Conflict Resolution in Work Teams
Causes of Conflict:
1. There is a perceived breach of faith and trust between individuals:
When a team member breaks the confidence that another team member had in her, a breach of faith and trust occurs. This breach of trust causes the affected party to react emotionally, creating conflict. Trust and faith within a team makes members feel confident and secure. Once shattered, it creates strong emotions, causing pain, which may be difficult to manage.
2. There is unresolved disagreement that has escalated to an emotional level:
It is typical for disagreements to occur in a team environment, but if they are unresolved, they can fester. When another disagreement of the same nature arises, the unresolved issues reappear, magnifying the situation. If issues are not dealt with promptly, conflict will be the result.
3. There ...view middle of the document...
4. Personality Clashes:
No two people are alike, and in a team atmosphere, this is even more pronounced. While one individual may be an extrovert, another may be introverted. Further, while one person may approach life in an intuitive manner, the other may view it in a logical and rational manner. Although having different personalities on a team can improve its strength, it can also cause conflict. If one person approaches a task based on his personality traits, while another uses a completely different set of personality traits in her approach, frustrations may develop and power struggles can take over.
5. Differences in values and beliefs:
People have different values in life. Each person has his own way of viewing the world, hence forming strong beliefs on issues such as religion, race, politics, sex, ethics and morals. Some people develop value systems that they refuse to compromise. If a team member views a certain situation as threatening to his beliefs, conflict occurs.
6. There is underlying stress and tension:
Each member of a team has a life of his own. While one team member may live a quiet, low-stress life, another may have financial worries, marital stress or parental issues. The underlying stress of everyday life can negatively impact the affected team member, causing him to react to other members unfavorably. If the other team members do not know, understand or care that the reason for this behavior has nothing to do with them, conflict will flare up between the members.
7. Ego problems:
A person’s ego is a strong motivator in how he acts and in the decisions he makes. The ego can cause an individual to feel he is always right. He will refuse to accept he is wrong, even when he is clearly wrong. In a team environment, when the ego is dominant but irrational, power struggles can develop, leading to conflict.
8. There are combinations of factors:
Conflict situations are rarely clear-cut, single-source events. Usually, they are a combination of the above factors.