In some teams the choice facing many members does not center upon a choice between the team and the self interested. The members must agree some course of action. This is particularly true when the decisions facing the team are complex. Team members who among alternatives acknowledge that conflict exists, but agree to accept the outcome of the vote. The key issue becomes how to develop and utilize a suitable voting scheme. There are several kinds of voting rules and different rules are used in different situations. The objective of voting rules can be to find the alternative that the greatest number of team members prefer, the alternative the fewest members object to or the choice that maximizes team welfare. Anything short of unanimity indicates disagreement or conflict within the team. In many cases, conflict will be reduced or eliminated following the conclusion of voting. Voting does not guarantee conflict resolution.
Members may not agree on method of voting. Some members may insist on unanimity, others on simple majority and still others on a weighted majority rule. Even if a voting method is agreed on, it my not yield a decision or may not yield a dingle decision. Finally, because voting does not eliminate conflicts of interests, but rather provides a way fro members to live with conflict, such decisions may not be stable. In this sense voting masks disagreements within teams, potentially threaten long-term group and organizational effectiveness. The most common voting procedure is majority rule. However, it presents several problems in the attainment of consensus. Despite it democratic appeal, majority rule does not reflect the strength of individual preferences. The vote of a person who strongly supports the issue, counts the same as the individual who is virtually indifferent. Consequently, majority rule does not promote creative tradeoffs among issues. One of the most successful keys to conflict management is the ability to make tradeoffs between issues under discussion.
When teams discuss only one issue at a time and vote on outcomes under consideration, this results in less profitable outcomes than when teams discuss issues simultaneously and seek consensus. Unanimous decision-making is time consuming, it encourages team members to consider creative alternative to expend the size of the pie and satisfy the interest of all members. Unanimous rule can also present a problem. When an individual refuses to compromise he or she can force decisions on the entire group. Negotiation is necessary when no one can dictate a solution. Team members must agree for any decision to be binding. Conflicts can become very costly and time consuming if not worked out with in a short amount of time. The strategy of multiple offers can be effective with the most uncooperative of negotiators. This strategy involves presenting the other party with at least two proposals of equal value to you.
The other party is asked to indicate which to the proposals they prefer. This should reveal information about how the other side values trade offs between different components of the negotiations. There are psychological benefits as well; when people believe they have more choices, they are more inclined to cooperate. Many people make the mistake of relying solely on intuition. This mistake leads to faulty assumptions about what other people want. People are not very good at reading others’ emotion in mixed-motive situations. In fact, intuition is almost completely unrelated to how well people actually do in negotiations. After defining what a conflict is and also determining what type of conflict the situation is, the last step in this process is resolving the situation. Conflict will always arise in life but the main idea that people have to understand is how people handle the situation. People may use the right way of solving a conflict or they might use the wrong approach to solving a conflict.