Levi's Five Approaches For Dealing With Conflict

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1. Both collaboration and conflict are critical for team functioning. In terms of conflict, do you often view conflict positively or negatively? Please explain and cite/reference the readings to support your view. Provide an instance from personal experience or other sources (such as news or case study) where conflict was found to be beneficial for a group/team situation. The author discusses five approaches for dealing with conflict (from the readings). Cite/reference the readings to support your perspective.

The standard way of thinking about conflict today is that it is always negative. It has a negative connotation to it, and people tend to disregard the benefits of conflict. According to Daniel Levi in Group Dynamics for Teams, conflict in teamwork is healthy (139). Every team member will have their own opinions and not everyone will always agree. It is just like a romantic relationship, when conflict is avoided, the problem usually gets worse.
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There are ways for an organization and a team to prepare for conflict and maximize their potential rewards. Levi suggests that the best way to prepare for a conflict is to create a safe communication environment that allows for constructive criticism/ controversy (145). In other words, team members should encourage open discussion and make sure their group feels comfortable sharing their opinions. A group can also engage in preemptive conflict management, such as developing cooperation and trust-building among members and create contracts to identify how to handle certain situations (Levi 146). Trust building is a concept we have discussed in class, and I think it is crucial to an organization. When a virtual team faces a conflict, it is most likely due to miscommunication. Therefore, it is important for the team leader to intervene, and also set up a face-to-face meeting to help resolve the conflict
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