Conflict is.. Differences between and among people When incompatible activities occur A situation that includes differences, expressed struggle, frustration, interference, perception, and interdependence
List nouns, verbs, adjectives that describe conflict Are these negative or positive?
Why do we avoid conflict? Fear Emotional upheaval Imbalance of power Recognition of incompatibilities Negative feelings It takes time
Conflict and Power We face competition for scarce resources in: Money Time Attention
Factors affecting conflict andpower In any relationship, one person has power over another if he or she controls something the other person wants or needs
Balancing the RelationshipFinding Common Interests What is our common goal? What can I do to improve this relationship? What do I need?
Five-Step Model forConflict Management1. Assessment – examine the context of the communication environment. Consider participants and their relationships. Identify the area of contention.2. Acknowledgement – understand and articulate both sides’ of view. Reality check of perceptions.3. Attitude – develop and display an attitude conducive to productive interaction. Involves trust and nonverbal behavior – at least for the communication event.
Five-Step Model forConflict Management4. Action – keeping the channels of communication open to find mutually agreeable solutions.5. Analysis – consider the feasibility and effectiveness of decisions.“Conflict Management: A Communication Skills Approach” by Deborah Borisoff and David Victor
Emotion comes first Handle the emotion of the situation first Then, deal with the issue or difference of power
Conflict and LanguageDifferences based on Gender Men (Typically) Women (Typically) More Direct “Hint” language Imply a message One Topic at a Time Can transition quickly to Problem Solving new topics, re-start old ones Closed Pick up where they left off Do not discuss personal details “Open” Discuss personal issues
Conflict and LanguageDifferences based on Gender “One Drawer at a Time” “All Drawers Open at Once!” Work Drawer Family Drawer Social Drawer Alone time Drawer
Benefits of Conflict Better decision making. Debate improves quality of solution Increased learning through exchange of ideas Relational growth. Fostering trust and respect Overall saves time by finding the best – not the easiest - solution