You have a difficult member on your team who is not bringing in any work. The team decides not to take action, hoping the team member will realize that his work is needed for the effectiveness of the team. Which style is your team using to handle this conflict: consensus, avoiding, or collaborating?

The style the team is using to handle the conflict is “avoiding,” as this reflects the team's inaction.

Expert Answers

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To figure out the style that the team is using to handle the conflict, review the options and think about whether they correlate to the team’s behavior. The option that best reflects the team’s approach is probably the right answer.

The first option is consensus. This term generally refers to a team that openly discusses problems, solutions, ways forward, and so on. When a team builds consensus, they are doing something. They are actively implementing a style to get the team to function effectively.

Collaborating constitutes a positive action as well. When team members collaborate, they work together. They contribute their ideas, labor, resources, and so on in order to complete the task at hand. Again, as with consensus, collaboration entails doing something.

Avoiding, alas, does not require action. When a team avoids an issue, they don’t have to do anything. They don’t take steps to address it. They hope that the conflict will go away on its own and that no deliberate force will have to be applied.

In the question, the scenario says that the team has chosen “not to take action” regarding the unproductive team member. The absence of effort on the overall team’s part makes it logical to conclude that their style is avoiding. They’re not challenging or facing up to this difficult team member; rather, they’ve opted for inaction.

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