HRM 323 Week 5 Team Assignment Reflection of Experiences
HRM 323 Week 5 Team Assignment Reflection of Experiences
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Date Created: 11/08/15
Running head: REFLECTION OF EXPERIENCES 1 Reflection of Experiences HRM323 REFLECTION OF EXPERIENCES 2 Reflection of Experiences A company has hired a new human resources specialist for its human resources department. This person (Jim) is the goto person for resolving conflicts (before they escalate) in the workplace, and making recommendations to management on how to avoid serious workplace conflicts. ”Conflict involves competition between two or more individuals or groups who have incompatible interests, and who are interdependent” (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007, p. 6). Meeting the interest and needs of all parties involved in conflict and focusing on collaborative problem solving are two methods that can be used to resolve the conflict situations. Workplace conflict cannot be eliminated but can be reduced. Goodwin and Griffith (2007) state to prevent conflict in the workplace, one must create conditions, in which employee’s needs for a safe, supportive, and accepting work environment are met and where they can pursue meaningful work. Jim (the human resources specialist) believes that he needs more knowledge of conflict resolution before he can be effective in his new position. He goes to see an instructor for advice on how to become a more effective human resources specialist (he takes notes during this meeting). In this paper, the roles involved in Jim’s lessons will be compared and contrasted. The skills required as they relate to each role, behaviors, traits, and characteristics of an effective conflict manager, and the significance of each role will be discussed. Powerbased, rightsbased, and interestbased approaches to conflict management will also be discussed. Compare and Contrast Tasks Concerning conflict management, the manager needs to “take off his or her decision maker hat, resist the temptation to exert undue influence, and accept the challenge of ensuring a process that is fair, objective, and balanced” (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007) .As a conflict manager REFLECTION OF EXPERIENCES 3 there can be many tasks involved to handle conflict. Comparing and contrasting the tasks involved in each role of a conflict manager will give the manager a better understanding of how things were handled previously and the outcome. Each role, such as encouraging, negotiating, and involvement can help the conflict manager achieve a positive outcome in a resolution. A conflict manager possess the ability to identify the issue, probe further into details, encourage communication, and facilitate an outcome that is acceptable to both parties involved in the conflict. Skill Requirements As a conflict manager it will help to model his or her behavior, traits, and characteristics after those who have been effective at managing conflict. Skills that would be imperative for a conflict manager are openness, selfawareness, persistence, consideration of others, critical reasoning, and integrity (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007). The skills will allow the conflict manager to achieve the collaboration solutions (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007). The conflict manager needs to put aside his or her own behaviors, judgments, and maintain focus, so as to keep from coming across as partial to either employee involved in the mediation of the conflict. The conflict manager needs to make each party involved comfortable to speak his or her parts of the conflict. One must be confident in the position and organized, along with persistence helps one realize resolutions beneficial to both parties. The one thing a conflict manager needs to be aware of is to have a win/lose mind set. This will keep parties from participating so the conflict manager needs to show concern for both parties, which will allow more sharing of information. A manager involved in conflict managing needs to practice the skills required so that eventually he or she will be a master at handling conflict situations. REFLECTION OF EXPERIENCES 4 Behaviors, Traits, and Characteristics The behaviors, traits, and characteristics of an individual reflect on his or her ability to be an effective conflict manager. Goodwin and Griffith state that the six categories that behaviors, traits, and characteristics fall under are: openness, selfawareness, persistence, consideration of others, critical reasoning, and integrity (2007, p. 309). An effective conflict manager must understand and incorporate each of these behaviors, traits, and characteristics categories. Openness shows in a manager who is flexible, creative, and willing to explore options (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007, p. 310). Selfawareness means the manager must acknowledge his or her own attitudes and behaviors that could affect his or her own ability to manage the problem (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007, p. 310). Persistence shows a manager that is patient, persuasive, determined, and thickskinned (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007, p. 311). It shows an unwillingness to give up and a dedication to find the best possible solution. Consideration of others reflects that the manager is respectful and concerned with finding a solution. Showing consideration of others expresses trust, empathy, and sensitivity to the issue (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007, p. 