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Team Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution. Maggie McHugh-Parrish Southern Polytechnic State University maggie@spsu.edu. THUMB WRESTLING Goal: to score as many points as you can 1. Choose a partner. 2. You score one point each time your partner’s thumb is press down. GROUPS vs. TEAMS.

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Presentation Transcript
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Team Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution

Maggie McHugh-ParrishSouthern Polytechnic State Universitymaggie@spsu.edu

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THUMB WRESTLING

Goal: to score as many points as you can

1. Choose a partner.

2. You score one point each time your partner’s thumb is press down.

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TERMS:

Position - What you decided you want in a particular situation; a specific solution.

Interests - What caused you to decide; the specific need in a situation which caused you to take a particular position or select a specific solution.

Problem-Solving Models- Communication patterns for transitions in principled negotiations that result in generating options.

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The Conflict Resolution process generally has three components:

  • Discussion about the PAST
  • Discussion in the PRESENT
  • Discussion about the FUTURE

What happened???How are we feeling/dealing with it now?What is our plan to fix it?

How do we experience this in the work team?

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GOAL of the problem solving model: to create a shift from

YOU vs. MEtoYOU & ME against the problem(like Thumb Wrestling!)

HOW???

Utilize the (“HOW TO”) problem statement

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Key West

Mexico

Maggie’s Vacation Dilemma

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Key West

Mexico

Maggie’s Position

Mexico

Nancy’s Position

Key West

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Key West

Mexico

Maggie

Position

Mexico

Interests

Near water

Social/dancing

Inexpensive

Ability to meet

others

I

Nancy

Position

Key West

Interests

Near water

Quiet, low

stress

Good

restaurants

Comfortable

Interests

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How To, or, Problem Statement:

How to have a quiet, low stress, comfortable vacation at low cost with access to water, socializing, good eats and dancing.

SO, where did we go???

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Once you have a “How To” statement. . .

Goal: Utilize this tool to help team members move from their original (individual) positions to a new position (acceptable to all team members).This begins as team members identify solutions that meet the “requirements” of the How To statement.

*FROM Neil Katz & John Lawyer, 1985

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So, how to start writing the How To?

You need to identify interests.

One method of doing this is referred to as: “chunking”*

*FROM Neil Katz & John Lawyer, 1985

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“CHUNKING”is a questioning method to identify interests after you’ve heard initial positions.Chunk UP . . . to interests . . . by asking questions like:

“What would having that do for you?”

“What is that good for?”

“In what ways is that helpful?”

“How is that useful?”

USE THESE INTERESTS TO CONSTRUCT THE “HOW TO” STATEMENT! Then,

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“CHUNKING”

Chunk DOWN . . . to potential - new - shared position(s) . . . by asking questions like:

“What is a good way of doing that?”

“How could that need be satisfied?”

“What specifically . . .?”

“What are other ways of (meeting the need)?”

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interests

“CHUNKING”

first:Chunk Up . . . to interests

Broadens the views of the team members

WRITE THE HOW TO

then:Chunk Down . . . to new position

Narrows the views of the team members

DOWN

UP

positions

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finally:The team evaluates the potential, new shared positions by evaluating the ability of each solution to satisfy the requirements of the How To statement.

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A review of this problem-solving model...

1. Listen to initial positions.

2. Use Chunking Up questions to identify interests.

3. Write a How To statement (with the team).

4. Use Chunking Down questions to identify potential new positions (solutions).

5. The team reviews each solution, evaluating them against the requirements of the How To statement.

6. The team selects the new, shared, position/solution, and makes an action plan if necessary.

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The KATZ & LAWYER Dilemma

POSITIONS:

Neil: “My name must be listed first! This research could not have been completed if I hadn’t joined the team, I’m up for tenure, AND my name will help sell textbooks.”

John:” My name must be listed first! The book was my idea, my contacts in the publishing business got us this contract AND I have high name recognition in the public sector.”

WHAT ARE THEIR INTERESTS???(what do they need?)

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The “How To” Statement

The Katz and Lawyer Dilemma

How to . . .

give both Katz and Lawyer authorship recognition for their book that will benefit their careers and recognize their individual significant contributions to the project.

(Now, how did they resolve this?)

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What are some examples of conflicts that occur in the work team where this model can be applied?

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Your team is charged with implementing an e-commerce web site for the company. Although the web site is live, the “go live” date for a major build supporting e-commerce is set for one week from today. The company has a $20M national media advertising campaign, already in progress, advertising the “go live” date. Architecture is firm (3-tier, MS Internet Information Server, SQL Server -database, Visual Basic and Java-Script, all running on NT; front end Active Server Pages, middle is Component Object Model objects, data layer is the SQL Server.) Load testing at 500 page requests/second was successful (slowest transaction ran at 5-7 seconds.) The team’s been working 15-20 hours days for the past three weeks, but it’s almost over.

Today your project team is meeting the with management team to review 36 outstanding issues, all in progress. A new (2 weeks w/company) Director of Merchandising is part of the management team. He raises a new issue: the company should rethink it’s web site to incorporate the ‘character’ used in the TV and print ads…the radio ads are a cult favorite everywhere they’re run, and TV ads premier tonight.

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But, when the web site was developed, the character did not exist. And, some of your team members think that the elegant design of the site doesn’t fit with the “cartoony” character. There is some discussion, and it’s clear that the members of the work team are not in agreement with the request; there seems to be a clear division between the web designers/developers and the marketing/business folks on the project team.

The CEO speaks for the management team, and instructs the work team to meet to consider the issue, and to bring an issue resolution recommendation to him by 5pm.

ISSUE: The company now has a successful “spokesperson” character who is visible and popular with the public. Should the Project Team redesign the web site to incorporate this character in time for the go-live date?

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POSITIONS:

Designers: The go-live date is in one-week; we are already working max hours, and there are 36 other critical issues that need resolution; in addition, the current design of the site is traditional and elegant (like our product), and is not a good fit for the ad character.

Marketing/Business: The character in the ads is a cult favorite; people have called radio stations requesting that the ads be played; customers identify the character with the company, and he’s “become” the company; customers will expect to see him prominently active on the web site. Changing the web site, even at this late date, will enhance sales.

You will be assigned to represent either the design or marketing/business group. Step 1, Identify the interests of the group you DO NOT represent.

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Step 2, Verify that the interests you identified are accurate.

Step 3, Use the knowledge of all interests to develop a “how to” statement.

Step 4, Use the “how to” statement as a basis for generating ideas.

Step 5, Evaluate the ideas.

Step 6, Select the recommendation(s) the team will send to the CEO.

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Based on real circumstances at

Send.com (Waltham, MA), Nov. 1999

(out of business, January 2001)

Cartoon character: The Giver

See a sample of the television ad at: http://www.adcritic.com/content/send.com-the-giver.html

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