Professional Development and Research

During the MSc studying in Brunel University, I worked in small team (5 people) for a module study. From this teamwork, I have got many benefits and valuable experiences. Meanwhile, I have encountered some issues as well, and the key one is conflict.

Having reviewed theory and practice at the same time, I wanted to write an essay discussing the approach to resolve conflicts in teamwork.Nowadays, in the fast developing modern society, teamwork can be found in many workplace environments, including corporate, government and education. Teams are increasingly used as the building blocks of flexible organizations.

 In addition to preparing for the future careers, student also largely benefit from teamwork. Teamwork is becoming a very important part of students’ course, because it demonstrates their ability to communicate, discuss, and co-operate with others. Thus it is not surprising that the ability to work effectively in a team is a much-desired skill for society developments.Moreover, effective teamwork, many researchers have argued, is a foundation for successful organizations that serve customers and develop employee commitment (Cohen ; Ledford, 1994; Hackman, 1990; Stewart ; Barrick, 2000).

Underlying this trend is the belief that by bringing together a range of different perspectives, teams will achieve higher levels of creativity. [1] Unfortunately, many students even experienced employees dislike teamwork, and find it easier to work individually. The most important reason for this is fear of conflicts. They believe that team members do not get on in the teamwork. (Just like my MSc studying in Brunel University, a module called Professional Development and Research especially teaches students how to work effectively in a team.Although I have got many benefits from this module so far, I have e encountered some problems blocking work developing in teamwork, and the key one was conflict within team members. At most time, the conflict made my members and me unhappy and leads to a win-lose outcome, which often caused it difficult to complete a common goal of my team). This is understandable, in view of the fact that some people have conflicting personalities, when you place them together in a situation where they have to work very closely with each other.

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That is to say simply bringing together individuals with diverse expertise does not in itself lead to creativity. How those individuals interact with each other is critical. Team members must share and integrate their different perspectives to reach creative decisions. This requires the skilful management of conflict in the team. [2]We can clear see that resolving conflict is important and necessary for teamwork, and resolving conflict constructively is the most critical of team skills. Without this ability, the team cannot develop the trust and bonding that allows moving from the Storming stage into peak performance.

 If you have to deal with other people, you will, sooner or later, have to deal with conflict. Conflict is not inherently bad. In fact, conflict simply stems from differing viewpoints. Since no two people view the world exactly the same way, disagreement is quite normal. In fact, anyone who agrees with you all of the time is probably telling you what you want to hear, not what he or she actually believes. [3]Conflict can be defined as a natural strong disagreement resulting from individuals or groups that differ in attitudes, beliefs, values or needs.

It can also originate from past rivalries and personality differences. Other causes of conflict include trying to negotiate before the timing is right or before needed information is available. Conflict in a teamwork starts when an individual perceives that someone is negatively affecting, or about to affect, something they care about. It occurs as a series of episodes between those involved, with each episode shaping how the conflict is subsequently perceived and managed. Although conflict is popularly thought of as involving a win-lose struggle within a team, many conflicts in the workplace occur between individuals who share similar end goals but disagree over the means by which they can be achieved.How conflict is created is useful to understand how conflict starts and is carried on, because just in that case, we can effectively manage and resolve conflict.

 Usually, conflict occurs when one party decides that the way things are is not okay and seeks change, but that change is not agreed to by the other party. It is important to realize that despite the old saying that “it takes two to tangle”, in reality it only takes one party to declare a conflict. At that point, the other party is drawn into the conflict whether they want to be or not, unless they have the option to leave the relationship. In a public school situation, neither the parent nor the school can leave, unless the parent pulls the child from the school system entirely.Main Ingredients of conflict Needs – Needs are things that are essential to our well-being.

Conflicts arise when we ignore others’ needs, our own needs or the group’s needs. Be careful not to confuse needs with desires (things we would like, but are not essential). Perceptions – People interpret reality differently. They perceive differences in the severity, causes and consequences of problems. Misperceptions or differing perceptions may come from: self-perceptions, others’ perceptions, differing perceptions of situations and perceptions of threat.

Power – How people define and use power is an important influence on the number and types of conflicts that occur. This also influences how conflict is managed. Conflicts can arise when people try to make others change their actions or to gain an unfair advantage. Values – Values are beliefs or principles we consider to be very important.

Serious conflicts arise when people hold incompatible values or when values are not clear. Conflicts also arise when one party refuses to accept the fact that the other party holds something as a value rather than a preference. Feelings and emotions – Many people let their feelings and emotions become a major influence over how they deal with conflict.

Conflicts can also occur because people ignore their own or others’ feelings and emotions. Other conflicts occur when feelings and emotions differ over a particular issue.

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