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Monday, November 12, 2012

Conflict Resolution: Pesky Partners

 Group work with students you are not familiar working with is never an easy task.

Recently, I was put into a group with the most inconsiderate group member. During our group meetings, he would not allow anyone else to speak; he would not listen to others ideas, and would talk over anyone who tried to raise a point. These are probably the three most frustrating traits to have in a group. As a result, the group presentation came off unprepared, and we lost marks because he did not allow others to speak.

Looking back, I would have used the knowledge about conflict I have learned in class. I would have used the collaborating and compromising techniques. These would have solved the issue without placing the blame on the uncooperative group member, making him feel attacked.  


  1. I can confidently say that you are not the only person to have this problem. Yes at times it seems unfair to be paired up with someone you do not get along with, but this will only prepare you for the future and working environments that you will not be able to control.

    It may seem awkward to lay things down on the table before a group meeting, but conflict could escalate quickly if things are left unsaid. Your partner may not have been aware that he was cutting you off/not listening to you. Letting them know that their actions are effecting the group environment may be difficult, but in the end you could of finished with a great project.

    Stepping up and becoming the team facilitator could've potentially helped you and the other members in the group too. Group work is hard but mastering team work is a great skill to have in the future.

  2. Yes working with this sort of person is inevitable. If this person is a high producer these personality traits will often be overlooked by supervisors and this tends to fuel their egos. Knowing how to interact with these people is a very important survival skill in a new job. Finding common ground with them is very important. Then picking the topics you truly want to dispute with them is even more important.
    If this type of person is your supervisor remember that they are ultimately responsible and in charge and therefore you can do no harm befriending them and “losing” some or all of the conflicts.
    Good luck on your next group project.