Harmony is normal and conflict is abnormal. True or false?
Conflict = disagreement True or False?
Conflict is sick. Conflict participants are sick. True or False?
Conflict should never be escalated. True or False?
Conflict management should be polite and orderly. True or False?
Anger is the predominate emotion in conflict. True or False?
Self-esteem underlies all conflicts. True or False?
Gender identity is central to conflict. True or False?
Everything comes down to religion. True or False?
Everything comes down to culture. True or False?
There is one right way to resolve differences. True or False?
Conflict is inevitable. True or False?
Conflict serves a positive function of alerting us to problems to solve. True or False?
Conflict helps bring people together. True or False?
Conflict clears out resentments and increases understanding. True or False?
Which of these beliefs are yours? Which emotions do you experience in conflict?
Compare your answers to others. Either ask people you know outside of class or ask the people in your discussion group. Do you think Most people think the same way you do?
Listen to the way people talk
Conflict = War/Fighting Your actions are completely indefensible. He attacked me where I was most vulnerable – through my kids. The criticism is right on target. OK, shoot. I feel beaten down and defeated after our talk. You’re killing me. He slaughters me when I cry. When I don’t want it to come to blows (ha ha), I launch a diversionary tactic, like telling him the kids are calling me. Think of another one.
Conflict = Explosion He’s about to blow up. Larry’s got a short fuse. The pressure’s building. Put a lid on it. Think of another one.
Conflict = Trial He’s got the best case. The jury’s still out. Stop accusing me. She’s the guilty party, not me. Don’t’ interrogate me. Think of another one.
Other Conflict Metaphors a struggle an act of nature animal behavior mess communication breakdown game card game tide
Which metaphors do you use for conflict? Some mentioned here or Something that isn’t here?
Perspectives on: Communication behaviors AND Perceptions of those behaviors
A Useful Definition of conflict: Expressed struggle Interdependent parties Perceived incompatible goals Perceived scarce resources Interference
Goals in conflict Content or topic – what we want Relationship – who we are to each other Identity – who I am here (and do they see me?) Process – how we should do this
Face Relationship, Identity, and Process can be more important than topic if we feel that our self-respect or image are damaged. Image is called “face”
Things change…. Prospective goals Transactive goals So do perceptions… Retrospective Goals