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People in Projects by Project Management Institute

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Resolving Team Conflict

Erik J. Van Slyke

PM Network 85 (June 2000)

Conflict is a regular part of organization life. Whenever people form a team responsible for accomplishing an objective, they are going to have disagreements. Misunderstandings, personality clashes, and differences of opinion are standard fare for team interaction. At best, these conflicts provide an opportunity to learn and a chance for innovation. At worst, they can destroy individuals and bring productivity and effectiveness to a grinding halt.

Since conflict is such a common event that often produces important results, our goal as project leaders and individual team members should not be to eliminate it. Instead we should create an environment that encourages and maintains ...

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