A team is a small group of people with complementary skills
who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach
for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.1
Although student teams may not satisfy all the requirements of the
definition, the degree to which they do often determines their effectiveness.
"Students do not come to school with all the social skills
they need to collaborate effectively with others. Therefore, teachers
need to teach the appropriate communication, leadership, trust,
decision making, and conflict management skills to students and
provide the motivation to use these skills in order for groups to
function effectively."2 Faculty must take responsibility
to help students develop their skills to participate on and lead
Students bring different ideas, goals, values, beliefs and
needs to their teams and these differences are a primary strength
of teams. These same differences inevitably lead to conflict, even
if the level of conflict is low. Since conflict is inevitable, one
of the ways in which faculty members can help students improve their
abilities to function on multidisciplinary teams is to work with
them to develop their understanding of conflict and their capabilities
to manage and resolve conflict. To this end, this document addresses
the following questions:
is conflict and conflict management?
learn more about conflict and conflict management?
do people respond to conflict?
What modes do people use to address conflict?
factors can affect our conflict modes?
might you select your conflict management style?
How might you apply this information?