Conflict Resolution 1 Team Building for Conflict Resolution Angenetta Turner Organizational Behavior Instructor: Dr. Thomas King Date: Monday, February 16, 2012
2 Team Building for Conflict Resolution Whenever anyone is in a management position, one of the most critical things to know ishow to combat conflict in the workplace? Managing people is never an easy job, however, onemust be able to encourage others and increase employee morale in the workplace. The two things in the workplace that causes tension and stress among employees aremisunderstanding and miscommunication. Good communication can help improve effectiveness,productivity and decrease conflicts. Conflict can mean different things for different people. Somemay think of it as fighting or even war type behavior. According to Bass, we have known thatconflicts occur when two or more individuals realize that, there has been a threat to their wants,interests or concerns. Even though conflict is a normal part of the organizational/personal life,we have a tendency to see conflict as a negative experience that is caused by unusual anddifficult circumstances. Those involved sometime see limited options and resources available forseeking solutions. According to research, there are five most common types of conflicts in the workplacewith personality being the most challenging and frequent occurring conflict. Other workplaceconflicts include interdependence conflict, differences in styles, differences in background andgender, differences in leadership and of course personality conflict. These styles may varythroughout the workplace. Let’s start by talking about interdependence conflict, it can be definedwhen a person or persons has to rely on others output or input and or cooperation in order to gettheir job done. When this does not take place it causes a conflict because it hinders someone elsefrom getting their job completed. The next type of conflict that occurs in the workplace is difference in styles. Everyonehas a different way of completing a task and this can cause conflict. Some people are task
Conflict Resolution 3oriented whereby others can be people oriented. Finally, one of the biggest sources of conflictscan just be personality clashes. The number of personalities that float around in the workplace isunbelievable. We have outgoing, lazy, disrespectful and motivated individual and when thesepersonality clash, sparks start to fly. No matter the type of personality, as a manager/leader theymust know of a good solution to solve these conflicts when they arise. Knowing what we do about conflicts, there needs to be some types of team buildingprocedures available to deal with any type of conflict in the workplace. Team-building exerciseshave been known to be a powerful way to connect a group, develop strengths, and deal withweaknesses. However, in order for the exercise to work it must be well planned and carried outwith a purpose in mind. There should be a genuine purpose for your decision to do the exerciseinstead of doing it because you felt like giving your employees/staff something to do other thantheir daily jobs. Activities that focus on team building in the workplace will improve theenvironment in any organization. It also has the ability to make all the employees more adaptedwith each other. This should then allow employees to be more comfortable with one another,which in turn will allow them the ability to work well with each other in order to achieve acommon work goal. When creating or deciding on a team building activity for the workplace, we mustremember not to organize it as training. Team building activities for workplace was created withits own achievements of realistic goals for learning and corporation in an informal environmentthat consist of exercises and group games. Throughout my employment life, I have had the opportunity to be involved with severaldifferent team building activities that has proven to be successful, with everyone leaving a betterperson than they came. Not all employees were interested in playing the team building games.
4However, they where reminded in advance of the importance and advantages the practice wouldhave in helping motivate them as they do their daily job as a team. The Human Knot was a really good activity that involved everyone to work as a teamwith the use of communication skills, collaboration and other useful tools needed to complete thetask. We started by forming groups of 10 people, the activity worked better with smallernumbers. When we had too many people participating in the knot activity it became extremelydifficult. Everyone was then told to stand shoulder to shoulder. We then put our right hand up inthe air, and then told to grab the hand of someone across the circle from them. Everyone thenputs their left hand up in the air and grabs the hand of a different person. Our facilitator madesure that everyone was holding the hands of two different people including the hands withsomeone directly next to them. We were then given the direction to untangle with the solution ofmaking a circle without breaking the chain of hands. If someone broke the chain we had to startall over again from the beginning, which happen twice. This activity proved to be a great teambuilding exercise for any type of conflict in the workplace. This activity allowed employees totalk to one another no matter the conflict at the time. This activity ended with everyone smiling.To add challenge to the activity, we were given a time limit with a reward for the first group thatcompleted it before the time was up. In conclusion, team building in the workplace for me can be defined as "a facilitatedintervention activity that enhances organizational productivity and goals with the improvementof individual role clarity and teaming abilities." The groundwork for all team building in theworkplace is having shared goals that all team members will be committed to doing. Withproductive teamwork a company/organization will be able to work towards challenges, andchanges, with confidence. Working together on any team generates energy and enthusiasm for
6Bass-Jossey, Lencioni, Patrick (2002), The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable.http://www.livestrong.com/article/165639-7-types-of-conflict/ Retrieved January 13, 2012Kinicki, A., & Kreitner, R. (2009). Organizational behavior key concepts, skills & best practices. (4 ed., p. 167). New York,NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.