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Conflict or Crisis Management -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
What are some general factors involved in making good decisions?

Answer:
The most important step in making decisions is to have a clear definition of the end-state. What results do you expect to achieve once a decision is made? Once you have that defined, you should identify and prioritize relevant information to accomplish the desired goal, while minimizing the risk. Develop several courses of action. Recognize that you may need to adapt to changing circumstances and requirements that occur during the decision-making process. Evaluate each course of action and choose the most effective one. Another tip to keep in mind is to consider separating tasks into their component parts when analyzing problems as it is often beneficial (and less overwhelming) to break up a large problem into smaller, more manageable problems.

Question:
What are some helpful tips for Family Readiness Group (FRG) Leaders in dealing with crises?

Answer:
Being prepared for different types of crises is one of the most important things you can do to cope with the unexpected. For example, Family Readiness Group (FRG) leaders should develop a list of resources that may be helpful in different situations such as: a list of different crisis hotline numbers, agencies who might be able to assist in different situations (Army Emergency Relief, American Red Cross, Social Workers, Unit Ministry Teams or other community clergy, Family Advocacy Program, etc.). Take classes on crisis management. The Army Family Team Building (AFTB) has a Level II class entitled, Management Skills: Crisis and Coping, that highlights some very useful information that particularly applies to crises occurring in military families. Learn to recognize when crisis intervention is necessary. Recognize and acknowledge your limitations to intervene in a crisis situation. You cannot resolve everyone’s problems and shouldn’t feel obligated to do so.

Question:
What are some techniques a group leader can use to manage disruptive behaviors?

Answer:
There are a number of things you can do to manage disruptive behaviors. For example, if there are members of the group who seem disconnected (daydreaming, reading their mail, doodling, etc.), you may try engaging them in a group discussion by specifically asking them for their input. This technique also works with individuals having sidebar discussions. Sometimes disruptive behavior indicates that the group needs a break. If you need to, use this time to talk with the disruptive individual(s) about the situation. If an individual’s behavior is detrimental to the group’s success, you may have to ask him/her to leave the group. These are just a few ideas on how to manage disruptive behaviors in a group setting. Learn more techniques from the resources provided.

Question:
What are the different phases of change an individual goes through?

Answer:
Different resources suggest that an individual goes through a various number of stages from the time the person is introduced to the change to the time the person truly accepts and commits to it. The Army Family Team Building (AFTB) Program’s Level II class on Adapting to Change suggests there are four phases. The first one is the denial phase. In this phase, the individual may be skeptical of and/or fear the change. It is important for the person to try and define his/her fears and identify why he/she is avoiding it. In the resistance phase, the individual accepts the reality of the change but often feels angry or withdrawn. It is important for a person in this phase to look for the positive aspects of the change. Doing this helps the individual move on to the exploration phase. This is where the person starts to visualize his/her future as a result of the change taking place. The individual tends to be more open to possibilities and becomes more accepting of the change. The final phase is the commitment phase where the individual embraces the change and is ready to move on. Note that this is just one resource’s model of how change occurs. There are other change models that offer variations to the four phases described here. Refer to the resources provided for more information.

Question:
What characteristics should leaders exhibit in times of crises?

Answer:
Effective leadership is important at all times, but it is vital in times of crisis. In many cases, decisions must be made quickly with little time for reflection or group involvement. Leaders should project an air of confidence and competence, as group members are most likely affected by the crisis and look to leaders for reassurance and direction. Leaders should also reassure the organization by modeling appropriate self-control and stability during crises. This is also a time when good communication skills are important. Learn more about crisis management through the resources listed.

Question:
What is the difference between intrapersonal, interpersonal, intragroup, and intergroup conflict?

Answer:
Intrapersonal conflict refers to the internal struggle an individual has within him/herself. It generally develops when one has a conflict over what he/she wants to do and what he/she should do. Similarly, an intragroup conflict is when there is discord within a group. Interpersonal conflict occurs between two individuals in the same organization and generally develops, for example, when two or more people who interact with one another develop a difference of opinion. Intergroup conflict may occur between two or more groups who interact with each other within the same organization. Conflict is not always a bad thing to have in an organization. Destructive conflict can inhibit progress in a group by diverting energy and attention from the group’s objectives, making individuals suspicious and distrustful. This decreases productivity and often damages morale. When managed, conflict can energize a group. It can promote personal growth and change, contribute to a problem-solving effort, and actually strengthen the cohesiveness of a group.
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