Team Conflict Management

Dr. Russ J. Andaloro made a presentation to the Barcelona TeamLabs on April 25, 2018. Dr. Andaloro is a faculty member of the Communication Department at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Andaloro was in Barcelona teaching Study Abroad Programs through the University of Arizona.

 

He gave a very comprehensive presentation on Conflict, which is his major area of study. The general purpose of this presentation was to explore concepts, theories and principles of conflict. The most important component of his discussion dealt with the identification of the difference between Conflict Resolution and Conflict Management. These two terms are often confused for each other and yet are exclusive of each other and have totally different connotations. A necessary component of Conflict is interdependence between the conflicting parties. Dr. Andaloro explained that it is often impossible to break that interdependence, for example conflict with a coworker, a family member, spouse, etc, then the conflict has to be managed constructively.

 

Dr. Andaloro introduced Communication examples and strategies as they relate to Conflict Management. He emphasized the necessity of dialogue and constructive Communication to avoid conflicts escalating and becoming dysfunctional. 

 

The attendees shared many real life examples of both professional and personal conflicts. There was an excellent group discussion of the principles of effective conflict management in the contexts of the workplace, families, organizations, friends, relationships, and other various contexts. This made the presentation truly interactive and relative to those in attendance. The discussion also introduced ways to recognize and apply the principles of effective and constructive conflict management and resolution in the contexts of each attendee’s personal situations. The group discussion helped everyone to identify the origins and indicators of conflict through shared personal examples.

 

Several of the attendees requested that the presentation cover the chronological steps leading to conflict. Basically, what is the process and the steps leading to conflict? Dr. Andaloro specified that there are three elements necessary for conflict to occur.  These elements include Interdependence, Incompatible Goals and Expression. These three elements occur sequential. To have a conflict the parties must be interdependent, which means influence over each other. Then, the goals of each person must be incompatible with the goals of the other person. That leads to the perception that the other persons goals interfere with your goals. Then comes expression, one or both persons indicate to the other, that they perceive that persons actions are interfering with their goals.

 

A major objective was achieved through the presentation. One of the objectives of Dr. Andaloro was that the attendees would be able to identify dysfunctional principles of conflict management and resolution. Through the discussions and conversations following the presentation, it was very clear that those in attendance left with the knowledge of the difference between Constructive Communication Behaviors and Dysfunctional Communication Behaviors utilized in Conflict.