5 Ways In Which A Project Manager Can Overcome Conflict

Paul Naybour

This question is refering to Thomas Killman, you need to write five paragraphes on each…..

5 thoughts on “5 Ways In Which A Project Manager Can Overcome Conflict”

  1. Brett

    The best advice is to plan out your answer before you start. Even I find that by the time I am making the 5th point in a question I have run out of ideas. Some more specific tips are

    1) Benefits or importance of (of risk, change control etc) are often linked to time, cost, quality, safety and team / customer satisfaction
    2) When describing say change management then the process then the steps in the process can be useful
    3) When talking about roles or estimating think about how these change with the life-cycle. For example five roles of a sponsor can easily be described with reference to what they do at different stages.

    I hope this helps


  2. Thanks for the feedback Paul. I have to say its not easy answering these questions in fact it’s harder to write the answer than type it as its easy to duplicate what had already been said. Have you any top tips for the exam as my mind often goes blank or do you know the modtpopular topics that come up to give an indication of what areas to concentrate in specifically.

  3. Brett,

    A very comprehensive and complete answer, well done. You have clearly got the hang of these questions. I only have one minor comment. Competing is not necessarily an issue of right or wrong, it is more that a decision has to be taken and the conflict resolved in an assertive way because of lack of time or urgency.

  4. Conflict can arise in may forms on a project such as priorities, resources and personalities to name a few. Thomas Killman developed a model to aid in the resolution of conflict which is described below

    1. Compromise
    This process is used to avoid disruption and carry on. Within this strategy common ground is given to both parties in a form of appeasement. This produces an acceptable agreement to both parties as the difference is split. This strategy is best used when the individuals have equal power and time is a constraint

    2. Collaboration
    This strategy is the brining together of both parties working together to resolve the issue as a team. This provides a mutually beneficial solution to both team member and project manager. Differences of opinion can be explored and decisions to resolve can be achieved by working together. This strategy is best used when long term commitment is needed from both parties

    3. Competing
    This strategy is essentially when you know you are right and you need to move on eg standards or procedures. Within this strategy where one has sufficient power they may pursue their own goals at the expense of the other. This strategy is commonly used when the PM has authority and a quick decision is authorised.

    4. Avoid
    The individual choses to ignore the issue completely and ignores the goal of either party in essence “sweeping it under the carpet”. This strategy should be used with caution as there is a potential for this issue to go untreated to become much larger than first anticipated. This strategy should only be employed on minor/trivial issues.

    5. Accommodating
    Within this strategy the Project Manager takes on the view point of the team member and sacrifices their goals and accepts the direction /wishes of the opposing party eg the other party decides. Agreement can be reached by delegating the decision to the other party. this strategy is best employed when the opposing part needs to learn from there decision.

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