The Main Sources of Conflict in Project Management
By Global Knowledge
Are there any common issues that can lead to conflict more than others? Conflict often results from perception, or even more typically, misperception. Have you ever seen two people argue from the same point of view not realizing they were doing so? The question then becomes, why are they arguing? The answer often is they had simply stopped listening to each other and are arguing or disagreeing based upon the past.
While the conflict may seem to be coming from a simple misunderstanding or disagreement, in reality, it may stem from previous conflicts that the two parties were involved in. Have you heard the old saying that when people enter into a new relationship of any kind, that they sometimes bring baggage with them from previous relationships of a similar nature? Sometimes this “baggage” is the cause of the conflict.
Conflict can also come from personality differences, differing viewpoints and values, a lack of trust, a lack of overall communication, lack of respect and empathy, differing norms and schedules, differing levels of authority, differences in temperament, and unmet expectations (both stated and unstated), as well as different backgrounds (educational, economic, cultural, political, etc.). PMI’s view is that conflict often arises from schedules, project priorities, resources, technical opinions, administrative processes, costs issues, and problems and issues related to personalities.
If you are dealing with this type of situation, what should you do? Establish the primary rule: team members who argue have to work it out amongst themselves or suffer the dictatorial ruling of the manager (YOU!). When dealing with conflicts, either perceptual or personal, you must be patient, listen, and be careful to keep your emotions out of it. Above all else, do not forget the project time-line. Get to a resolution and get moving.
This article was originally published in Global Knowledge’s Business Brief e-newsletter. Global Knowledge delivers comprehensive hands-on project management, business process, and professional skills training. Visit our online Knowledge Center at www.globalknowledge.com/business for free white papers, webinars, and more.
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