Group Politics and Conflicts

Working in groups is the norm of the day. We work in groups in almost all organization. But majority of the time our groups do not reach its potential output. What can organizational developers do to make sure that groups turn out to be effective and efficient


18 thoughts on “Group Politics and Conflicts

  1. To make groups effective and efficient, It is obligatory for the organization to have the following things at front:
    1) Let people express their views openly without any discouraging behaviors.
    2) Provide a leader who understands each and every team member and projects goals and objectives pragmatically.
    3) There should be a hindrance to blockage. No aggressor, negator, withrawer, recognition seeker and jokers should be appreciated at any time and stopped at once.
    4) Organization should know the difference between the right decision and consensus among the group. Hence there should be a proper check and balance.
    5) Roles and responsibilities must be defined thoroughly.
    6) No barriers should be present between the leadership and team member, even among the team members.
    7) Communication gaps should be reduced.
    8) Focus should be on the right direction,

  2. The organization developer should try to implement a motivational factor among the group which can be linked with performance of each member of the group. With this each person can, not only complete his work but would also encourage and help other individual in the group to complete his or her task which ultimately helps in achieving the group’s objective. By linking the performance of each member, group cohesiveness would be very high.

  3. To make sure that groups turn out to be effective and efficient an organization developer should make sure that people in the groups should have something common other than the goal they have to achieve. It is a fact that people tend to get along with each other if they have common interests, extra curricular activity etc. So an OD developer should focus more on such activities and have it aligned with the goals of the group so that people work happily towards that goal. There might be conflicts that would arise but with common interests aligned, groups can be efficient in working towards that goal

    1. I’d agree to Sana’s opinion, that the group must have something in common other than the goals and responsibilities assigned to assigned to them. Because if they do have similar other things like hobbies, extra-curricular activities, may it be same test in music, same club memberships or as a matter of fact a similar personality, way of thinking or background then the members recognize each other as their own and they could relate to each other, bond and perform better.
      So, if they do not have any other commonality, even then the leader can work on building one and attain the purpose.

  4. It has to be simple. An organizational developer should ensure each member is assigned with responsiblties in such a way that conflict can be minimized and every member of the group is alligned with each others goal and succes of every team member is linked with each other. This can eradicate the group politics and can ensure efficent and effective group.

  5. As OD developer to make sure that groups turn out to be effective and efficient we can do the following;
    1)Encourage clear communication.
    2)Divide the work among the team members on the basis of their skills and abilities.
    3)Practice active listening this is clarifying and questioning what is not understood.
    4)Before engaging yourself in any work ask “why” on a regular basis.
    5)Not letting conflict get personal if there is any conflict among the group members stick to facts and issues, not personalities.
    6)Encourage different points of views always insist on honest dialogue and expression.
    7)Not look for blame game,always took the ownership of the problem and solution.
    8)In order to get respect always demonstrate respect and if the situation escalates, take a break and wait for emotions to subside.
    9)Always keep team issues within the team don’t disclose any conflict outside because most of the time it will lead to boosting the conflict rather settling the conflict.

  6. Well, I think: whenever we are working as a group, these conflicts are natural and inevitable during the course of day to day action. They are part of the process. We cannot really eliminate the ongoing politics and clashes from any group; however what we can do is that we can try and work on minimizing these conflicts and politics from the team, as much as possible, in order to achieve optimum level of efficiency from each member.

  7. And we can do this by keeping in mind/ applying the following tricks and techniques:
    1. The first step in this regarding must put in play when assembling the group, we need to team up with those people who share common goals and interest, because if the basic objectives among the members of the team collides with each other, there’s no way forward
    2. Afterwards, we need to make sure that the members follow co-operative approach and not competitive, within the team, especially if they are compensated as group, not individually. However, if it’s otherwise, then the competition must be of healthy kind i.e. member building off of each other’s capabilities, learning from each other and performing better than other. Not slitting each other’s throats to climb up the ladder.
    3. Moreover, roles and responsibilities of each of the group members should be clear. And everyone should be motivated to put in effort in completing those assigned roles.
    4. There should be open communication between the group members and their leader
    5. Each member should be encourage to present their ideas and opinions on how to do better, and if the idea is good they should be rewarded

  8. To make groups work effectively and efficiently Organizational developers should monitor the progress of the team. Most members have to look back to their original job descriptions to find out what they are supposed to be doing, and then they describe what they really do. Theirs goals should be clear and should be communicate to each. This not only help in built teamwork also there is a sense of security of individuals job.

