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Polarity Management

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PLANNING AND TAKING ACTION

Katina Stephens

Kaplan University

Planning and Taking Action
Polarity management, has been defined as a style of supervising that tackles conflict resolution on unsolvable problems. It places pressure on the importance of recognizing that some situations don't have solutions. It shows a “varied way of understanding complex problems and simplifying them “offering a both/and perspective to the either/or viewpoint”. (Catalyst Training, 2012) It appears to try to take advantage of gleaning the best from opposing viewpoints when it comes to dilemmas, contradictions, or polarities. Most complex problems don’t have a specific solution. Thus, the task of becoming an effective leader is dependent upon one’s ability to recognize and then manage those complex problems.
Polarity management has the ability to present a unique set of principles that will test anyone to view a situation in a new light, especially when you dealing with a team, whether virtual or standard. “These situations are not problems to solve; they are polarities which require effective management. Leaders, teams, and organizations become more effective as they learn to distinguish between the two and deal productively with both.” (Johnson 2006) To be an effective leader of a team or an organization, management has to be able to manage unavoidable and unsolvable circumstances on a continual basis. So, the question becomes not if you can manage a problem, but how well.
Which brings me to the issue of how well can we work in virtual teams when polarities are inevitable? In my current Marketplace Business Fundamentals simulation exercise polarity management is something that has both benefits and drawbacks. One area of concern is that of planning and taking action. It was stated that “Too much planning implies that action will be short changed and the business…...

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