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Chapter 11. Maintaining Harmony Within t... > When Members Disagree About the Work - Pg. 124

Maintaining Harmony Within the Team 124 First, Candy tells how she views the situation. You might think that the next step is for Andy to state his side--but it isn't. Instead, Andy is asked to state Candy's view as he understands it. The reason for this step is that when Candy is presenting her view, Andy, if he is typical, is only partly listening. He's probably thinking about what he plans to say to rebut her argument. By being aware of having to repeat Candy's views, he knows he has to listen carefully. By having Andy repeat Candy's side of the story, any areas of misunderstanding can be clarified before Andy presents his views. It's amazing how often conflicts are caused by these types of mis- understandings. The same process is then followed with Andy stating his views and Candy restating them. During this discussion, Mark (as the mediator) takes notes. After Andy and Candy present their sides of the argument, Mark reviews his notes with the participants. Mark might comment: "As I view this, you both agree on 80 percent of the project. Now let's list the areas in which you disagree." Most disputes have many more areas of agreement than disagreement. By identifying these areas, Mark can focus on matters that must be resolved and tackle them one at a time. Because time is limited, a time restriction must be set on these meetings. Suppose that two hours are allotted for the first meeting. At the end of the specified time, there may be several more items to discuss. Another meeting should be arranged for that purpose. Candy and Andy should be en- couraged to meet in the interim without Mark to work on some of the problems. Often, after a climate of compromise is established, a large number of issues can be resolved before the next formal meeting. Let's say the next meeting is scheduled for one hour, and more problems are resolved. If the project must get underway, this may be all the time available. If some unresolved problems still exist, Mark will have to change his role from mediator to arbitrator and make the decisions.