Using Conflicts in Decision Making to Make Effective Decisions and a More Cohesive Group Conflicts arise between co-workers often and over many different matters. Mismanaged conflicts can damage relationships and stalemate group decisions. By learning conflict resolution skills, workers can seize opportunities for growth and open discussion. One can use conflicts that arise in group decision making to make more effective group decisions and a more cohesive group. Conflicts in Group Decision Making Tubbs (2007, p. 09), defined conflict management as “The ability to manage conflict so that there is a healthy conflict of ideas without the unhealthy conflict of feelings. ” Conflict is often thought of as a completely negative event, when in fact it can have many positive effects. Without some form of conflict, problems would not ever be revealed or dealt with. Although there are many cost associated with conflict, there are also many benefits that are often overlooked. Personal Conflicts Personal conflict arises out of a sense of being wronged.
The perception of inequality, scarcity, and moral or cultural differences gives rise to a emotional grievance (Brahm, 2004, para. 1). Acting out these conflicts is a way of addressing concerns. “… conflict can give rise to new norms and rules to govern conduct which can have long-term benefits… conflict can lead to establishing new statutes meant to deal with the sources of conflict” (Brahm, 2004, para. 8). Idea Conflicts Idea conflicts are a difference of opinion. People can have idea conflicts and have no personal conflict- as long as they respect other people’s point of view.
Idea conflicts are necessary to create idea diversity. A homogenous set of ideas will not be as creative, comprehensive, or open to new ideas. Ideas conflict can also easily escalate into personal conflicts when workers become more loyal to an idea than to the group synergy. Make Effective Group Decisions With Conflict “Building Collaborative Solutions, Inc. (BCS), defines conflict management as ‘the opportunity to improve situations and strengthen relationships'” (Tubbs, 2007, p. 315). By resolving disagreements before they turn into personal conflict, workers can keep their focus.
Conflicts are often easier to handle when put into proper perspective (Sherman, 2011, p. 52). An open exchange of ideas can contribute to organizational health by valuing honorable conflicts of ideas. Group member should expect and respect differing points of view, while maintaining personal sovereignty of thought. Conflict Solutions “… conflict can initiate a process through which individuals realize they have common interests and common enemies” (Brahm, 2004, para. 10). New bonds can be made in conflict, even as others are being broken down.
Outside conflict can bond and energize group members (Tubbs, 2007, p. 315). The challenge is to realize the benefits of conflict in such a way so as to minimize the many costs also associated with conflict (Brahm, 2004, para. 14). If a company provides conflict resolution training to employees, they can reduce the intensity and frequency of future conflicts. Groupthink “The term groupthink was coined in the 1970s to describe a situation when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing and moral judgment within a board” (Martyn, 2011, para. ). Groupthink can be effectively be mitigated by a healthy expression of the conflict of ideas. Members of a group guilty of groupthink are usually more concerned with group harmony than with effective decision making (Martyn, 2011, para. 3). When attention is drawn to the hazards of groupthink and benefits of idea diversification, then the group can focus on the best interest of the organization. Cohesion When conflict resolution happens out of empowerment and collaboration, it allows for more growth and more positive opportunities to be presented.
When personal growth is shared between team members it produces bonds… learn positive ways of addressing conflict that will minimize hurt feelings, gossip, and a negative environment. Leaders should recognize that organizational level decisions can have an immense effect on both functional and dysfunctional conflict (Harris, Ogbonna, Goode, 2008, p. 453). Perspective “… be open to the other person’s perceptions-instead of casting blame, explore how you both may have contributed to the situation” (Freinkel,2004, para. ). Bringing the causes of conflict to the surface will allow for the root problem to be dealt with. “No matter who you’re dealing with, asking open-ended questions is a great way to create a dialogue” (McCurdy, n. d. , p. 3). “Discovering the best level of analysis requires a certain navigational skill, a nimble capacity to zoom in, out, and around to different perspectives” (Sherman, 2011, p. 52). Conclusion A certain amount of conflict is inevitable, and it must be understood to be channeled.
Conflict can be used as an opportunity to grow and improve group interaction. Conflict and resolution is not a zero-sum game; there are benefits when one looks for them. Group cohesion and decision making can certainly be enhanced through the conflict and resolution process. References Brahm, E. (2004). Benefits of Intractable Conflict. Retrieved April 26, 2011 from http://www. beyondintractability. org/essay/benefits/ Freinkel, S. (2004, July/August). “can we talk? ” Health, 18(6), 135-138. Harris, L. C. , Ogbonna, E. , & Goode M. H. (2008).
Intra-functional conflict: an investigation of antecedent factors in marketing functions. European Journal of Marketing, 42(3/4), 453-476. doi:10. 1108/03090560810853011 Martyn, K. (2011, March). Governance groupthink. New Zealand Management, 58(2), 55-56. McCurdy, S. (n. d. ). 5 ways to resolve conflict at work. Retrieved April 24, 2011 from http://www. click2houston. com/money/24926751/detail. html Sherman, J. (2011, March/April). Zoom. Psychology Today, 52-53. Tubbs, S. L. , (2007). A Systems Approach to Small Group Interaction (9th ed. ). Ney York, NY: McGraw Hill.