What is Polarization of Communications In Project Management

Polarization deals with the communication where people who had been neutral all choose sides and continue to be extreme in the viewpoints while at the same time holding their positions and moving further part whereby they take very different viewpoints that show many oppositions between them. The people in this do not agree on any point as they continue to hold that their viewpoints are the ones that are right (Cooke et al., 2011). Such is polarization and it brings disunity and total conflict, which can divide teams and hamper progress of any work. Teams need to agree to work together or change to accommodate one another.

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Polarization thus moves two parties apart because of the continual extremity in their opposing viewpoints. The communication does not become polarized at first but follows a process as mentioned above. When they were natural and moved to choosing sides they still could have been reconciled easily. However, as they continue to oppose each other and further develop extreme viewpoints the conflict between them increases up to the level that they disagree completely. Someone in the polarized state views the other as enemy who does not deserve honor. As such, both sides are segregated.

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The common causes of polarized communication are hidden agendas against a specific person or group, using generalization and stereotypes, lack of confidence, dysfunctional responses, criticism, emotional distraction, and personal agenda among many others. Such issues can cause one to lose focus of the matter at hand and concentrate on the person. Such focus on a person instead of the issue leads to argument and disagreement, which leads to wastage of time, energy, and resources since the meeting would have led to a solution to the various issues affecting a project. Such issues cause people to take sides for the wrong reason and dampen any hope of dealing specifically with issues of importance.

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To ensure that polarization does not take place among team members it is important to ensure that the discussion of any issue does not turn into personal attacks. The meeting should thus focus on the agenda at hand and any person who deviates from the normal will have to be returned to the issue at hand (Heldman, 2011). The lessening of generalization in the meeting and any stereotyping as a result will help prevent polarization in the meeting and among the different team members. Situational focus of the issue at hand should always be stressed to prevent other issues that are not only hurting the progress of the meeting but also wasting time, which is an important resource for any project. Team members should be brought together to work in unity and any issue that can lead to conflict be nipped in the bud before it escalates out of hand. Project managers are central people in managing conflicts and should ensure that they maintain a neutral standpoint in any discussion and ensure that the agenda at hand is the point of focus by the team members.

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