As a senior Project Manager, what is the approach one should take in diagnosing conflict? How does your approach incorporate systems thinking?

Effective Communication and Redesigning the Process


QUESTION1: Not everything is negotiable. Not everything should be negotiated. The components of negotiation include the individual personalities involved, interests, goals, needs, values, perceptions, power, substantive issues, alternatives, context, communication, and persuasion. What we do not know about ourselves and our habits may lessen our effectiveness and inhibit our development.   Critical steps in becoming more effective in negotiation are to know yourself, understand the process of conflict and negotiation, control yourself, and do what feels natural for you. Developing personalized negotiation strategies requires critical thinking and creativity, self-assessment, study, application of knowledge, and practice.


As a senior Project Manager, what is the approach one should take in diagnosing conflict? How does your approach incorporate systems thinking?


QUESTION 2: Human interaction is essentially a negotiating arena. Negotiation is the process of influencing others to get what we want. What we want may be tangible or intangible. Negotiation should not be considered intimidation, nor should it be chiseling or trickery. Negotiation is using knowledge of self and others to affect behavior. Negotiation is the process of interacting with the goal of obtaining agreement or the result you desire.

The Personal Nature of Negotiation:

  • Our emotions, temperament, disposition, and other aspects of our personalities give each of us unique needs, interests, goals, and perspectives.
  • Our needs and desires invoke our ego and our self-concept as well as our fears.
  • The reason that many believe they negotiate better on behalf of others than for themselves is that the heart is more involved when they negotiate for themselves.


 As a Project Manager in charge of a premium organizational projects, how would you assess whether you should negotiate or use autocratic power? Identify the factors you would consider and the overall rule you would apply.


Question 3: Project managers are in charge of leading a team (often of diverse individuals) towards a common goal.  To do so, they must motivate and inspire people toward the project’s end goal.  Alignment is one way project managers streamline operations.  This is because diffusion of decision-making and innovation is possible when team members are aligned with the overall vision of the project.  A key to alignment and to shareholder maintenance is communication.  Project managers need to communicate effectively to their team and to outside shareholders during project implementation, when problems arise or when a major project change is required.  Project managers must also create interpersonal relationships, not only within their team, but also with other functional and top-level managers.  This helps facilitate upper-management commitment, resource sharing and information flow. 


What are some major challenges faced by project managers when they manage global virtual teams’ conflicts resolution? What would you change?


QUESTION 4: Globalization is affecting virtually every country in the world.   The most striking evidence of this trend is the increasing presence of cell phones in the very small villages of Africa.  As technology becomes more pervasive and, in some cases easier to use, globalization will continue its steady march.  China, Singapore, and Russia are good examples of how globalization has flattened the world. They have become major exporters to other countries, especially industrialized and advanced countries like the U.S. and many European countries.   Emerging countries, like Poland, the Ukraine, and Ireland, are excellent examples of increasing globalization.


Information systems are too important to be left to computer specialists. Do you agree? Why or why not?


QUESTION 5: Managing, Using, and Resolving Conflict Through Negotiation:

  1. Managing conflict is using it to attain constructive, positive effects from it.
  2. Resolving conflict is getting rid of it.
  3. Avoiding conflict is not always the wrong strategy! Temporary or permanent avoidance may be appropriate in certain contexts and circumstances.
  • Avoidance is appropriate when the conflict effects are solely constructive.
  • Avoidance in the long run is inappropriate when the conflict is destructive. It will only get worse.
  • Selecting the correct strategy requires attention to interdependence.
  • The three choices in practical terms are to change the other person, change the situation, or change yourself. The first is not very likely! When the first two do not work or are not appropriate, one may have to change one’s attitude—change oneself! Internal conflicts must be resolved.
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