How Do You Feel About Conflict?

How Do You Feel About Conflict?

Reactions to conflict are as varied as the number of people involved in conflict. Several things influence how we view conflict, and not all of them are consistently addressed in the conflict literature, though many are. As you respond to the following questions, think about how much power you had in a previous conflict situation. Does your attitude change based on whether you are the person with more or less power in a conflict situation?

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Another strong influence on conflict is how we view the person or persons with whom we are engaging in conflict. The more we like them, the more likely we are to work toward a win-win or favorable solution for both of us. On the other hand, the less we admire the person with whom we have conflict, the more apt we are to try to push our solution(s) onto them. How is this true for you?

Which is stronger in guiding your approach to conflict—the desire to be right, or the desire to maintain good relationships? What about a conflict situation might change this preference? When is winning more important than coming up with the best solution possible? How do you enter conflict differently when you initiate it versus when someone else initiates it with you? Think about how all of these things influence you as you enter into a conflict situation.

To prepare for this Discussion, pay particular attention to the following Learning Resources:

· Review this week’s Learning Resources, especially:

· Communication in Conflict – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ922fHMu9c

· Managing Conflict Through Communication – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l1ZTdcT-jI

Assignment –

Respond to at least two of your peers’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

· As you read your peers’ responses, what things would invite you to engage more in conflict with them? What things would discourage you from engaging in conflict with them?

· Think about your responses and compare those to a peer’s response. Has your definition of conflict shifted as a result of this week’s materials and discussions with your peers? Why or why not?

· No plagiarism

· APA citing

 

1st Colleague -Natasha Mills

 

Natasha Mills

How Do You Feel About Conflict?

 

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The top five words that come to mind when I think of the word conflict include parties, issue, disagreement, differences, and situation. Based on these five words, my definition of conflict is that it is a situation where two or more parties disagree on an issue due to the differences in their perceptions about it. This definition fits closely and relates to the definition discussed in the text because of the similarity in some of the words used in the provided definition. The similar words include problem, situation, differences, and parties. The only variation between my definition of conflict and the definition in the text is the text’s mention of outcomes or ends, as well as resolutions (Cahn & Abigail, 2014). However, it is still possible to get a good grasp of what conflict is from either definition.

I view organizational conflict more negatively than positively. Cahn & Abigail (2014) reiterate that interpersonal conflict occurs between people with a preexisting interpersonal relationship that they would want to continue. This puts a risk on the interpersonal relationships between the conflicting individuals, particularly when the conflict is not treated with a sense of urgency, a factor referred to as destructive conflict. “Mismanaged conflicts could adversely affect relationships, meaning that conflicts can make people feel uncomfortable when together, dissatisfied with their partners, and lead them to desire change” (Cahn & Abigail, 2014, p.5). Conflict is more destructive in an organizational context. This is because it has the potential to lead to an increase in the number of people involved, number of issues, intensity of negative feelings, and costs.

The outcomes identified above far outweigh the positive side of conflict involving the use of the conflict event as an opportunity to improve relationships (Cahn & Abigail, 2014). In simple terms, conflict is only positive when it is managed effectively. However, even when the conflict is managed effectively, people end up wasting a lot of time and resources in the process. “They must take time out of their busy schedules, pay attention to matters they may consider unimportant, perhaps spend money and allocate often‐limited resources, and listen to people they would like to ignore” (Cahn & Abigail, 2014, p.2). Therefore, my view of conflict is more negative than positive.

Conflict is inevitable and a part of all relationships (Cahn & Abigail, 2014). I know that conflict is an opportunity to engage more with people when its resolution has the potential to repair and strengthen the relationship at stake. In many cases, people with interpersonal relationships shelve issues until a conflict occurs for them to address the issues. Therefore, the conflict event can be an opportunity to address those shelved issues, leading to a stronger relationship. Such a situation presents an opportunity to engage more with people during a conflict.

