Dealing with Conflict

Effective Project Managers realise that conflicts are inevitable and that procedures or techniques must be developed for their resolution. If the Project Manager does not carefully manage the conflict, his or her behaviour could easily worsen the situation.

If a confrontation meeting is necessary between conflicting parties, then the Project Manager should be aware of the logical steps and sequence of events that should be taken. These steps include:

  • creating a climate where individuals are willing to participate to resolve the conflict;
  • analyse the images: how do you see yourself and other? How do others see you?
  • collecting information: get feelings out in the open;
  • defining the problem: defining and clarifying all positions;
  • sharing the information: making certain that all relevant information is available to all parties involved in the conflict resolution;
  • setting the priorities: develop work sessions devoted to setting priories and developing timetables;
  • organising the group: forming cross-functional groups or splitting the group into smaller working groups if appropriate to help in solving the conflict;
  • developing the action plan: obtaining from the organised group their commitment to resolve the problem;
  • implementing the work: taking action on the plan;
  • following up: obtaining feedback on the implementation of the action plan.
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