Conflicts are an inevitable part of teamwork. However team mangers should realize that conflicts need not always be negative or harmful towards achievement of the team’s goal. The team mangers should differentiate between cognitive and affective conflict. Cognitive conflicts would be impersonal and geared towards solving a problem that the team is facing. However care should be exercised while even promoting cognitive conflict because discussions can quickly become personal and arouse emotions. It is important that a team have some freedom with control resources.
Teams for example with a greater autonomy as to how they spend their budget are likely to do better and be involved in fewer conflicts. Also teams need to be given structural accommodation. Teams should have a formal team charter. A team charter covers the goals and priorities of the team along with a policy framework. When the team is focused on what it has to accomplish and has clear guidelines as to how to achieve this goal it is likely to work more smoothly and effectively and avoid conflicts. Another point to note is that team leaders need to be trained as to what this new role implies and how to cope with various problems and who to approach incase certain situations develop. Also before the team starts to work a clear compensation plan must be explained thoroughly which needs to reflect the actual performance of the workers. This will prevent feelings of injustice between team members and encourage more work and participation and therefore prevent conflict.
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