May 04, 2009

Leadership and management of conflicts

In the seminar of how a leader can manage conflicts we analyzed his responsibility regarding the personal conflicts some if his/her team members might have. It requires a great deal of social intelligence from the leader to understand the importance of a conflict and know at what level he/she has to intervene in order to resolve it and secure the team's harmony. People especially in western societies prefer to have a team that works in harmony but what is the probablity of that when people from different backgrounds and usually different cultures have to work together.

In every job it is almost certain that you will have to work with someone that you don't like at all but how can you let aside these feelings and focus on the work only? Can a leader alone help you with that or it also depends on the team members involved or the situation? If a member does not want to cooperate should he/ she be excluded from the team and can a leader decide sth like that?

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  1. I think it’s rather the Eastern countries who focus on group harmony… I am not arguing that people in Western countries prefer working in a haromic atmosphere, but I think they are less reluctant to enter discussions or face conflicts when they arise. (The importance of saving face is less important in the West)

    Regarding the responsibilites of a leader – if everything has been tried (the entire team put effort in it, truly wanting to solve the conflict), nothing worked and one individual refuses to cooperate, yes, maybe the person shoulg be excluded/put on another job. However, this should be done as subtle as possible. (remember the example the man form Terex gave us – he promote a very difficult employee to a position that wouldn’t be necessary within short-time in order to get “rid” of him.)

    04 May 2009, 23:58

  2. Amrita

    Conflict is a fact of life. Even when a team shares a goal or a vision, its members may have different ideas about how to achieve it. For team leaders, the critical question is how to steer conflict into productive channels and resolve them effectively, or at least with minimum damage.

    23 May 2009, 14:28

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