Conflict self reflection

Describe and analyze a conflict experience in a team or group that you have been a part of. Use course concepts to understand and assess the effectiveness of the way your team handled the conflict and the impact its process had on performance. The purpose of this exercise is for you to apply course materials on conflict and negotiation, to understand what the sources of conflict were, the effectiveness of previous attempts to  handle the conflict, and ways to either forestall or reduce the conflict.  In this essay you will describe the nature of the conflict, how the team handled it at the time, and, based on what you have learned so far in the course, how you would recommend handling it now.

Your paper should have four parts:

  1. Describe the details of the conflict. Be concrete and explicit enough in describing the conflict so that an outsider can understand what went on and has all the necessary background to analyze the problem. Your goal should be to be as complete as the description of the the group's response to Sharon in the Disciplining a Team Member case.
  2. Analyze the causes of the conflict.  
  3. Discuss how you or the group handled the conflict at the time and its effectiveness. Provide your reasoning about what or why not the previous attempt was effective.
  4. Discuss how you'd want to change this approarch, if you do.  Provide the rationale for any changes you would like to make.

Here are some questions you should think about while writing your analysis. You don't need to explicitly address each question and you can certainly include other thems that are not on in this list.

  • To what extend are you describing a task or relationhip conflict?
  • How would you evaluate the group's process and effectiveness in dealing with this conflict? What worked, and what didn't work?
  • How did the team deal with these problems then and what are your recommendations now, in retrospect, in how the team should have handled the conflict?
  • How did you deal with these problems then and how would you deal with them now, in retrospect?
  • Was there task conflict, with different people proposing alternative ways of accomplishing the group's goals? Was the task conflict productive or unproductive?
  • Was there personal conflict between group members? What were the root causes? How did you deal with these problems then and how would you deal with them now, in retrospect?
  • Was there social loafing? What were the root causes? How did you deal with these problems then and how would you deal with them now, in retrospect?
  • Were there problems in communication among the group members? What were the root causes? How did you deal with these problems then and how would you deal with them now, in retrospect?
  • Were there problems in reaching concensus about how to do the work? What were the root causes?

The paper should be no longer than three, single spaced pages in Time-Roman, 12-point type (i.e., <1500 words). Due mid-night, Tues Nov 10th.