The team assignment for week four challenges team members to think about the development of their respective careers. We are reminded to take notice that the responsibilities of a leader will increase. The increase could possibly entail being tasked with many different jobs, such as managing conflict, handling communication challenges among co-workers or team members, or addressing organizational communication needs. There is a general consensus of people disliking to speak up causing their ideas about work not being taken seriously. Those employees sometimes find it rather uncomfortable facing gossip among coworkers as well as confronting others about their work style. Utilizing three storybook scenarios, we will discuss communication styles, barriers, and the conflict and negotiation process involved in handling the three situations in the storybook. We will describe the strategies applied in each situation.
Delivering bad news as a manager is something that any manager tries to void. There is going to come that time where you faced with having to deliver such news and how you do it is going to be important in keeping your employee’s focused and on task as well as keeping them with your team. As a manager there are certain things you can do to help get you and your employee’s through this. When delivering bad news it’s very important to be very direct and open with what is going on or happening. The last thing you want your employee’s to think is that there is something that you are hiding and they need to be worried about. Trust is very important as a manager with your employee’s. Creating so called resilient teams will help get you and your team through any obstacle that you’re faced with. Do not use the terms you have to deal with it, or be lucky you’re still employed. Those are more threatening terms that will make the situation worse. Staying as positive as possible will help your team through any negative news that might come your way.
Communication is important, talking with your team one on one or in a group setting will help reinforce that everyone will get through it. Many different things can come up in an office setting that a manger will have to address, another aspect is negative gossip. There are many ways to address gossip before it continues or spreads. As a manager if you hear of someone spreading gossip as a manger you need to address it with that individual or individuals. Making it clear that sort of thing isn’t tolerated in the office space is very important as some gossip can turn negative. You want to make sure that you’re in the correct environment when you do this, such as a confidential location. Host a team meeting that address’s and that makes it known that negative gossip will not be tolerated. If you’re going to gossip it must be positive, as this could actually become a positive thing, and generate good discussions.
Storybook Three introduces a conflict between two individuals based on personal variables. Team member John misses an internal deadline, which becomes the catalyst for a round of emails that result in harsh words, insults, threats, and an uncomfortable team. Personal variables include “personality, emotions, and values” (Yukl, 2012, p. 452), and are demonstrated in this Storybook in the conflicting personalities and values of Antonio and John. Team deadlines can cause many conflicts among team members who value deadlines differently. Some individuals feel like a deadline is set in stone and no matter the consequence to others, the deadline must be met. Other individuals feel that yes there is a deadline, but if other important issues arise the deadline can be extended. In this case, John missed a deadline due to a separate project and Antonio saw it as a lack of dedication to their team. The results of this conflict affected the team as a whole until it was resolved.
To avoid conflict over deadlines, the team leader must firmly establish deadlines and the consequences of not being able to turn projects in on time. However, the team leader and team members must be understanding if unexpected circumstances arise that may affect a team members’ ability to reach this deadline. The team member who has had the unexpected circumstance needs to openly communicate with the team lead and the team as soon as something happens that could hinder their ability to reach the deadline. For example, in a previous team a teammate experienced the death of a family member three days prior to the day a project was due. Almost immediately this team member notified not only the team lead, but all team members to make them aware of the situation. Fortunately, there was enough time for someone to step in and finish that individual’s portion. In the Storybook, if John had expressed concern about his ability to meet the internal deadline due to a separate problem, he may have received assistance and the conflict would not have occurred.
Yukl, G. A. (2012). Leadership in Organizations, 8th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from http://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781269357883/id/ch01tab01