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Straine Practice Tip — Conflict Resolution

Published on August 21, 2014

Straine Practice Tip - Conflict Resolution copyOh, No! They’re Fighting!

Conflict is one of the most anxiety-arousing topics in management.

It creates feelings of fear, tension, anger, discomfort, aggression, destruction, and hostility. Most of us believe that conflict is harmful and to be avoided at all costs. It is important to put conflict in its proper place,so that like a knife in the hand of a surgeon it can be used to heal, or to harm in the hand of a murderer; therefore, conflict can be used constructively or destructively.

What Do Goals Have To Do With Conflict?

Whenever goals are seen as incompatible, whether the perception of incompatibility is real or imagined, conflict between people will result.Gains to one person or group are seen as being made at the expense of the other. Conflict depends on the degree of incompatibility among goals, the extent to which limited resources are shared, and the degree to which people must interact with each other to complete a particular task.

What Do Roles Have To Do With Conflict?

Role demands are expectations of people for certain behavioral performances.

We expect managers to structure tasks, to have access to information, to make unpopular decisions, to manage conflict, to allocate resources, to maintain stability, and to manage change. When they do not, we believe that they have not fulfilled their role.

The Constructive Resolution Of Conflict . . .

Conflict affects a person physiologically and psychologically because it raises one’s general emotional level. Often conflict is expressed as anger. People deal with anger in different ways:

with passivity – avoiding the direct expression of anger,

with aggression – infringing on the rights of another person

with assertion – stating their perception of the problem, expressing their feelings about the problem, stating the action they would like to have taken, explaining the consequences to all parties if that action is taken, and leaving the other person free to choose what he or she will do in response.

Assertion Leads To The Most Constructive Resolution Of Conflict

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