Conflict Management in the Workplace

Conflict Management Learning Team A: Dana Stinson, Timothy Bird, Sterling Richards, Diana Loutensock LDR/531 October 5, 2010 Richard Hartley, M. A. Conflict Management Training Program Our consulting firm, Conflict Professionals, specializes in training all levels of managers (executive, mid- and entry-level) in the art of managing conflict within their teams and organizations.
What is conflict and how does it arise? Typically, it occurs when two or more people oppose one another because their needs, wants, goals, or values are different. It is almost always accompanied by feelings of anger, frustration, hurt, anxiety, or fear.An individual may also have internal conflict issues causing stress and incapacitating him or her from functioning in a productive manner. Effective Conflict Management is the process of identifying and addressing those differences that, if left unmanaged, would become a destructive element for the individual, project, team, and/or organization.
What Role Does Conflict Play in an Organization?

According to Santosh Karkhanis conflict can create a negative impact on team cohesiveness when it:

Hampers productivity;
Lowers morale;
Cause more and continued conflicts;
Cause inappropriate behaviors;
Takes attention away from other important activities;
Undermines morale or self-concept;
Polarizes people and groups, reducing cooperation;
Increases or sharpens differences.

Generally, when discussing organizational conflict we think of personality clashes or aggressive type behaviors between individuals performing similar tasks or at the same level in the organizational hierarchy. There are managerial actions that can cause or create conflict in the workplace; some of which are: Managerial Actions That May Cause Workplace Conflicts Surprised Employees – managers don’t inform employee of new policies, programs, decisions or manager takes credit for their employees’ work thereby creating distrust and conflict between both individuals.

Poor Leadership – managers that are inconsistent, missing, or too-strong or structured, create conflict by devaluing the employee and lowering his or her self-confidence.
Different Personal Chemistry – this generally occurs when there are very strong-willed individuals who differ in personality and nature. It becomes a matter of ego for these types of individuals.
Disagreement Over Resource Distribution – conflict arises when available resources are not made equally available to all.

According to Craig Runde, Director of the Conflict Dynamics Profile at Eckerd College, over two-thirds of managers spend more than ten percent of their time handling workplace conflict and forty-four percent of managers spend more than twenty percent of their time on conflict-related issues.
If your company is to maintain an edge in today’s liquid markets, then your teams need to be as fluid as the markets themselves. In order to do this they need to work together as a single unit.When you accomplish this then, and only then, your teams will be able to keep up in today’s dynamic environment. Training Outline We have developed a full scale training program specifically designed to educate and train management level employees on what actions are most effective in cultivating conflict management skills. The training will take place over a five week course.
We will meet in a business casual setting for 45 minutes once a week. The day each week, and times, will be determined before we start the program at your organizations convenience.Our goal is to accommodate your company, so either you can make use of our training facilities or we can bring our training into your business whichever supports your company’s productivity needs. Following is the training program’s format: WEEK 1

Review and Update Job Descriptions
Ensure job descriptions are defined and accurate.
Ensure team members understand individual responsibilities.
Ensure all tasks are identified.
Build Relationships with all Subordinates
Meet with team members one-on-one on a monthly basis.
Discuss accomplishments, challenges, issues, and employees’ progress towards goals.WEEK 2
Report progress from week one concepts and address concerns
Get Regular Written Status Reports
Include accomplishments through the month.
Incorporate any challenges employees come across in performing their job functions.
Conduct Basic Trainings
Interpersonal Communication Training
People react to conflict with violence (yelling and placing blame) and silence (agreeing with things they don’t agree with and shutting down communication).
Managers create a safe environment for communicating by determining the facts and focusing on the common goals. WEEK 3 Report progress from week two concepts and address concerns
Employees’ Involvement on Daily Tasks
Employees should be involved in defining tasks. This creates trust and engages employees.
Have employees create written procedures on tasks. All employees should review those documents.
Employees need to be trained on the procedures. The procedural documents should be placed in a visible area with open access for all employees. * Regular Management Meetings
All team members should attend.
Discussion topics should include company initiatives, accomplishments, and the status of current programs.WEEK 4
Report progress from week three concepts, and address concerns
Analyzing, interpreting, and managing personal internal conflict.
Centering thoughts and emotions through meditation.
Listen first, respond second.
Document and discuss analysis.
Minimize mental clutter through organizing your environment. WEEK 5
Report progress from week four concepts, and address concerns

Once again, effective conflict management prevents differences from becoming destructive elements in a project, on a team, or within an organization.By completing this Conflict Management training and implementing the tools learned, your managers will significantly decrease the amount of conflict he or she must deal with on a daily basis. No company can dispute the importance of effective conflict management within their organization.
The positive impact your company will realize from the training will include:

Increased productivity, lower turn-over
Higher morale
Less Conflict
Improves positive behavior
Increased cohesiveness
Teams who work as a single unit
Reduces differences

Conflict Professionals bring our experience and knowledge to your company at a competitive price. The program cost will be quickly absorbed by the increased profits attained from having a happier, more productive team. The cost for the five-week course is only $500 per person.
Combined, Conflict Professionals have over 80 years of experience resolving conflict. The knowledge and tools we bring to your company will provide immeasurable rewards for your company. We have helped hundreds of companies achieve their full potential. We can do the same for you. Call Today.References Santosh Karkhanis. 30 August 2010). Conflict Management.
Retrieved from:  Session 5. Conflict Management. Retrieved from: http://www. fao. org/docrep/w7504e/w7504e07. htm Workplace Conflict. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Retrieved from:  http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Workplace_conflict&printable=yes William King. (2010).  Some Managerial Actions That May Cause Workplace Conflicts. Ezine Articles.
Retrieved from: http://ezinearticles. com/? Some-Managerial-Actions-That-May-Cause-Conflicts.

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