Case Study – Review the following case study (2 pages single spaces font 12, can increase font size for questions to make it 2 full pages.)Shirley and Abdul both work for a software development company called Micro Inc. The manager of the new product division (Melissa) was originally the leader of a project team for which she interviewed and hired Abdul. Shirley, another project team member, also interviewed Abdul, but strongly opposed hiring him for the project because she thought he was not competent to do the job. Seven months after Abdul was hired, Melissa left the project to start her own company, and as part of her hand over notes to the new manager she recommended that Abdul and Shirley serve as joint project leaders moving forward. Shirley agreed reluctantly, with the stipulation that it be made clear she was not working for Abdul. The new General Manager consented; Shirley and Abdul were to share the project leadership. Within a month Shirley was angry because Abdul was representing himself to others as the leader of the entire project and giving the impression that Shirley was working for him. Now Shirley and Abdul are meeting with you (the HR Manager) to see if you can resolve the conflict between them.Shirley says: “Right after the joint leadership arrangement was reached with the General Manager, Abdul called a meeting of the project team without even consulting me about the time or content. He just told me when it was being held and said I should be there. At the meeting, Abdul reviewed everyone’s duties line by line, including mine, treating me as just another team member working for him. He sends out letters and signs himself as project director, which obviously implies to others that I am working for him.”Abdul says: “Shirley is all hung up with feelings of power and titles. Just because I sign myself as project director doesn’t mean she is working for me. I don’t see anything to get excited about. What difference does it make? She is too sensitive about everything. I call a meeting and right away she thinks I’m trying to run everything. Shirley has other things to do, other projects to run, so she doesn’t pay too much attention to this one. She mostly lets things slide. But when I take the initiative to set up a meeting, she starts jumping up and down about how I am trying to make her work for me.”Shirley and Abdul both work for a software development company called Micro Inc. The manager of the new product division (Melissa) was originally the leader of a project team for which she interviewed and hired Abdul. Shirley, another project team member, also interviewed Abdul, but strongly opposed hiring him for the project because she thought he was not competent to do the job.Seven months after Abdul was hired, Melissa left the project to start her own company, and as part of her hand over notes to the new manager she recommended that Abdul and Shirley serve as joint project leaders moving forward. Shirley agreed reluctantly, with the stipulation that it be made clear she was not working for Abdul. The new General Manager consented; Shirley and Abdul were to share the project leadership.Within a month Shirley was angry because Abdul was representing himself to others as the leader of the entire project and giving the impression that Shirley was working for him. Now Shirley and Abdul are meeting with you (the HR Manager) to see if you can resolve the conflict between them.Shirley says: “Right after the joint leadership arrangement was reached with the General Manager, Abdul called a meeting of the project team without even consulting me about the time or content. He just told me when it was being held and said I should be there. At the meeting, Abdul reviewed everyone’s duties line by line, including mine, treating me as just another team member working for him. He sends out letters and signs himself as project director, which obviously implies to others that I am working for him.”Abdul says: “Shirley is all hung up with feelings of power and titles. Just because I sign myself as project director doesn’t mean she is working for me. I don’t see anything to get excited about. What difference does it make? She is too sensitive about everything. I call a meeting and right away she thinks I’m trying to run everything. Shirley has other things to do, other projects to run, so she doesn’t pay too much attention to this one. She mostly lets things slide. But when I take the initiative to set up a meeting, she starts jumping up and down about how I am trying to make her work for me.”Identify two relevant alternatives that could be considered and recommend the best alternative that you think should be done now. Be specific with your suggestions, providing some rough timelines and process steps. As the manager of overseeing the conflict, try to also incorporate the Persuasion Process into your strategy of choice for the best possible outcome. Also provide what could or should have been done to avoid the situation in the first placeSummarize the concept of the article.What are the leadership traits required in conflict?What were the issues here? Explain.What would you do if you were managing this situation? How would you resolve this situation?(Please answer questions separately, no bullet points. Also, answers should have some relationship with information below. )How to Lead Through Conflict in the WorkplaceReady for a conversation? These 6 tips are based on our approach to leading through conflict. Whether you are being asked to weigh in on a disagreement, or find yourself in direct conflict with a colleague, these tips will help you lead a constructive discussion and work toward resolving the conflict:1. Set the stage.Start by creating an atmosphere of openness, constructive criticism, and problem solving. You want your colleagues to understand that you are focused on the future, not the past — and that you are optimistic things will work out. That you have empathy towards the issues faced by the opposing party. Follow these guidelines to set the stage for problem-solving:Express your sincere desire to understand.If you’re involved with the conflict, admit responsibility for your contribution, and ask what you can do to make amends.Emphasize that you want to work together to achieve a mutually satisfactory solution.2. Describe the conflict.Describe the conflict from your perspective as objectively, clearly, and specifically as you can. Talk honestly and directly to the other person on facts not emotions. Express empathy, but choose your words carefully, keeping them both courteous and professional. Explain how you feel and why. Consider how you want to be viewed after the conflict is over.While many people are uncomfortable talking about emotions in the workplace, it’s better to express emotions in a forthright, appropriate way rather than having pent-up emotions gush out. To appropriately address emotions:Express information in a way that casts no blame.Be sure that expressing emotions is helpful.Don’t let your own hot buttons interfere with the process.Be specific. Instead of “I feel bad,” say “I am frustrated because …”·         Use the “I” word instead of “You,” as in: “I am disappointed that the conflict came to this point.” Not: “You are to blame for this mess.”3. Gain perspective.It’s helpful to imagine what your colleagues are thinking and feeling. Do not assume you understand all the facts. Setting aside your assumptions, what questions will you ask to understand others’ perspectives and to confirm or disconfirm your hypothesis?As they answer, practice active listening and try to understand where they are coming from. Acknowledge when you understand by rephrasing, restating, or summarizing, and ask for examples to clarify the issues when you don’t.4. Seek agreement.Identify potential points of mutual agreement and areas of disagreement. This is the first step in arriving at a solution.5. Identify solutions.From there, come up with possible solutions that help further everyone’s motives, goals, and agendas. Don’t evaluate them yet — your priority is just to generate new ideas. As you discuss, express alternative viewpoints in the form of a question, such as “Would another solution be X?” Most importantly, be willing to compromise. Remember, you are looking for a reasonable solution, not a victory.6. Develop an action plan.Establish a plan with specific actions that you’re both willing to take to implement the solution. Express your appreciation for everything the person contributed to the problem-solving session. Communicate your willingness to meet again to check on progress.Remember that as a leader, even though you can initiate a constructive conversation, the effort always involves dialogue and discussion among the people involved. Adopt a positive attitude toward the conflict, find the best in people and in the situation, and maintain your sense of humor. Absorbing these lessons will make you a leader who is able to calm conflict.
 
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