Managing conflict is a tremendous challenge/opportunity for a manager. As one of three Executive Vice Presidents (and the youngest), todayâ€™s weekly senior staff meeting, which youâ€™re in charge of, was going well, and everyone was following the agenda (it is September 30, the end of the third quarter), until it came time to discuss the succession plan for the new President (in other words, as the President of your company prepares to retire at the end of the year, someone will replace her and the senior executives must arrange for a smooth transition that will benefit all, including the companyâ€™s stock).
Suddenly, the room is awash in voices because everyone in the meeting has an opinion and it appears they all are speaking up (except you) declaring their candidacy and qualifications for the position. (The fact is, none will get the job because you have already been named President but for stock purposes, the announcement must remain silent until New Yearâ€™s Eve, so you must get the meeting back under control.)
Answer the following questions with a two- to-three-sentence response per question.
1.Name three ways you would deal with this potential conflict and briefly explain why you chose those three as applicable to this situation.
2.Your agenda did include a succession plan as a discussion item, but now that everyone is throwing their hat into the circle declaring they are up to the task of becoming President, you are experiencing topic drift. Explain what that is, and briefly suggest a way to return to the main discussion.
3.Suggest two nonverbal communication cues you could be using to get everyone to quiet down and return to a healthy discussion. Explain your choices.