Responding to conflict

Riverbend City: Communication and Organizational Effectiveness.
Video transcript:
Victoria Moran: Welcome back to WNRT’s continuing coverage of the Brown Trout Bay flood. We have word that the city and county are working together to address the issue of providing potable water to residents in the affected neighborhoods. Joining me now to discuss the situation is Brian Nicollet, the mayor of Brown Trout Bay. Brian, can you tell me what’s going on with the city’s water supply?
Brian Nicollet: Well, as you know, citizens in affected areas have been without water for about 24 hours now. Dodd County has activated its Emergency Operations Center to address this issue.
Victoria Moran: Brian, why is it that there are so many residents remaining in affected neighborhoods after your office issued a mandatory evacuation order?
Brian Nicollet: Well, unfortunately, whenever you have a rapid onset emergency like this one, not all residents will follow evacuation orders. In some cases, people refuse to leave, but more often than not, people who stay can’t leave—they don’t have cars, for instance. We also have residents remaining in the city in hospitals and nursing facilities. We were very fortunate that the flooding was not on a magnitude anywhere near that of Hurricane Katrina, and as you know, there were no casualties. However, the city’s water supply has been compromised, and we need to restore that as soon as possible—and while that process takes place, we have to distribute water to Brown Trout Bay residents.
Victoria Moran: How do you plan to do this?
Brian Nicollet: Well, as I said, Dodd County has activated their Emergency Operations Center, and the city is working closely with the county. We’re assembling a team of individuals who represent a number of emergency service functions, and these individuals will be meeting later today to address the water situation.
Victoria Moran: Who is in charge of this group?
Brian Nicollet: The mayor has assigned an experienced leader to this team. I am confident this leader will do an excellent job guiding this team as they address the crucial issue of distributing water to the residents of Brown Trout Bay. /0x4*

Email
Leading the Emergency Operations Team
From: Mayor Brian Nicollet
To: Makalay Yilla
I’m so glad to hear that you’ve agreed to facilitate our team of emergency managers. Each member of the team represents an Emergency Support Function (ESF) as defined by FEMA. As the leader of the EOC group, your goal is to help this group leverage their collective expertise to distribute clean water efficiently to the people in Brown Trout Bay. I’m confident that with your help, this team will be able to work together efficiently to get this done.
As you work with this group of individuals, please keep in mind that this is a diverse group. As is the case with all working groups, you’re going to find these individuals have a variety of communication styles. Because this group needs to get to work immediately, you’re going to have to figure out quickly what each individual’s communication style is—and you’re going to have to come up with a strategy for working effectively with this particular group of people and their combination of communication styles.
Best of luck! I know I can count on you.
—Brian
Responding effectively to a situation rife with conflict requires a variety of communication techniques. In this assessment, you will analyze and respond to a growing controversy depicted in the Riverbend City: Communication and Organizational Effectiveness scenario by writing a team communication and subsequently analyzing your approach to devising it.
Preparation
Explore Riverbend City: Communication and Organizational Effectiveness.
Scenario
Imagine you just came back from lunch and found the email string regarding the proposed EOC staff meeting related in the scenario. It’s your plan to address the situation, and it’s your intent to do it in a single email that demonstrates leadership and a keen understanding of the issue, participants, and their associated dynamics.
Instructions
Complete both parts of this assessment.
Part 1: Analyze Your Approach to the Issue
Describe your approach to constructing your email.
• Describe possible causes for the caustic exchange depicted in the email chain. Consider possible core organizational issues. State any assumptions that you might need to make regarding the scenario to support your assertions.
• Justify why your message would likely be effective. Consider content, tone, style, et cetera.
• Explain your intent for how your message might impact future communications and actions among team members.
Part 2: Write a Response Email
Write an email that effectively addresses the email chain. It should:
• Properly consider the audience, your position, and the circumstances.
• Articulate a well-conceived solution to the problem.
• Effectively end the thread completely and de-escalate the tension.
• Send a message that this exchange was “sub-optimal.”
Additional Requirements
The assessment is expected to meet the following requirements:
• Font: Times New Roman, 12 point.
• Length: 4–5 pages, double spaced.

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