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After reading the below scenario, answer the following questions:

What do you think is the cause of this conflict? Think about information from our textbook.

What should Maria do to resolve this conflict?

Maria Vasquez has called a department meeting to address a critical issue affecting Universal Product Shipping as a whole. Maria’s department seems unable to meet their deadline, and as a result, orders and fulfillment are constantly getting backlogged. Maria’s supervisor has instructed her to divine the source of the problem through team brainstorming and exercises.

Maria asks everyone to share their role in the process so that the department can start determining where the bottlenecking problems are occurring. Jim, a longtime member of the team, explains that he thinks that when he passes his work onto Vincent, the files don’t move forward in a timely manner. Vincent pushes back against this assessment, saying that he has to go through Jim’s work a second time before he can add his component and pass it forward to Cassie. Jim begins to get defensive, accusing Vincent of making a claim that Jim’s age is negatively affecting his performance. Shelly, who works closely with Jim, mentions that she thinks there’s a significant portion of information that is omitted when the files get to their step in the process, and thinks that the department needs to see why those data are absent.

Unfortunately, just as people start brainstorming about where that missing information is, Jim and Vincent begin to raise their voices. Maria tries to keep everyone on topic, but she realizes that Jim and Vincent seem to be at the heart of the problem. Jim’s missing information is stymieing the process, and Vincent’s tardiness with moving the files forward is further compounding the problem. Maria knows that they can’t resolve the problem without keeping these two people staying engaged in the process.

However, Jim and Vincent’s interaction is becoming louder and more personal. Maria has been trained to intervene when interpersonal conflict becomes problematic, and she thinks that Jim and Vincent have crossed the line. On the other hand, she has a mandate to solve this crisis immediately, and believes that she needs Jim and Vincent to stay in the brainstorming session in order to accomplish this.

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