Introduction – One of the most difficult aspects in human resource management is the ability to implement and undertake effective conflict resolution strategies. Kemp-Longmore (2006) pointed out about the “inevitability of conflict among different individual and how the workplace is not free from this particular cause of problem (Kemp-Longmore, 2006).” Effective conflict resolution strategies are important because employees interacting with each other always results to conflict on a personal and/or professional level. Undoubtedly, most human resource department have their own conflict resolution strategies, but it is important that it is effective in a sense that it actually solves the problems created inside the company, among individuals in teams and departments. There are different team building activities that are being considered for different conflict resolution situations; some are traditional while some are more modern, some are conservative while others require a more drastic or out-of-the-box approach. For a company that is looking for a team building activity that they can use for conflict resolution, they can try one of the suggestions coming from singaporeteambuilding.com – the “anergy team talk (Singaporeteambuilding.com, 2005).”
What is änergy team talk? Describing a team-building exercise for conflict resolution – According to the website, this particular team building activity is a top choice when it comes to achieving goals set by the company to address concerns like conflict resolution. The people behind the creation of this particular team building strategy for conflict resolution include executives from different fields. Mr. Yuen Kam Fai’s background is in banking, while Mr. Grabriel Chan is a professional human resource trainer, in the same field of expertise as Mr. Leslie Choudhury, the third member of the core group that put this program together. According to the website article, “the key points to which the exercise will impact the most include interpersonal understanding with colleagues, improved employee-employer relationship and better interaction between members of teams and departments working consistently together in very close proximity with each other (Singaporeteambuilding.com, 2005).”
There are also other learning values that this particular team building exercise promises to provide the team members at the end of the session. Besides being more attuned with one self, the person will also have the chance to get to know his/her teammates better, the chance for the nurturing of the value of trust inside the team in a level wherein healthy constructive criticism and professional level thought sharing is being undertaken consistently, the ability to identify weak points in every team member and in the team as well, and the setting of goals, all of which contribute to the effective conflict resolution capability of the team in the future.
The good thing about the “änergy team talk” is that it is flexible – it can be done either inside the building or even outside during team gatherings held outside the office. The activity is also short – at least two hours but not exceeding three hours, which makes it an excellent in-between activity during multi day team building gathering. It is also very easy to do since the only requirement is the presence of every team member, a pen and a paper – no other complex logistical set up is necessary for a team to do this activity. It is also very ammenable to almost everyone because there are no strength, speed or special skills requirement to do this. The only possible downside for this activity is the limitation in team members. The article suggests that the team utilizing this particular team building activity do not exceed 20 members per group.
How it would be conducted – To be able to successfully undertake the “änergy team talk,” the website article pointed out that “the most important requirement for this particular team building activity is an open mind from the start (Singaporeteambuilding.com, 2005).” With some activity, this state of being is achieved unconsciously as the activity is being played or done, requiring mere strength and participation from the employees. Here, participants should be required to have an open mind before pursuing with the undertaking of the “änergy team talk.”
The website article explained that there are four different levels for this particular exercise. These levels should be done sequentially to achieve optimum effect. The first level (Level One) is entitled ‘listen and tell’. Based from the title of Level One, the activity at this part requires speaking and listening. One by one, each member of the team gets the chance to speak to the rest of the team, while the rest of the team listens. What every team member has to share are things about themselves which they think are interesting, commendable or great. The next level (Level Two) is still listen and tell, only this time, every one will get the chance, one at a time, to be the focus of the group and have each of the team members tell something which they like about the person who is in focus at the moment. The next level (Level Three) is similar with Level Two, only this time, what they would point out are particular areas in the person in focus that they feel should be improved. The last level (Level Four) will focus on thinking, analysis and self assessment, followed by the act of writing down the things which each individual thinks he or she needs to change (Singaporeteambuilding.com, 2005). The group leader will be the one responsible for collecting all of the paper after the writing is done. What each individual wrote will then be mailed to the owner of the paper. The idea here is to give the person a sort of reminder about the things he or she promised to change over time.
Conclusion –There are no perfect solution for conflict resolution, and that is why team building efforts are undertaken as often as possible so that the new set of strain is relieved inside the workplace. Conflict does no one any good, but somehow it is always present. Resolving the presence of conflict inside the workplace is difficult, but it can be done. “Employers should make it a point to provide opportunities and avenues for its employees and different teams to have team building activities because of many reasons – one is productivity (Adler, 2003),” and another, a chance for conflict resolution. Sometimes, all people need is a chance to speak and to be heard, and through this particular team building activity, this remedy can be used, with a very promising success rate for conflict resolution.
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