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When an organization continues to manage and organize its work force, there are chances that conflict will arise either between the work teams and the management or among employees. In most cases, conflict arises as a result of differences especially when people come together in teams to work for a common goal, but then differences in values, power or religion may cause conflict.
In order to make sure that conflict does not have a devastating effect on the organization, it is important to devise some ways to resolve conflict. In that regard, it is beneficial to deal with any disputes that may arise in an open manner and as fast as possible. If conflict is handled in a proper way in a team, it may result in positive outcomes because it promotes emergence of creative ideas.
In a team building, exercises that are done, help boost understanding, confidence and respect among the participants. Therefore, it leads to a proper way of dealing with conflict in an organizational set up. I am going to suggest some activities to be involved in a team building which can help promote understanding and respect among members of a team (Fisher, 1995).
Hidden communication agenda exercise
An activity that would be involved in this exercise would enhance communication skills among members of the team. Each member of the team would be given a small indexed card with a label written on it such as organizer, worker, victim, mason, and invader.
Team members would then read their roles silently and throw away the cards. This would then be followed by drawing a scene in the office and each member of the team participating in the role that they had read in the card. This exercise would be summed by a discussion of the roles they play in real life.
Human knot exercise
This activity enables people to acquire problem solving skills which enables them work for a common goal. All the members of the team will stand in a circle. According to Fisher (1995), “Individuals would hold each others’ right hand, and then followed by using their left hand to grasp the left hand of the person on the other side.”
The task before them is to untangle and resume the full circle. This exercise enables the members of the groups to look for a common solution thereby, enabling collaboration.
This type of activity would motivate members in a team building activity to tell their personal information which enhances bonding and promotes trust. Bowditch (1997) described that, “members would be given pieces of paper and told to write five things about themselves.” They would then give other members of the group to view their traits.
Tag team game
This type of activity would enable the individual members of the team to share their strengths and traits which would lead to the success of the group. Persons are randomly divided into small groups of four to six people. Allow the team to select a leader, and on a large piece of paper, let them draw that person and label different attributes that they can imagine.
The team is then to write a short story about their leader with all those traits they had labeled. At the end of this activity, the team should discuss the following questions: Would a person be better if he/she had the traits labeled? What are the contributions each individuals in a team? What is possible with a team that cannot be done individually? What other traits are important that were not discussed?
Road map game
This activity would enable members of a group to share their ideas in planning for an event. People are randomly divided into groups of two to six people and given a uniform map of a specific state. The teams are to plan for a vocation using uniform standards, what is available for the trip, the amount of money, the car they have, fuel price and the beginning and he end of the of the town.
Each team is given a paper to draw a travel plan and how they would use their resources. A team that exhausts their cash or fuel before the end of the vocation is disqualified while a team that draws the best plan is rewarded.
Writing on boards
In this activity, members of the team would have a chance to appreciate one another. Each member of the team would be given a small board to write on, with markers of different colors. Fisher (1995), proposed that, “Every individual is to write their name on the board and draw a boarder along the edges of the board.”
Each member will then go round to write a message encouraging one another. Gentle and relaxing music would accompany this exercise together with light snacks.
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For people to work effectively in groups, they must have clear communication of opinions, ability to listen and understand each other, and being ready for disagreements. Even though it is difficult for individuals to accept disagreements, a team should show the ability to resolve conflict (Bowditch, 1997).
Bowditch, J. (1997). A primer on organizational behavior (4th ed.). New York, NY: JohnWiley & Sons.
Fisher, K. (1995). Tips for teams: A ready reference for solving common team problems. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.