Conflict Management and Resolution

Conflict Management and Resolution

Assignment 3 - Chapter 5
1. Give an example of how the same person might use different conflict styles in different relationships
Often the same person may use different conflict styles in different situations. For instance, at workplace an individual might tend to engage in the conflict in order to prove his/her righteousness and persuade colleagues or administration in his/her high professionalism and great capabilities. He/she manages to achieve this goal if the individual wins the conflict. In contrast, at home the same individual might prefer avoid conflicts in order to preserve normal relations with all members of the family. At the same time, avoidance tactics might be quite efficient if the individual knows how to win the conflict even without being engaged. However, the individual might avoid conflicts at work and get engaged at home. Actually, everything depends on the individual, his psychology and relations with his surrounding at work and at home.
2. Why would person use different conflict styles at work and at home?
Obviously, every individual can choose different conflict styles at work and at home depending on the situation and the context. In fact, there may be different reasons for different conflict styles but basically it depends on the interpersonal relationships established within the company or the family. To put it more precisely, an individual may occupy a significant position in the company and be its leader. Naturally, such an individual tends to dominate that often can force him/her to be engager in conflict situations at work. In contrast, at home, within the family, the situation may be quite different when the interpersonal relationships between spouses, for instance, are equal or one of them dominates. As a result, the individual that get used to use engagement conflict style at work has to be more tolerant or even tend to avoid conflicts if another member of the family has established equal relationship or even get used to dominate over this individual. Consequently, his/her opinion would be either equal or even less significant than the opinion of other members of the family, while at work such a situation would be less probable. Finally, it is extremely important to remember that individuals naturally tend to avoid conflicts at home because they believe without conflicts the family remains united and the positive relationship is developed.
3. Do you tend to be an avoider or an engager? When has it worked for you and not worked?
Basically, I tend to be an engager though to win a conflict at all costs is not really acceptable to me. This is why I rather tend to implement collaborative tactics in order to arrive to a kind of a consensus so that my personal position is taken into consideration. At the same time, I think it is extremely difficult to avoid conflicts since the avoidance tactic does not provide any opportunity to defend my own position. However, I realize that my position may be wrong but I can hardly reveal my errors if I avoid conflicts while, being engaged and listening to the arguments of my opponents, the truth can be found, i.e. I will know whether I am right or probably the position of my opponents is more reasonable. Consequently, my style works when I know that I am totally right and have sufficient arguments to support my point of view while if I miss them I will be doomed to fail.
4. Analyze each of the avoidance tactics listed in this chapter as to its effectiveness and appropriateness (i.e. denial and equivocation, topic management, noncommittal remarks, and irreverent remarks)
In fact, the avoidance tactic can be quite effective if it is appropriately applied. In this respect, it is worthy of mention that denial and equivocation, for instance, turn to be quite effective when they are used to demonstrate one’s disagreement and the unwillingness to participate in the conflict for being unresponsive can make the opponents to reevaluate their position. As for topic management, it can be effectively used when the potential conflict is just getting to start and you want to avoid it if you think that this conflict would be useless or unreasonable in the concrete situation. Noncommittal remarks may be effective when an individual tends to focus on insignificant details and focuses on some abstract concepts instead of developing the conflict. This tactic can help minimize the negative consequences of the conflict by making some jokes, for instance. Finally, irreverent remarks may reveal the pessimism of an individual and his/her skeptical view on the situation or the problem which actually engendered the conflict and make the opponent to reevaluate their position.
5. Which conflict style or combination of styles do you tend to choose? When has that benefited you? Cost you?
As a rule, I prefer collaborative tactics since they help me clearly justify my position and carefully listen to my opponents. In fact, this tactic helps me if not win than solve the conflict and it is highly effective when the goal of the conflict is to arrive to an objective and effective solution. At the same time, it needs certain skills and ability to be really persuasive in the argument. Obviously, there will be no collaboration if my arguments are weak and not persuading and, in such a situation, it simply undermines my public image. In contrast, in the case when me and my opponents have quite strong arguments we can really find out the most appropriate and objective solution of the problem and clearly define the extent to which each of the counterparts was right.
6. Create a conflict scenario and show how collaboration can be used effectively.
In my opinion collaboration is one of the most effective tactics. For instance, when two different designers work on the design of the same product they naturally compete with each other but this may be really harmful for the product because of the lack of collaboration. They may argue constantly and criticize each others ideas not because they are really bad but because they are offered by the opponent. As a result, they are in permanent contradictions while collaboration implies that the two designers can find a mutually favorable solution through the profound analysis and discussions of their projects and suggestions. This may lead to the elaboration of the design acceptable for both designers that naturally means the solution of the conflict.
7. List three positive and three negative qualities of the competitive style
Traditionally, competitive style aims at the winning the conflict but it is often accompanied by both positive and negative issues. Speaking about positive qualities of the competitive style, it should be said that this style contributes to finding the faults of the opponents, reveals the attitude of conflicting parties, and through demand to changes of behavior of opponents it can contribute to the improvement of the ambiance and relationship between them if such improvements are mutual. Among negative qualities may be named hostile behavior of the opponents, total rejecting of the opponent’s statement, minimization of responsibility.
8. Describe a scenario in which a compromising style would be effective
In the situation when neither of the counterparts can win the conflict the compromising style is obviously the most effective. For instance, when the problem of redundancy in a multinational company is discussed there may be two opposing parties. One of them stands on the ground that redundancy in all units of the company would decrease costs and improve the financial position of the company. Another party, on the contrary, states that the redundancy would be harmful to the company since some well-qualified specialists can be fired while the progress of the leading units may be undermined. In such a situation, a compromise is obviously needed so that the costs could be reduced but the leading units and highly-qualified professionals sustained their workplace.
9. Why is accommodation is often harmful to the accommodator?
In fact, accommodation may be very harmful for the accommodator because, as a rule, it is based on the unwillingness of the accommodator to be engaged in the conflict. Such a position leads to the deterioration of the position of the accommodator in a company, for instance, because he seems to be practically unable to support his/her own point of view in the conflict and cannot oppose to the opinion of others. In actuality, it can lead to the decreasing of the role of the accommodator in a company because of his inability to defend his views and be independent of the influence of his/her surrounding.

