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How to Understand the Sources of Conflict | Video

How to Understand the Sources of Conflict | Video

If you look on the web, you’ll find there are only three sources of conflict…
Or maybe it’s five…
or eight…

This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.

This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy

There are Many Source of Conflict

The truth is that there are as many causes of conflict as combinations of people. And anyone who has lived any length of time knows it. That’s to say, nearly an infinite number!

Two Major Groupings for Sources of Conflict

But we can group them together and give examples, to better understand how conflict arises. And, in the world of projects, I am going to start with two big groupings:

  1. Pragmatics and
  2. Politics

And I will split each into two.

Under Pragmatics, we have conflict relating to:

  • The tasks we need to do
  • The processes we follow

Then, I’ll split Politics into:

  • The intimate politics of relationships
  • The macro politics of our environments

Task-related Sources of Conflict

  1. Allocation of tasks
  2. Skills and capabilities
  3. Overlaps and interdependencies between tasks
  4. Standards to which the tasks will be held

Process-related Sources of Conflict

  1. Choice of method
  2. Information:
    missing, incorrect, ambiguous, partial, conflicting
  3. Governance and oversight
    – along with penalties and rewards
  4. Jurisdiction and legitimacy

Already we are straying towards politics!

Relationship-related Sources of Conflict

  1. Identities
    – this is about personality, perception, and approach
  2. Values
    – this is about styles, priorities, goals. That is, what is important to us
  3. Status
    – differences in status and the pressures they create
  4. Communication
    – all this wouldn’t be so bad if we could communicate without misunderstandings arising from:
    1. the way we all have our own ways to communicate and
    2. we all interpret the world within our own unique frames of reference – there’s a whole video in there!
  1. Culture
  2. Conditions
  3. Resources
    – availability, access, and competing demands
    – assets, materials, money, people
  4. Rules and policies
Dealing with Conflict in Projects

I have a video program: ‘Dealing with Conflict in Projects’

Learn more about the course and get a 30% discount with this link.

Here are the main topics you’ll cover:

  • The sources of conflict
  • How to listen
  • The effect of personalities on conflict
  • Ways people resist imposed ideas
  • The signs and stages of conflict escalation
  • The steps for de-escalating conflict
  • Strategies for resolving conflict
  • Five ways to handle conflict
  • How to recover a broken (workplace) relationship

What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

Learn Still More

For more great Project Management videos, please subscribe to the OnlinePMCourses YouTube channel.

If you want basic Management Courses – free training hosted on YouTube, with 2 new management lessons a week, check out our sister channel, Management Courses.

For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.

For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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