  9. Lack of planning results in inappropriate distribution of resources, ineffective communication and lack of cohesion due to which during performance it seems that potential output is not about to reach which give rise to politics and conflicts so there should be a proper planning mechanism which overcome politics and conflicts and ensure that groups turn out to be effective and efficient.

  10. To avoid the politics and conflict in group and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the group the organizational developer must do the following things:
    1. Assigning responsibility to each group member by mutual discussion in presence of all members.
    2. Developing the interest of each member in their task.
    3. Frequent meeting.
    4. Accepting the suggestion as well as critique for performance.
    5. Helping each other in improving their performance.
    6. Ensure the regular evaluation of the progress
    7. Smooth flow of communication between all members of the group.

  11. Lack of planning results in inappropriate distribution of resources and ineffective communication due to which while performance it seems that it would not reach potential output because of which politics and conflicts occur so proper mechanism of planning helps to overcome conflicts and politics and ensure that group turned out to be effective and efficient.

  12. How often it happens to us that our 2 views on same object or situation meet conflict of thought if we reconcile them on different occasions. If intra- personal conflicts readily occur, it’s understood that inter- personal conflicts are even inevitable when the two individuals with different minds, experiences, values and objectives are to work for a common organizational goal. Humans are social animals and they tend to enjoy their lives with people of similar interests. At organizations, politics is a norm as certain formal and informal groups get formed and they eventually become the reason of any organizations success or failure.

    Communication and Conflict Management in such setting become mandatory. Actively listening to the ideas of others, expressing your ideas with empathy, finding alternatives for problem solution and finally making the decision of mutual interest is the thought process of managing group conflicts.

    Whatever the conflict is, ownership and alignment with the mission vision and values of the organization are the most important tools to keep the organization on winning tract despite group politics and impending conflicts.Focus on the agenda of organization keeps all employees on same pitch. Its equal responsibility of the organization as well that it keeps reminding individual about it’s values and activities.

  13. Groups can work effectively if everyone has a chance to make strong contributions to the discussion at meetings and to the work of the group project.
    At the beginning of each meeting, decide what you expect to have accomplished by the end of the meeting.
    Someone (probably not the leader) should write all ideas, as they are suggested, on the board or on large sheets of paper. Designate a recorder of the group’s decisions. Allocate responsibility for group process (especially if you do not have a fixed leader) such as a time manager for meetings and someone who periodically says that it is time to see how things are going (see below).
    Save some time toward the end of the first meeting (and periodically as the group continues) to check in with each other on how the process is working:
    What leadership structure does the group want – one designated leader? rotating leaders? separately assigned roles?
    Are any more ground rules needed, such as starting meetings on time, kinds of interruptions allowed, and so forth?
    Is everyone contributing to discussions? Can discussions be managed differently so all can participate? Are people listening to each other and allowing for different kinds of contributions?
    Are all members accomplishing the work expected of them? Is there anything group members can do to help those experiencing difficulty?
    Are there disagreements or difficulties within the group that need to be addressed? (Is someone dominating? Is someone left out?)
    Is outside help needed to solve any problems?
    Is everyone enjoying the work?

  14. Organizational Developer tend to look for people who are a “good fit” with the rest of their team, because cohesive groups tend to be able to come to an easy consensus and take action quickly. However, such teams also tend to fall into group think, where the wrong ideas get reinforced just as much as the right ones do.

