Information & Training. | TQM. Total Quality Management.
Team ConflictIn every team as in all walks of life, wherever a group of individuals are tasked with progressing towards an objective, there will be a range of viewpoints on the optimum approach to task completion. Variety of opinion is a necessary requirement for an effective team, the alternative being a form of “group think”, which can lead to a range of problems, especially where the team is not in tune with customer demands and expectations. However, while differing opinions are to be expected and welcomed within a team, in some situations, the differing opinions can lead to conflict within a team. Conflict if not managed correctly can become very destructive and can result in the team failing to achieve the team objectives.
What is conflict within a team environment?
Conflict can arise where one or more individuals perceive that others within the team have frustrated, ignored, belittled, etc., some of their key concerns. Conflict has it’s origins in differences in objectives, interests, efforts, approaches, timing, perception of prioritization, …
Conflict can act as both a negative and a positive within the team. As a negative, conflict can lead to fear, mistrust, desire for revenge between the team members. Conflict can also be a positive in that it can expose weaknesses in analysis, can lead to greater understanding due to demands from opposing opinions, better proposals being developed to cover a wider range of possibilities, ….
In all team environments, conflict can arise. The objective of an effective team leader, is to manage conflict and direct the conflict towards achieving the “positives” rather than letting conflict be a negative within the team.
Conflict resolution in teams.In dealing with conflict, the criticality of the task, the urgency associated with objective achievement, the prevailing culture within the organization, the relative power of the team leader versus the team members, the relationship between the team leader and the team members, will all have a determination on the approach taken by a team leader to conflict within the team.
A model for conflict management has been developed by “Thomas-Kilmann”, where conflict resolution can be viewed in terms of the personal goals of the team leader and the desire to maintain positive relationships with team members. The “Thomas –Kilmann” model spans a spectrum ranging from seeking the defeat of the opposing viewpoint, to the complete opposite of withdrawing from the conflict and letting the opposing viewpoint prevail, or between these two extremes, seeking some form of accommodation, a compromise or a collaboration.
In addressing a conflict a team leader can follow one of the five approaches:
Defeat the opposing viewpoint: Impose your viewpoint at the potential expense of the other party.
Withdraw from the conflict: Retreat from actual or any potential disagreements and conflict situations.
Seek an accommodation: De-emphasise differences and emphasise commonalities.
Seek a compromise: Consider various issues, bargain and search for solutions which attempt to bring some degree of satisfaction to the conflicting parties.
Aim for a collaboration: Address disagreements directly. Attempt to find a solution together, rather than aiming to meet the needs of both parties.
Each approach, has associated positives and negatives related to the factors impacting on the team, the urgency and criticality of the team objectives and the desire for maintenance and development of long term relationships.
The method of conflict resolution applied will have short and long term consequences. Imposing a resolution to a conflict will help progress the team towards objective achievement, however, may jeopardize longer term relationships. If the team leader will in the future need the support of the team members involved in the conflict, support may not be forthcoming after a previously imposed solution.
It may be appropriate to seek a compromise for the long term good of the team, rather than seeking “wins” when-ever disagreement arises.
The team leader will need to understand the reasons for differing opinions which are leading towards conflict and seek to address in a manner which maintains team effectiveness. Equally, the situation and team objectives may not facilitate the seeking of collaboration or compromise and may require directly imposed decisions to be taken.
Information & Training. | Total Quality Management Tools and Techniques …
- Continuous improvement utilizing Analytical Techniques.
- 5 why’s analysis
- Process Flow Diagrams/Flowcharts/Process Mapping
- Check sheets /Check Lists
- Run charts
- Scatter Diagrams/Scatter Plot
- Cause and Effect/Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagrams
- Identifying sources & causes of variation
- Control/Shewart Charts/DPU Charts
- Cpk and Ppk Analysis
- Pareto Analysis
- Bottleneck Analysis
- Etc. Etc.
- Information & Training presentation >>>