As managers, we need to embrace conflict and see that it can be positive for a team and for a company. However, understanding how to handle conflict is one key to successful communication and to overall success in the workplace.
Read Chapter 13
“Finding Confidence in Conflict”
After reading Chapter 13 and watching the video, answer the following prompts based on the scenario below– 400+ words.
Janna White sat in her office, perplexed. Two days previously, she had been given responsibility to lead a team on a project that would have a significant impact on the investment decision under consideration at PlexiWarm Corporation. The decision involved an expansion of the firm’s product lines to include high-density spray foam insulation (the firm currently produces rigid foam insulation panels). Janna had scheduled the first team meeting for this afternoon and was looking forward to working on such a significant project. She had just opened her e-mail to find a stream of confusing communications from two team members. Apparently, the two had been exchanging e-mail and text messages in such rapid succession that the replies had become very disjointed. The final messages had come about an hour earlier; both parties had basically concluded that they simply could not work together because of the poor communication of the other person!
Janna had the record only of the e-mail messages—the text messages had been sent between each person’s individual cell phones. Without a complete record of the communication, Janna did not have a clue about how to try to resolve the conflict. She e-mailed each person, asking whether they had kept a record of the “text thread.” She quickly got responses that neither had kept the stream of messages and that each now refused to work with the other.
- What could Janna have done in advance to try to prevent the conflict?
- Now that the conflict has occurred, and since this significant project still must be carried out, how should Janna manage the conflict?
- Looking ahead, what is the likely effect of the conflict on team productivity?