Max leaned forward. “I think it is time for us to get started,”

After reading the scenario below answer the following questions:
Explain which conflict style Andrea and Max appear to use.
Considering the style differences, what do you think of Andrea’s response to Max’s opening comment?
Discuss how this conflict could have been handled to make the conflict more constructive.
Scenario:
Andrea scanned the faces of the people sitting around the conference table. Joshua, she didn’t know; Rosa and Trevon were acquaintances with team experience; Max and Galina, she knew well since they worked in her division. Max was angry when she received a promotion that he wanted, but she hoped his resentment was a thing of the past now that he had taken her previous position. She also knew that Galina was lobbying to be moved from Max’s group and suspected there was tension between them.
Andrea was surprised when President Sutherland selected her to chair this committee. She hoped the group would work together and follow an effective problem-solving procedure to produce a plan to solve the company’s technology problems-and impress Mr. Sutherland. She had spent many hours planning the steps to follow and analyzing the skills and expertise of each team member. She figured she had an ally in Galina to counteract Max’s possible opposition. Andrea was looking forward to input from Rosa and Trevon but was unsure about Joshua. She was told that he was excellent at brainstorming. She noticed that he was busy with his cell phone and hoped that it wouldn’t become a problem. Andrea was concerned about the size of the committee-in case of conflict requiring a vote, an even number could be a problem.
Rosa was excited to be a part of this committee. She knew that developing a plan for upgrading the company’s technology was important and as the only member from IT on the committee, she figured her opinions would be sought. While she didn’t know any of the members very well, she had always found it easy to work with people. She assumed that this group would be no different. She knew that both Andrea and Max had reputations for being assertive, but Rosa was confident she could hold her own and gain the support of the committee as soon as her expertise was known. However, her supervisor had warned about using her laptop during meetings-non-IT people often complained about the noise and distraction.
Trevon smiled when he remembered overhearing a conversation between his supervisor and Mr. Sutherland concerning a centralized system they favored. He figured that when Sutherland learned he had championed that very plan, his promotion would be a sure thing. People who disagreed with Mr. Sutherland were overlooked at promotion time. Now all he had to do was propose a solution like Mr. Sutherland’s as soon as Andrea’s introductions were over. Once his solution was presented, he would push for its adoption.
Joshua realized that he and Galina were the younger members of the group but knew that his skill in brainstorming could be an important one-especially his skill at using several brainstorming apps. His uncle had appointed him to this group instructing him to learn from the committee chair and other more experienced members-he hoped that no one would learn of his connection to his uncle. He also hoped that no one would learn of his relationship with Galina. In fact, his private goal for being on this committee was to enhance his relationship with her. They had dated a few times but lately she seemed distant. He was unsure where he stood-she hadn’t even looked at him since he arrived. He hoped he could impress her with his contributions to the group. She was so cute!
Galina had been on two previous committees with Andrea, so she was delighted to find herself on yet another. It was important for Andrea to notice her since she was determined to get transferred into her group. Andrea was a very popular supervisor, always responsive to her subordinates’ needs and willing to go to bat for them when problems arose. Galina had been on the verge of quitting several times since Max had been named to head their team but Joshua had talked her out of leaving. She hoped that Joshua wouldn’t distract her from her current goal. Maybe if she ignored him he would get the message. At the same time, she did want Andrea to notice her but wasn’t sure what to do. She always found it difficult to speak out in groups. Maybe if she volunteered as note-taker for the committee, she could be a help to Andrea without having to be vocal. This could be her ticket out!
Max was taking measure of the others as he leaned back in his chair. This was going to be an easy group to influence, he decided. Galina knew better than to cross him, since she needed his approval to get a bonus next month. Trevon was young and ambitious; since Max was the most senior member of the committee, logic suggested that Trevon would be eager to please. The guy playing with his cell phone didn’t seem interested in the committee so shouldn’t be a problem. Rosa was an unknown; as far as Max knew, this was her first major committee assignment. He noticed that she was typing on her laptop and had said little to those around her. Max figured that she wouldn’t try to influence anybody-which meant that the majority would align with him. Nothing would give Max more pleasure than to see Andrea forced to swallow her pride. She thinks she is top dog because she was chosen chair. He would change that. No way would he let her run this show. This committee would be a win/lose situation-a win for him; a loss for Andrea.
Max leaned forward. “I think it is time for us to get started,” he announced. He smiled when he noted Andrea’s cocked eyebrow and surprised look. But when she thanked him politely, stood up, and began introducing each committee member, Max was the surprised one.

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