Overview and Conflict Analysis

For this milestone, you will complete a draft of the first two sections of your final project based on the final case study.

The following critical elements must be addressed:

  • Overview: Summarize the pattern of facts leading up to this interpersonal conflict, identifying the stakeholders in the conflict.
  • Conflict Analysis: In this section, you will analyze the transcripts provided and determine how stakeholders’ self-perception and communication practices influences the conflict. Be sure to address the following:
    • Assess how the stakeholders’ self-perception influenced the conflict. Provide specific examples to support your assessment. In other words, how might the involved stakeholders’ self-perceptions be at odds with how others see them?
    • Described the communication practices, implicit or explicit, that were used. What implications did they have for the conflict?
    • Assess how communication practices might be changed to de-escalate the conflict. Provide specific examples to support your assessment.

Guidelines for Submission: Your paper should be 2 to 3 pages in length with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman fond, and APA formatting.

Attached is the Outline from last week and the feedback from professor. Also, the Project Case Study is attached.


Communication in the workplace is critical for meeting individual, department, and organizational goals. One way for managers to ensure goals are met is to set clear expectations with employees. In addition to defining and clarifying expectations, managers also need to direct and control expectations. When expectations change, that too needs to be communicated to the employee. Any time goals change, managers need to embrace the opportunity to reconnect with employees and communicate the change. This does not always happen and the ability to both anticipate and recognize breakdowns in communication is important for managers to identify.

Often, managers make assumptions that the employee “should know that” or “was trained on that process” or “everyone knows that.” In reality, employees cannot know how to perform unless their manager gives them clear expectations. This gap in communication between what is expected and what is communicated is what leads to conflict. Two-way dialogue to ensure understanding is critical. What the manager says should be what the employee hears and understands.

Sometimes, as a manager, it can be easier to complete any given task as opposed to communicating to the employee how to do the task. Sometimes, it is faster to do something yourself rather than teach someone to do it. But supervising the work, not doing it, is the responsibility of the manager. This can be a difficult transition for managers. Setting and clarifying expectations benefits the employee and the manager. When expectations change, managers need to re-engage with the employees and communicate this change. This is just as important as the initial communication of expectations.

According to Mitchell (2013), “day to day interaction determines leadership success” (p. 42). This is when manager/employee communication is vital. Successful organizations that achieve their goals are built on efficient teams, not the work of one individual. Good teamwork requires the purposeful efforts of a manager and employees to keep communication clear and resolve conflicts.

Managers need to avoid assumptions and ask questions to ensure employee proficiency. Organizations have tools to aid management in conducting conversations to set expectations. There are established frameworks and models to facilitate effective communication with employees. Use of tools can ensure expectations are clear to the employee and ease manager/employee collaboration. You will be introduced to a few models in the reading for this module. One such model is called the interaction process and is depicted in the figure below (Mitchell, 2013). Mitchell suggests this model for managers to follow in order to effectively conduct difficult performance conversations.

This image depics the interaction process, which includes the following steps: Open, Clarify, Develop, Agree, Check for Understanding, Make Procedural Suggestions, and Close.

Figure 3.1

(Mitchell, 2013)

Expectations are all around employees and do not just come from what managers communicate. Job descriptions, handbooks, mission statements, and emails are some of the places employees can get clues on how to perform and the expectations from leadership. Employees need to recognize that this is how they can learn expectations.

This process of communication between manager and employee takes practice; until you are comfortable with it, err on the over-communicative side. This way, there is nothing to lose. Be self-aware and open with your employees and together you will master the art of communicating clear expectations.


Mitchell, S. (2013). Driving workplace performance through high-quality conversations. Strategic HR Review, 13(1), 42–44.

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