
the main cause of conflict.
Conflict may arise when:
пЃ¬
Two members or sub-groups use different sources or
interpret the same source differently
пЃ¬
Members or sub-groups have different or sometimes
conflicting objectives
пЃ¬
There are differing views on how logistics should be
managed
пЃ¬
There is a lack of authority structure or hierarchy
пЃ¬
The team is in the “storming” stage of development
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
8
Competition
Collaboration
Compromise
unassertive
Party’s desire to
satisfy own concern
Assertiveness
assertive
Conflict Management Styles2
Style choice
will probably
vary by
situation
Avoidance
uncooperative
Accommodation
cooperative
Cooperativeness
Party’s desire to
satisfy other’s concern
9
5 Conflict Management Styles:
Preferences for dealing w/ conflict
1. Competing
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Individual forces his/her way by being aggressive,
uncooperative, and autocratic
A win-lose situation is created
2. Avoiding
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Individual ignores the problem rather than
negotiating to reach a resolution
Individual is unassertive and uncooperative
A lose-win situation is created
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
10
Conflict Management Styles
(continued)
3. Accommodating
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Individual tries to resolve the conflict by giving into
the other member(s) of the team
This person is unassertive and cooperative
A win-lose situation is created
4. Compromising
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Individual tries to resolve the conflict through give
and take and making concessions
The person is assertive and cooperative
A win-lose or lose-lose situation is created
depending on the concessions made
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
11
Conflict Management Styles
(continued)
5. Collaborative
Individual tries to resolve the conflict with
the solution that is agreeable to all
members of the team
пЃ¬ Individual is assertive and cooperative
пЃ¬ This is the only style that has a win-win
resolution!
пЃ¬
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
12
Increasing Collaboration: A
Practical Tool
The “XYZ” model of conflict resolution
describes conflict in terms of behavior,
consequences, and responses:
•
“When you do X (a behavior),
•
Y (consequences) happen, and then
•
I do Z (personal response).”
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
13
XYZ Conflict Resolution
Tool Example
When you do X
behavior,
X=“When you come to
meetings late,
Y consequences
happen,
Y=the team has already
started and decisions are
being made that don’t
have your input,
My response is Z.
Z=and my response is
frustration and wanting to
quit the team.”
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
14
Role Play Conflict Resolution
•
•
•
Take one of the conflicts that has been
mentioned
Using the structure that has been
presented as the starting point, use the
collaborative XYZ model as a way to
begin resolving the conflict
Provide feedback (what worked, what
did not, what influenced the process?)
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
15
Handling Deadlock
Deadlock is a special case of conflict: the team
has come to a grinding HALT!3
Ignoring the conflict is NOT an option, so
instead try:
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Having each individual/sub-group debate from the
others’ point of view. This will help all involved to
understand all viewpoints.
Looking for a possible solution by examining and
analyzing the two sides for common ground.
Debating each side in context of the original task.
After the allotted time is over for each side, toss a
coin if it is not an critical issue and move on.
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
16
Choosing to Continue
Teamwork
Conflict resolution may fail!
The team must choose:
What team consequences to impose on
the uncooperative member(s)
пЃ¬ How to continue project progress
пЃ¬ The revised working terms should be
clear to all team members
пЃ¬
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
17
Summary
No team can function without some level of conflict
Being comfortable using conflict will enhance the
work of the team and lead to a better engineering
product
We discussed:
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Reality of conflict and the need to resolve it
Intervening: Conflict Management Styles
(Collaborative)
XYZ Model of responding to conflicts
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
18
Summary
Handling special cases of conflict:
Deadlock
пЃ¬ Although conflict always involves emotions
at some level, strategies for solving the
situation require cognitive skills (diagnosis,
problem solving, leadership) and some
degree of risk taking
пЃ¬ Conflict Management is a transferable skill
that can be used beyond the team setting:
LEARN/USE /BENEFIT!
пЃ¬
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
19
Optional Slides
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
20
How is Conflict Manifested
in the Team?
Team conflict can be manifested in any or
all of the following ways:
Attitudes: almost always poor
пЃ¬ Behaviors: unreliable, inconsistent
пЃ¬ Structure: team infrastructure is not
working (meetings, communication
frequency, jobs are not getting done)
пЃ¬
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
21
Intervention in Team Conflicts
Intervention2
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
To promote constructive conflict, intervention may
be needed to reduce conflict in groups with too
much conflict
Intervention among groups involves efforts to
disrupt the cyclic behavior caused by the
interaction of attitudes, behavior, and structure
These strategies for intervening among groups are
given on the next three slides
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
22
Handling Attitude Issues
When it is necessary to change team
members feelings and perceptions:
• Emphasize the overall team goal
• Share perceptions to clarify team
dynamics (peer to peer feedback)
• Encourage slackers to rejoin the group;
re-assign tasks and rotate roles
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
23
Handling Behavior Issues
When individual performance in the team is not
effective, try:
•
Skill training for the individual or whole team
(technical or interpersonal dynamics training)
• Bringing in a consultant with the missing skill
set
• If lack of skill is not the problem, use conflict
management skills or a third party negotiator
to get the non-participating individual to
contribute to the team
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
24
Handling Team Structure Issues
When the context in which the team is working
or the “rules” for guiding the team are not
working, try:
• Involving the larger system (instructor,
customer)
• Redefining the team charter and revisiting the
team goals and deliverables
• Reorganizing tasks assigned to individuals to
require more cooperation/interaction
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
25
Exercise
Imagine a team conflict from your own
experience:
• Was it due to attitudes, behavior,
structural (or a combination) of issues?
• What would you to handle the conflict?
• What else could you have done?
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
26
Third Party Negotiation
Called for when team led conflict resolution
does not work
Negotiator can be any non-team member
respected by the group or the instructor
Using “Principled” Negotiation,3 a negotiator will:
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Separate the team members from the issue – be
tough on the issue, not the members
Focus on the issue, not the different viewpoints
Develop different solutions that are satisfactory to
all
Have objective criteria for selecting the solution
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
27
Redefining “Failure”
Some teams think “conflict=failure”
Conflict is natural in the context of a team with a deadline
A true “failure” is an event where everyone agrees that
something went wrong and should be avoided in the
future
All failures should be examined/analyzed by the group
BEFORE the next phase of the project is started.
This way a mistake should only happen ONCE.
To show continued trust in the individuals involved in the
original error, delegate the solution agreed upon by the
team to these individuals.
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
28
Conflict Resolution:
References
1http://www.cooper.edu/classes/eng/esc000/Conflict/not
es.html
2Kolb, David A., Osland, Joyce S., and Rubin, Irwin M.
(1994). Organizational Behavior: An experiential
approach. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 6th
Edition.
3http://www.ee.ed.ac.uk/~gerald/Management/
4Felder, R.M., Felder, G.N., & Dietz, E.J. (2002). The
effects of personality type on engineering student
performance and attitudes. Journal of. Engineering
Education, 91(1), 3-17.
Reproduced with permission from BESTEAMS 2004
29
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