Describe how conflict is synonymous with project management.
How do you think project managers should prepare to manage the constant stress of conflict and change on projects?
COMMON FORMS OF CONFLICT IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT:
? Negotiation is a discussion among two or more project manager with the goal of reaching an agreement.
? Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which a neutral third-party facilitator helps project manager discuss difficult issues and negotiate an agreement. Basic steps in the process include gathering information, framing the issues, developing options, negotiating, and formalizing agreements. Parties in mediation create their own solutions and the mediator does not have any decision-making power over the outcome.
? Arbitration is a process in which a third-party neutral, after reviewing evidence and listening to arguments from both sides, issues a decision to settle the case. Arbitration is often used in commercial and labor/management disputes.
? Mediation-Arbitration is a hybrid that combines both of the above processes. Prior to the session, the disputing parties agree to try mediation first, but give the neutral third party the authority to make a decision if mediation is not successful.
? Early Neutral Evaluation involves using a court-appointed attorney to review a case before it goes to trial. The attorney reviews the merits of the case and encourages the parties to attempt resolution. If there is no resolution, the attorney informs the disputants about how to proceed with litigation and gives an opinion on the likely outcome if the case goes to trial.
? Community Conferencing is a structured conversation involving all members of a community (offenders, victims, family, friends, etc.) who have been affected by a dispute or a crime. Using a script, the facilitator invites project manager to express how they were affected and how they wish to address and repair the harm that resulted.
? Collaborative Law refers to a process for solving disputes in which the attorneys commit to reaching a settlement without using litigation.
? Negotiated Rulemaking is a collaborative process in which government agencies seek input from a variety of stakeholders before issuing a new rule.
? Peer Mediation refers to a process in which young project manager act as mediators to help resolve disputes among their peers. The student mediators are trained and supervised by a teacher or other adult
Conflict is "a situation of competition in which the parties are aware of the incompatibility of potential future positions and in which each party wishes to occupy a position which is incompatible with the wishes of the other." Conflict is viewed as a cycle: "As with any social process, there are causes; also, there is a core process, which has results or effects. These effects feed back to affect the causes." To understand conflict further, the situation must include elements of interdependence, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors. For example, conflict occurs between parties whose tasks are interdependent, who are angry at each other, who perceive the other party as being at fault, and whose actions cause a business problem.
Conflict can be constructive and healthy for a project. It can aid in developing individuals and improving the project by building on the individual assets of its members. Conflict can bring about underlying issues. It can force project manager to confront possible defects in a solution and choose a better one. The understanding of real interests, goals and needs is enhanced and ongoing communication around those issues is induced. In addition, it can prevent premature and inappropriate resolution of conflict. Constructive conflict occurs when project manager change and grow personally from the conflict, involvement of the individuals affected by the conflict is increased, cohesiveness is formed among team members, and a solution to the problem is found. However, if conflict is not managed properly, it can be detrimental to a project by threatening organizational unity, business partnerships, team relationships, and interpersonal connections. Deconstructive conflict occurs when a decision has not been found and the problem remains, energy is taken away from more important activities or issues, morale of teams or individuals is destroyed, and groups of project manager or teams are polarized.
Destructive conflict has a predictable pattern known as the Drama Triangle. By learning how to identify these unproductive roles and how to effectively handle each role player, managers can prevent some conflicts from occurring and resolve those that do. Most individuals know how to assume the following three roles:
1. Persecutor refers to a project manager who uses aggressive behavior against another project manager, attacking the intended victim. An attack can be direct or indirect and be physical, verbal, or both. The persecutor's actions deliver a message that "you are not okay" while making the persecutor feel righteous and superior.
2. Victim refers to a project manager who uses nonassertive behavior so others view them as "I'm not okay." This behavior encourages others to either rescue or persecute the victim. Victims will feel helpless, inadequate, sad, scared, or guilty. The victim role is often used because the individual is feeling stressed, has low self-esteem, or is being ...
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