On the other hand, some conflict situations present an opportunity to disengage from people. I know that it is an opportunity to disengage from people when approaching the conflict could lead to its escalation and cause more adverse implications to the interpersonal relationship at stake. Effective management of conflict requires that one recognizes the risks involved (Cahn & Abigail, 2014). When the risks are more that the positives of embracing the conflict as an opportunity, it is more advisable to disengage.

Cahn, D. D., & Abigail, R. A. (2014). Managing conflict through communication (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Bottom of Form

 

2nd Colleague -Maria Campbell

 

Maria Campbell

RE: Discussion 1 – Week 1

 

Top of Form

Conflict occurs for many reasons in our workplace and society. Reasons for conflict can range from religious beliefs, political, cultural, economic, and values barriers. Conflict can be defined as a clash between individuals or groups arising out of differences in thought process, attitudes, understanding, interests, requirements and even perceptions. Cahn and Abigail state conflict continues to be one of our “grand challenges” of our time, occurring because of our deep divisions within out society that carry over into our interpersonal relationships (Dudley D. Cahn, 2014). They also define interpersonal conflict as a problematic situation with the following four unique characteristics, they are interdependent, incompatible goals/outcomes, adversely affect relationships, and sense of urgency for resolution (Dudley D. Cahn, Introduction to the Stude of Conflict Communication, 2014).

 

The top five words that I associate workplace interpersonal conflict are build-up, differences, avoidance, dynamic, and emotional intelligence (EI). Conflict is usually a result of a build-up of differences of opinion, values, or perception of time, rarely are they due to a one time incident. Conflict arises from differences , both large and small. I see it occurring whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires. Sometimes these differences appear trivial, but when a conflict triggers strong feelings, a deep personal need is often at the core of the problem. People who avoid deliberately ignore or withdraw from a conflict rather than face it. Others may perceive avoiders do not seem to care about their issue or the issues of others. People who avoid the situation hope the problem will go away, resolve itself without their involvement or rely on others to take the responsibility. I see a conflict as dynamic and changing, not just a linear progression towards winning or losing. Different factors can come into play that push conflicting parties towards the resolution or prolong the event. Conflict can be anything from a single behavior by another person which is upsetting or frustrating, a long-standing set of issues between people, a difference of opinion about strategy or tactics in the accomplishment of some business goal, etc. Many times, our first reaction to any situation is generally emotional. In times of conflict, this emotional reaction can take over and control the conflict process. There is an instinctive “fight or flight” physical response to our escalating stress. Our EI describes our ability to understand ours and other’s emotions and recognize those emotions as they surface and how we deal with them. EI is a personal attribute that is very useful in easing conflict.

 

I view conflict as inevitable and see it as an opportunity for positive engagement and furthering my understanding of others. Conflict should be accepted as a fact of life (Dudley D. Cahn, Introduction to the Study of Conflict Communication, 2014). This does not equate to my agreeing with their ideas, values, perception, etc. but it does allow me to approach conflict from a neutral point rather from an extreme. My definition of conflict as remained steadfast as a result of reading this week’s materials. Dr. Robert Barner and Ms. Dana Tinkle during this weeks Laureate video has highlighted my beliefs that open communication is essential for conflict resolution (Education, 2012). I believe many of Cahn and Abigails insights align with mine and where they do not I feel a bridge can be built to further our conversations toward positive resolution.

References

Dudley D. Cahn, R. A. (2014). Introduction to the Stude of Conflict Communication. In R. A. Dudley D. Cahn, Managing Conflict through Communication (p. 3). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Dudley D. Cahn, R. A. (2014). Introduction to the Study of Conflict Communication. In R. A. Dudley D. Cahn, Managing Conflict through Communication (p. 5). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Dudley D. Cahn, R. A. (2014). Preface. In R. A. Dudley D. Cahn, Managing Conflict through Communication. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Education, L. (2012). Elements of Conflict Resolution [Recorded by D. R. Tinkle]. Balitmore, MD.

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