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Exercises

1: In the following scene, Helen (manager) and Paul (manager) are talking in the hallway.

Helen: (frustrated) I just don’t know what I’m going to do about Sue and John.

Paul: What’s wrong?

Helen: They are always at each other’s throats. It’s becoming a daily problem.

Paul: Have you talked with them to figure out why they argue so much?

Helen: Why bother? It’s clear they can’t stand each other.

Paul: Helen, if you’d sit down and discuss the situation with them, you could identify the problem and work out a solution.

What problem is Helen facing with her team?

Can you help Helen find a solution to her problem? Suggest at least two methods to help her solve the problem.

2: In the following scene, Caroline (District manager), Patty (Account executive), and Charles (Account executive) are sitting at a conference table.

Patty: (To Charles) All I know is that I am fed up with these delays. Why can’t you meet deadlines like everyone else? If you’d meet your deadlines, I’d be able to meet mine as well.

Charles: (To Patty) Oh, sure. (Irritated) I remember times when you weren’t even close to meeting your deadlines.

Caroline: (Calmly) Wait a second, both of you. Patty, you used to have trouble meeting deadlines and Charles didn’t. Now the tables have shifted. How can you two help each other out?

What do you think is happening in this team?

Caroline talks about the two helping each other. Can you suggest how Patty and Charles might help each other?

3: In the following scene, Mark (employee) is addressing John (employee) and Wayne (employee). They are in Mark’s office.

John: (Exasperated) I don’t feel like Wayne understands how his requests are increasing my workload. I’m to the point where I can’t get everything done on time.

Wayne: (Surprised) That’s because I didn’t know how overwhelmed you are. You never said anything about it.

Mark: It sounds like the two of you need to make an effort to discuss the progress on your current projects. That way you’ll know how busy each of you is and how much additional work you can take on.

Wayne: That’s not a bad idea.

John: Yeah, maybe if we meet briefly each morning, we can review our progress and get a better idea of what can be accomplished each day.

Do you think John and Wayne will benefit from a discussion with each other? Why?

Share an experience you’ve had in which a conflict was resolved using some of the steps mentioned here.

4: Which of the following is the last step for resolving team conflict?
  1. Focus on team goals

  2. Create a plan

  3. Listen to all views

  4. Discuss alternatives

5: Conflicts are simplified and easier to address if they stem from underlying interpersonal or emotional issues. True or False?




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