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Topics: Construction, Energy and Utilities, Leadership
How do you resolve conflicts in your projects?
First we have to find what was the cause of the conflict and how can we resolve the effect of such conflicts.
Similarly, we can resolve the conflicts by bringing all the people for the table talks so that we can understand them and finding what was the reason behind of such conflicts which can also hamper the project working areas. We have to be clever enough to address the problem on permanently basis so that the project risk can be minimized.
Further, a project manager responsibilities is a leadership role where he have to act in such a way that he can achieve his project targets and make his site free from such conflicts, and free from other such disorders which can delay the project. Leaders role is to bring all together to perform the works and I believe that if we address the problems, we can achieve all the success what we have expected for!
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Amit,

what is the difference between a conflict and a problem?
I think a conflict is a problem with emotions attached to it.

Conflict handling means to deal with emotions first, if they are detrimental. Some emotions might be good for the project, like getting into flow, a healthy competition, compassion to help a fellow team member. We would not call this a conflict though.

Negative emotions between team members or wider stakeholders have to be identified and removed. Perceived lack of respect, responsibility, honesty are key sources for negative emotions. There are many techniques to deal with those, I recommend Grenny's 'Crucial conversations' as a starter.

After you have dealt with the emotions, you can look for the problem, if it still exists. In many cases, the problem was just made up to serve as a scapegoat for negative relationships. If it is still there, you have already created a trustful environment to tackle the problem. Again, many techniques exist, I recommend to look at design thinking, double diamond.
...
2 replies by Amit Pokhrel and KWIYUH MICHAEL WEPNGONG
Sep 21, 2020 9:34 AM
KWIYUH MICHAEL WEPNGONG
...
Hi Thomas,
Your angle of response is so interesting, If I got you well, conflicts when not handled can lead to problems
Sep 21, 2020 9:53 AM
Amit Pokhrel
...
Dear Thomas,
I know that conflict is related to the emotional activities and I absolutely agree on your feedback. Thank you for your support.
Sep 21, 2020 9:23 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Amit,

what is the difference between a conflict and a problem?
I think a conflict is a problem with emotions attached to it.

Conflict handling means to deal with emotions first, if they are detrimental. Some emotions might be good for the project, like getting into flow, a healthy competition, compassion to help a fellow team member. We would not call this a conflict though.

Negative emotions between team members or wider stakeholders have to be identified and removed. Perceived lack of respect, responsibility, honesty are key sources for negative emotions. There are many techniques to deal with those, I recommend Grenny's 'Crucial conversations' as a starter.

After you have dealt with the emotions, you can look for the problem, if it still exists. In many cases, the problem was just made up to serve as a scapegoat for negative relationships. If it is still there, you have already created a trustful environment to tackle the problem. Again, many techniques exist, I recommend to look at design thinking, double diamond.
Hi Thomas,
Your angle of response is so interesting, If I got you well, conflicts when not handled can lead to problems
...
1 reply by Thomas Walenta
Sep 21, 2020 10:37 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
Michael,
yes, that is one possibility, but I did not reflect on that yet.

I rather said, if you have a conflict and you deal with the emotions involved, in my experience there is no problem left after that in about 50% of the cases.

I define a problem as a situation in which I do not know what to do. So it is a perception of me. You might know exactly what to do.

The problem that may be created from an unsolved conflict is not there before the conflict. For example if 2 people become enemies from a conflict your problem might be whom to fire as you cannot let them kill the team with their hostile behavior. Maybe fire both for a sense of fairness.

But be clear that is a bad solution, the best solution is if you are able to solve the conflict (and make them friends).
Sep 21, 2020 9:23 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Amit,

what is the difference between a conflict and a problem?
I think a conflict is a problem with emotions attached to it.

Conflict handling means to deal with emotions first, if they are detrimental. Some emotions might be good for the project, like getting into flow, a healthy competition, compassion to help a fellow team member. We would not call this a conflict though.

Negative emotions between team members or wider stakeholders have to be identified and removed. Perceived lack of respect, responsibility, honesty are key sources for negative emotions. There are many techniques to deal with those, I recommend Grenny's 'Crucial conversations' as a starter.

