Responding to Conflict

Write a 4-5 page analysis and a response to address a growing controversy.

Introduction

In your first communication challenge, you had a view from an outside perspective looking in on how you thought a situation was handled, and what the issues were. In this assessment, you’ll be put in a situation of conflict that you need to help a team work its way out of.

It’s a team that’s trying to make a decision, and you’ve been brought into an email chain in which tempers have flared. How does that happen? And how do you move forward? Our personalities are central to how we respond in communication situations, especially when the situation is time-sensitive, critical, or we’re otherwise under duress. Our awareness of ourselves and others can dramatically improve our effectiveness. 

In this assessment, you will navigate just such a challenge. You’ll figure out what’s at the root of the communication problem and suggest a way forward. It will take analysis, communication, and interpersonal skills to bring your team to a place they can function.

Overview

Responding effectively to a situation rife with conflict requires a variety of communication techniques. In this assessment, you will analyze and respond to a growing controversy depicted in the Responding to Conflict scenario by writing a team communication and subsequently analyzing your approach to devising it. While communication (or lack of it) can often cause workplace conflict, it can also be the solution for addressing it. Knowing how to communicate in increasingly stressful environments is a skill that will serve you well both professionally and personally.

Preparation

Explore the interactive media piece Responding to Conflict.

Scenario

Imagine you just came back from lunch and found the email string regarding the proposed staff meeting related in the scenario. It’s your plan to address the situation, and it’s your intent to do it in communications that demonstrate leadership and a keen understanding of the issue, participants, and their associated dynamics.

Instructions

Complete both parts of this assessment. Be sure to cite all sources using APA reference style.

Part 1: Analyze Your Approach to the Issue

Describe your approach to constructing your email.

  • Describe possible causes for the caustic exchange depicted in the email chain. Consider possible core organizational issues. State any assumptions that you might need to make regarding the scenario to support your assertions.
  • Justify why your message would likely be effective. Consider content, tone, and style.
  • Explain your intent for how your message might impact future communications and actions among team members.

Part 2: Write a Response Email

Write an email that effectively addresses the email chain. It should:

  • Properly consider the audience, your position, and the circumstances.
  • Articulate a well-conceived solution to the problem.
  • Effectively end the thread completely and de-escalate the tension.
  • Send a message that this exchange was “sub-optimal.”

Planning

Consider the following as rough guideposts for setting aside the time you need to do your work. You will want to adjust these as you learn more about your own pace and working style.

  • Research and reading: 4 hours.
  • Interactive activities: 30 minutes.
  • Writing: 6 hours.
  • Revising: 2 hours.

Additional Requirements

The assessment is expected to meet the following requirements:

  • Font: Times New Roman, 12 point.
  • Length: 4–5 pages, double spaced.
  • APA style and formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting standards. See the Campus page Evidence and APA. Also refer to the Business Academic Professional Document Guidelines [PDF], which provides basic formatting and APA guidelines you should follow to create attractive and usable documents not just within your business program but in the workplace as well.
  • Cited resources: Use a minimum of two scholarly sources. All literature cited should be current, with publication dates within the past five years.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and scoring guide criteria:

  • Competency 1: Analyze business communication situations.
    • Describe possible causes for a caustic exchange in an email chain.
    • Explain why a message would likely be effective.
  • Competency 2: Apply fundamental principles of organizational communication.
    • Address the appropriate audience, using language and terminology right for the circumstance.
    • Articulate a solution to a problem through a message that would de-escalate a conflict.
  • Competency 3: Analyze the interrelationships of communication within organizational systems.
    • Describe likely core organizational issues exposed by an email.
    • Describe how a message might plausibly affect future communications and actions among team members.
  • Competency 5: Communicate effectively and professionally.
    • Convey clear meaning with grammar, usage, word choice, and mechanics.
    • Apply APA formatting to in-text citations and references.
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