Friday, June 27, 2008

Managing Conflicts

This week, in The Firm Voice, I came across an article that dealt with leading teams and managing conflicts. Since we did a conflict resolution meeting at PRSSA, I thought this article was applicable to us as firm members and young professionals.

Dr. Nanda, a professor at Harvard University, says the worst thing to do when faced with a conflict is to ignore it. He offers firm managers three tips for trying to resolve a conflict, but the tips can be applied to anyone:

1. Be open

2. Be inclusive

3. Ask questions

"Professor Nanda says professionals are seeking fulfillment in three ways: performance, learning and having a sense of well-being. Well-functioning teams are, in a way, like a "three car garage" that possesses all three. The job of the team leaders meanwhile, is to be a mentor, performance leader and an adviser" (Shaw, 2008).

Even though we have been very lucky and have had no major conflicts thus far in our young firm, it's inevitable that it will happen. Even though these tips may seem silly, it's important to remember them when resolving a conflict.

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