    In a study of currency traders, Pentland found that the most successful performers diversified their sources of information. Some would be successful for a while if they fell in with a group that had a successful strategy, but then would continue to follow it even after it became a loser. Echo chambers are double-edged swords.

    In truth, what really makes teams perform is a mix of both cohesiveness and diversity, with strong communication within the group, but most of the their time is spent on far flung interactions outside of it. Pentland is not alone in reaching this conclusion. A study of star performers at Bell Labs and another of informal company networks found the same thing.

    In my own experience, I have seen many teams that come to a strong consensus on seemingly innovative strategies because they all read the same two or three tech blogs, which are, in fact, merely parroting each other. These ideas then get filtered down to 3-5 bullet points that reverberate through various industry conferences.

  15. We come across different types people in our work life. With these different dynamics of people we tend to learn how to work together effectively. Teams and groups originate as they share common interest and goal. Their task and role might be different but eventually their part tappers towards the achievement of an objective. The team or group is not just within the organization it can be cross organization and more dynamic as cross nations too.
    Effective team need to be focus on some of the principles to get the efficient results.
    1. Valuable organization information must be shared among the group member as continued process.
    2. Every member of the group must be empowered in their capacity.
    3. Create a strong professional relationship to gain trust and understanding.
    4. SMART achievement of the goal as every individual is working collectively.
    5. Emphasize on individual’s talent to appreciate their efforts in such a way that their work benefits the team.
    6. Create an environment where each and every work should be valued and respected.
    7. Support and learn from each other.
    8. Generate new ideas and insights
    9. Complex issues and problem must resolve with multiple perspectives and group discussion.
    10. To improve the organization efficiency, the ideas, the knowledge and thought processes from the individuals of the group must be turn into practice.
    11. Information sharing among the group must implemented through multi-channels communication.
    12. Each and every member must listen to everyone’s idea and view point, this will create an innovative approach to achieve the objectives.
    13. Give the sense of responsibility that every member is accountable for their output.
    14. Empower every individual to empower the team, which will empower the organization.

    Just to avoid conflict and group politics, organization developers must keep an eye on the issues. They must integrate the policies and changes from the very beginning that no point must be reach to face the issues of conflicts. There are few helpful tips which could be followed for a healthy work relationship and functioning:
    1. In any organization teams need to be focus on both tasks and group.
    2. Every member must have sense of responsibility of their task and respect for others.
    3. Empower the sense the ownership for achievement of the goals.
    4. If any conflict or argument arises discuss, review and settle in such a way that achievement of the goal must not be effected.
    5. Keep documentation for every point of discussion and decision making to avoid any repetition or disagreement of the team member.
    6. Institute group norm and values that everyone feels at ease with.
    7. Appreciate and highlight group efforts rather than individual effort.
    8. Handle feedback and debate fairly and look for alternative yet best strategies that are easily matched with the group tasks.
    9. Identify the problem at early stage and focus on the solutions.
    10. Be aware of verbal and non verbal communication.
    11. Affirm that constructive conflict is OK but personal attacks are not.
    12. Provide training in problem solving and conflict management to group members.

  16. Well, politics and conflicts will always be there. Humans are like an Iceberg, our behaviors are actually the result of our beliefs and values. And unarguably, we all have different values and beliefs. The threshold of this particular problem increases when we start working at Multinationals or International organizations, because we then find, meet and work with people of different nationalities who have totally opposite values. In this kind of situation, to counter, an Organizational Developer should present and implement a “Cultural Change” by introducing firm’s Core Values. The primary Core Values can be Patience, Tolerance, Teamwork and Respect, as these core values are universally accepted by all cultures,

    An ODP may start working on this Core Values project by assigning symbols and philosophy to these core values and introduce them via company’s internal communication channel. And then afterwards, arrange a workshop to further illustrate and strengthen the basic concept of these core values among employees. Furthermore, the workshop may include team building activities/games and role play exercises to depict and later tackle the real situations at wokplace.

  17. If there is a proper mechanism for selecting the leader for the group who has the enough capability and expertise to complete the task in effective and efficient manner.

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