The loser is not always convinced that they lost, and tension will become higher than before the conflict. The loser tries to find someone or something to blame and often distorts the reality of losing. Losers may say, “The boss didn’t understand our solution.” The losing group tends to splinter and unresolved conflict surfaces.
However, the losing group is more ready to work harder than the winning team and tends to learn a lot about itself. Once the loss is accepted, the losers may become more cohesive and effective.
Someone does not have to win or lose! Groups must cooperate and work together to be effective. This type of group behavior is known as integrative. A group should try to integrate individual goals into the group goal by following these guidelines:
1. Attempt to pursue a common goal rather than individual goals
2. Openly and honestly communicate with other people
3. Do not manipulate others
4. Do not use threats or bluffs to achieve goals
5. Try to understand personal needs and the needs of others accurately
6. Evaluate ideas and suggestions on their own merits
7. Attempt to find solutions to problems
8. Strive for group cohesiveness
So if one of your peers calls you a “turkey” during a heated meeting, how would you react? If a high level of individual and group trust exists, and you don’t take the comment personally, the group can grow through the confrontation. Group members learn that they can confront even personality clashes and work together as a group to solve them. The group that fights together stays together.
Conflict should be managed, however, before it degenerates to verbal assault and irreparable damage to individual egos. But conscious efforts on your part to avoid disagreement may produce feelings of tension and anxiety as you try to watch what you say. Carefully wording statements to avoid conflict restrains group participation and results in frustration. As group members tend to edit their thoughts before communicating with others, the feeling of group unity is adversely affected. The solution: Talk more, not less.