312). Critical reasoning is important because it allows the conflict manager to determine if the proposed solution is fair and solves the conflict (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007, p. 313). A critical thinker must be analytical, rational, objective, critical, consistent, and wise (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007, p. 313). Integrity is important in a conflict manager because the parties involved must trust the manager to be fair, trustworthy, qualified, honest, and principled (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007, p. 3134). The parties must believe that the conflict manager is a true and honorable individual who can be entrusted to manage the conflict. Significance of Skills to Success REFLECTION OF EXPERIENCES 5 Each skill is significant to the success of each role because they work together to ensure effective management style. If one skill is not in place it does not mean that the management would be unsuccessful, however there would be occurrences where the outcome will be less than desirable. A conflict manager who possesses the skill of being open will have the trust of his or her staff. Trust is extremely important to staff, especially when there is a conflict at hand. The staff must be sure that the manager will treat him or her fairly during the process. The skills of selfawareness allow the conflict manager to avoid being bias. If a conflict manager is dealing with a staff member that they have an outside relationship with, he or she may be tempted to view this situation with a certain slant. However: if the manage is already aware of this propensity they will make a concentrated effort to view the situation without taking sides but based on facts. A conflict manager must be persistent to bring about resolution. There are times when it will be necessary to go through a longer process to get the best results, and a manager who does not have persistence will not be equipped to see the situation through. Consideration of others is a very necessary for a conflict manager because often time’s conflict is the result of an inconsiderate or unfair rule, policy, or decision. Therefore, consideration of others during the resolution process is paramount to bring the situation at hand to an amicable agreement. Last, critical reasoning and integrity are skills that a conflict manager must have. The manager must have the ability to reason through both sides of the conflict, and maintain his or her integrity in the process. If a manager was to disclose personal information about a situation there could be serious repercussions, he or she must maintain the security of the situation. Approaches to Conflict Management REFLECTION OF EXPERIENCES 6 The three approaches to conflict management are powerbased, rightsbased, and interest based. Goodwin and Griffith (2007) state, in powerbased approaches, resolution to conflict is reached because one party can wield power over a weaker adversary and force compliance on his or her terms. Powerbased approach to conflict can have negative results. When a person (who is stronger) forces another person to accept his or her terms for a resolution, this can cause damage to the work relationship. Rightsbased is another approach to conflict. “In rightsbased approaches, parties depend on rules, policies, law or other framework to claim they should prevail in the interest of equity, justice, or other entitlements” (Goodwin & Griffith, 2007, p. 31). Using the rightsbased approach to conflict will not cause a violent confrontation but could cause legal confrontations. Instead of handtohand struggle (according to Goodwin and Griffith, 2007), the battle is fought through appeals to what is right. The third approach to conflict is interestbased. Goodwin and Griffith (2007) state that in interestbased approaches, parties seek to understand each other’s interest and find ways to achieve an outcome that is acceptable and mutually beneficial to them. This approach focuses on why there is a conflict (what is the problem). This approach helps both parties involved better to understand what the issues are and how to deal with them. Conclusion Goodwin and Griffith (2007) state to prevent conflict, one must also look for the potential causes, or triggers of conflict among individuals and within the environment and seek to address the underlying concerns. Frenz (2011) states conflict is an inevitable part of work life, but it could produce productive answers to problems. Because organization leaders are responsible for creating a work environment that enables people to thrive (according to Heathfield, 2012), the REFLECTION OF EXPERIENCES 7 manager must intervene immediately in conflictridden situations. An important tip for managers to remember is, understanding the nature of the conflict is essential to determining which strategy to use for the resolution. REFLECTION OF EXPERIENCES 8 References Frenz, R. (2011). Conflict Resolution and the Workplace. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com Goodwin, C., & Griffith, D. B. (2007). The conflict survival guide: Tools for resolving conflict at work. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. Heathfield, S (2012). Workplace Conflict Resolution. Retrieved from http://www.humanresources.about.com Holley, Jr., W. H., Jennings, K. M., & Wolters, R. S. (2008). The labor relations process (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson New World Encyclopedia (2012) Labor Unions. Retrieved from http://ww.newworldencyclopedia.org
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