Reflecting on a personal experience where there was a damaging conflict on a team in which I was a member, as my journey as an office manager in the recycling office began; there as a particular supervisor who had been there for years. The supervisor and I along with 4 others are supposed to work together on day-to-day work plans to meet daily production goals. The conflict began when a member of the team and the supervisor began to disagree on how materials were to be staged in the staging location in the plant. Even though, there is a proper staging layout visible to all members to see and follow. The conflict began to escalate, the supervisor reached out to the plant manager for the firing of the team member for not following protocol. This conflict not only began to affect the morale of the entire team, yet spilled over to everyone in the workplace. The reading from Lencioni, goes over the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, the absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention of results.
This conflict could have been suppressed or even directly addressed in a manner that would not have resulted in the attempt of firing a team member or the involvement of upper management. Lencioni states the absence of trust among members, his unwillingness to be vulnerable within the group. The supervisor and the team member did not show trust in each other to follow the guidelines already put in place. Neither one of the members showed a lack of avoiding conflict which led to avoidance of accountability. The supervisor seemed to want to establish accountability with the team member, yet the approach was incorrect and the conflict took a different route. When upper management got involved to help with inattention to results. Upper Management was able to redirect the conflict and bring the ultimate goal back to the forefront of the situation by concentrating on the original goal of proper loading and material staging in compliance with rules and regulations.
The conflict could have been better managed by the team and team leader simply by approaching the member one-on-one instead of in front of the entire team. Avoiding is 49% of my TLI Assessment. Finding other ways to address conflict whether offering a compromise to the situation. Trying to cool down the situation to reduce tension. In my opinion, some situations can be avoided and most can be resolved without extreme incidents.
Davidson, M.: Managing Conflict in Organizations.
Jack Welch. 2005. Winning
Lencioni, P.: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Part 4: Traction Conflict Resolution Strategies for Small Business
Darryl Jones Jr RE: Week 5 DiscussionCOLLAPSE
Lencioni is aware of the fact that teams are mostly dysfunctional, working as a team involves getting used to a set of rules and behaviors that can sometimes be challenging to the team members. According to Lencioni (2006), organizations fail because of the absence of trust, lack of commitment, inattention to results, and lack of accountability and fear of conflict. Therefore, team leaders should come up with strategies to confront such issues arising within a team.
At a particular company that I worked as an administrative assistant, we used to take four interns every year. The interns were free to use the companys library at all times, provided the librarian was present. One particular time, they reported to me that the companys secretary was so bossy toward them making it uncomfortable for them to work. This continued for so long that two of the interns wrote a letter to the administrator requesting him to relieve them of their duties. At this point, immediately, I knew that something has to change. As the administrative assistant, I did my investigations and realized the secretary assumed the role of supervising the interns without obtaining an authorization letter from me. I called the secretary to my office and explained to her how her behavior was affecting the interns productivity. She admitted to her mistake and promised a change of behavior. I also talked to the interns and assured them of the companys commitment to ensuring them a comfortable environment.
According to HR Answers (2019), leaders should gather as much information as possible in times of conflict. This is in line with what I did since I first investigated the entire complaint then came up with a solution. HR Answers (2019) asserts that leaders should also avoid hurtful comments so that the conflicting parties can understand each other. According to my TKI assessment, I have a tendency first to prevent conflicts and this is what I did. I noticed some form of aggression between the secretary and the interns but did not take action fast. I usually avoid situations since I always wish conflicts to solve themselves.
HR Answers. (2019, June 27). Conflict Resolution Strategies for Small Business. Retrieved from https://www.hranswers.org/conflict-resolution-strategies-for-small-business/
Lencioni, P. (2006). The five dysfunctions of a team. John Wiley & Sons.