January 14, 2003
Thriving On Conflict
Bill Kuehn and Ramone Yaciuk
Resolving conflict a nice goal, but when you are under pressure to get work done, you are going to see honest differences of opinion that don't resolve easily. You can pretend to resolve it but when you suppress conflict, you also eliminate open communication. When you eliminate open communication, you risk missing something important, something that might jeopardize the success of the project.
Because conflict is normal, predictable, and necessary, the best goal is to make it constructive instead of destructive. It starts with an awareness of your own conflict styles, some of which are constructive while others may be defensive. Next, recognize the various conflict styles shown in your team. Finally, take action to shift the conflict to the constructive styles.
At the January RMIMA meeting we will show you how to observe twelve distinct conflict styles, four of which are constructive, while the remaining eight are defensive and could be destructive to the work team.
Bill Kuehn and Ramone Yaciuk are with Tough Teams, a training company that works with corporate IT departments in large corporations throughout the country, showing companies how to improve project team effectiveness and how to thrive on conflict. Some Tough Teams workshops are part of the Systemation project management curriculum leading to a certificate in project management from the University of Colorado at Denver.
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