Assignment 3 – Chapter 6
1. How can systems theory help one understand conflict?
Systems theory reveals the essence of the conflict and this is really helpful. To put it more precisely, this theory analyzes the conflict in details focusing on roles, processes and patterns of the conflict. This theory also seeks to discover the rules that govern the system’s behavior and the function the conflict serves to.
2. What are conflict triangles? List a workplace example or a home example where one would expect to see a triangle formed
Basically, conflict triangles reflect the three-party dynamics of the conflict and, in general, they imply that the participants of the conflict undergo three stages from the beginning and development of the conflict to its solution which naturally needs to meet certain conditions. For instance, when there is a conflict between a father and a child within a family there should be something that actually provoked the conflict like unwillingness of the child to follow some recommendation of the father. Gradually their relations grow tenser and eventually the conflict can become quite serious. In such a situation, the solutions of the conflict is needed and if neither the father nor the child is able to come to agreement the mother can participate in the solution of the conflict and consolidate the family.
3. Systems do develop rules for conflict. Give three rules present in the systems of which you are a part
In fact, speaking about the rules for conflicts, I should say that one of the basic rules is to openly express my position and do not tend to avoid it, if I am sure that I am right. Secondly, I should always take into consideration the opinion of the opposing part and present a persuasive argument in order to win the conflict. Finally, the importance of the objective solution of the conflict is always needed. This is why it is necessary to critically evaluate my own position as well as the position of my opponents.
4. List three specific examples how understanding microevents can be helpful in conflict
Obviously, microevents are extremely important in conflict. For instance, when an individual constantly tends to participate in the conflict using a variety of tactics such as shifting topics, jokes, etc. this means that he/she rather tends to avoid it. Also, when a person, for instance, does not look directly at the opponent and repetitively attempts to lower his/her eyes than he/she is probably not sure in his/her righteousness or his/her possibility to win the conflict. Finally, when an individual constantly demonstrates aggressive style, it means that he/she is willing to escalate the conflict and thus, it is necessary to attempt to find a compromise or even use avoidance tactics which, nonetheless, could help win the conflict.
Bibliography:
1. Hocker, Joyce and William Wilmot, Interpersonal Conflict, 2nd ed. rev., Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1985.