After you have dealt with the emotions, you can look for the problem, if it still exists. In many cases, the problem was just made up to serve as a scapegoat for negative relationships. If it is still there, you have already created a trustful environment to tackle the problem. Again, many techniques exist, I recommend to look at design thinking, double diamond.
Dear Thomas,
I know that conflict is related to the emotional activities and I absolutely agree on your feedback. Thank you for your support.
...
1 reply by George Freeman
Sep 21, 2020 4:53 PM
George Freeman
...
Hi Amit,

I would not universally state that “conflict relates to emotional activities,” but would instead express the following:


  • Conflict is typically rooted in the inability for one to delineate between [A] what they Feel, that is, their emotions, and [B] what they know, that is, their knowledge.

So, yes, emotions are the primary culprit in conflict, but for me, there is more clarity in stating that unmanaged emotions are the primary culprit. In other words, managed emotions can provide insight, that is, additional knowledge to a “mindful” individual who desires to base their decisions based on these two streams of information.

Unfortunately, the reality is that most individuals accept “that which they feel” as being “that which they know.” Hence, the conflict that reigns in society and our workplaces.

George
Sep 21, 2020 9:34 AM
Replying to KWIYUH MICHAEL WEPNGONG
...
Hi Thomas,
Your angle of response is so interesting, If I got you well, conflicts when not handled can lead to problems
Michael,
yes, that is one possibility, but I did not reflect on that yet.

I rather said, if you have a conflict and you deal with the emotions involved, in my experience there is no problem left after that in about 50% of the cases.

I define a problem as a situation in which I do not know what to do. So it is a perception of me. You might know exactly what to do.

The problem that may be created from an unsolved conflict is not there before the conflict. For example if 2 people become enemies from a conflict your problem might be whom to fire as you cannot let them kill the team with their hostile behavior. Maybe fire both for a sense of fairness.

But be clear that is a bad solution, the best solution is if you are able to solve the conflict (and make them friends).
Ait made basic points.
Conflicts may involved personal perceptions or impersonal aspects of a project such as conflicting requirements. In either case, my approach is to gain a deeper understanding of:

1) The rationale behind each requirement, objective, viewpoint, or whatever things are incompatible. Sometimes we don't have a choice into how we do things. Sometimes there is a perception of how things must be done which may not be a valid assumption.

2) A deeper understanding of the incompatibilities. This may lead us to realize that the conflicts may be easily resolved by compromising on minor changes. Sometimes the examination may show us that the conflict itself is perceived.

In multiple situations, I've found that two parties actually agree with each other, but there is a language barrier (possibly technical terminology), both sides are in violent agreement and the disagreement is merely a communication gap.
Sep 21, 2020 9:53 AM
Replying to Amit Pokhrel
...
Dear Thomas,
I know that conflict is related to the emotional activities and I absolutely agree on your feedback. Thank you for your support.
Hi Amit,

I would not universally state that “conflict relates to emotional activities,” but would instead express the following:


  • Conflict is typically rooted in the inability for one to delineate between [A] what they Feel, that is, their emotions, and [B] what they know, that is, their knowledge.

So, yes, emotions are the primary culprit in conflict, but for me, there is more clarity in stating that unmanaged emotions are the primary culprit. In other words, managed emotions can provide insight, that is, additional knowledge to a “mindful” individual who desires to base their decisions based on these two streams of information.

Unfortunately, the reality is that most individuals accept “that which they feel” as being “that which they know.” Hence, the conflict that reigns in society and our workplaces.

George
In order to resolve conflicts in project, you need to identify the root cause is conflict and typically conflicts involve two or more parties. Therefore, You need to use leadership quality to find the solution. For instance, if conflict is between two individuals who has hostile behaviour and it is leading to destruction to project then as a leader you may need a tough call to fire any one or both of them from the project and maintain the good environment in the project. As a leader you must ensure that conflict should't lead to the problem, a unpleasant situation, where you struggle to find the solution.
You have to understand if a conflict really exists first. Conflicts is about perception and perception is subjective. When you work on that you will find, most of the times, there is no conflict at all.
Best way to resolve conflict in project is to fix the process. People doesn't create conflict it is the inefficient process that creates the conflict in project. [ Tried and tested :-) ]
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