Types of Conflicts


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This Powerpoint presentation gives a general overview of Miller and Steinberg's 3 types of conflict: Pseudo, Simple and Ego.

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Types of Conflicts

  1. 1. The following three types of conflict were first identified by Gerald Miller and Mark Steinberg. Identifying these classic types of interpersonal conflict can help to better manage conflict overall in a group.
  2. 2.  Pseudo-Conflict a misleading type of conflict. Members “think” there are conflicts, when in reality, none exist.  In this type of conflict, it is imperative that a true understanding of the issues and where everyone stands is accomplished.
  3. 3.  Ask for clarification of other’s positions or views of the conflicting element  Do not jump to conclusions – think positively until all has been made clear  Listen actively utilizing the following criteria:  Stop  Look  Listen  Question  Paraphrase Content  Paraphrase Feelings
  4. 4.  Simple Conflict is the most common type of conflict which happens when two people do not meet eye-to- eye on a subject.  Issues are clear and the participants can view the problem  Simple Conflict is a classic case of difference of opinion.
  5. 5.  Make each of your positions clear  Relate to the issues only; do not make this personal.  Use facts instead of feelings  Used structured strategies such as: define, analyze, identify, and evaluate.  If necessary – compromise  Decide on areas where you agree  Wait and take time to decide, do not rush the decision.
  6. 6.  Ego Conflict is the most difficult to manage because of the human element involved.  One or both parties feel that they are being personally attacked  This feeling of being attacked puts the parties on guard and the situation is very emotionally charged.
  7. 7.  Try to listen actively  Do not focus on personal traits or issues… keep to the facts  Do not look for a winner – strive for a solution  Describe your stand, refrain from judging or evaluating your opponent on a personal level  By instituting rules and guidelines, you can avoid personal clashes  Focus on areas of agreement whenever possible
  8. 8.  Three conflict types were introduced by Miller and Steinberg  These types are Pseudo, Simple and Ego Conflict  Strategies relating to all three types are:  Keep a cool head  Focus on issues  Listen  Question (facts not personalities)  Use problem-solving approaches
  9. 9.  Beebe, S (2008). Communication in Small Groups Principles and Practices. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.