Share
Explore BrainMass

Communication Challenges and Conflict Management

As you continue to develop in your career, you will find that your responsibilities as a leader will increase. You will be tasked with many different jobs, such as managing conflict, handling communication challenges among your team members, or addressing organizational communication needs. As you know, no employee likes to speak up only to have his or her ideas not taken seriously, or to confront others about their working styles, or to face uncomfortable gossip among coworkers.

Develop a summary that includes multiple ways to handle the situation shown in the Storybooks.
Discuss communication styles and barriers and the conflict and negotiation process involved in story book. Describe the strategy or strategies you would apply in these situations.

Consider the following: How would you react when a team member is being vague and trying to spin bad news to sound more positive, thereby making it harder for the team to actually approach and resolve the issue?
• How could you encourage someone to continue to voice his or her opinion or to share an idea when you know she is hesitant to do so?

• Think about a personal situation from your work experience that is similar to each storybook scenario. How would you approach the situation differently based on the principles you learned in the storybooks? How might the results change?

Storybook 1: Communication Challenges Transcript

NARRATOR So, you're the manager of a marketing team for Wimwam Sandwichery, a growing national restaurant chain. Your team is having a meeting to figure out what's going on with the company's new social media strategy. And it's... not going so hot. It starts with Todd.

TODD Well, ah, um, I'd say our social media presence is generally pretty strong except maybe we're not getting as many likes as we'd like but we had a bunch of people react to that photo of a big pile of bacon we just posted... but I guess we should probably think about how to reach more people? Yeah.

(We hear the sound of crickets.)

NARRATOR Finally, Claire pipes in.

CLAIRE Yeah, go team! Sounds like maybe we don't need to change anything, huh? I mean, I'm pretty busy with this other project so if we're looking good here...

NARRATOR The rest of the team doesn't seem so optimistic. You suggest that maybe they should still come up with something else to help Wimwam Sandwichery's social media presence. So your team awkwardly throws some ideas around, and eventually they kinda, sorta latches onto an idea about getting celebrities' dogs to tweet about their sandwiches, when a skeptical-looking Emily, who hasn't said anything all meeting, starts to interject:

EMILY Well, actually, I think...

NARRATOR "What's that, Emily?" you ask.

EMILY Oh... nothing. Never mind.

NARRATOR The meeting ends, nothing really gets decided, and everybody walks out feeling a little weird.

[End of Audio]

Solution Preview

Develop a summary that includes multiple ways to handle the situation shown in the Storybooks.

An important role of a manager is to manage diversity (differences in views, personality, attitudes, etc.) and maintain a collaborative and inclusive environment where conflicts can be resolved amicably. The manager also is responsible for handling tough conversations with staff.
Ways to handle the situation include:
The manager should encourage productive communications skills: For example, listening, seeking to understand the other person, open ended questions, probing for information, exchanging information and facilitating the meeting so that everyone will feel included.
Also, it may be necessary to look at and change the way the manager communicates in order to facilitate reaching the desirable outcome for the team. The manager could have done this by encouraging others to contribute to the solution through providing information and support to achieve the marketing plans of the team.
Maintain a positive and supportive tone: The manager should have demonstrated a positive attitude towards responses received and demonstrate that he or she could have demonstrated that she was willing to listen to several suggestions, willing to debate different viewpoints, etc. This would have helped the manager to facilitate the meeting well to the end and help the team to reach a solution.

Discuss communication styles and barriers and the conflict and negotiation process involved in story book. Describe the strategy or strategies you would apply in these situations.

There was lack of sensitivity to the Receiver (narrator). There was a breakdown in ...

Solution Summary

A key aspect of management is the management of diversity and supporting clear communication in the work place. Important communication, negotiation and conflict management lessons could be learned from this case.

$2.19