In my opinion, healthy conflict is beneficial for progress and growth, especially in the educational context. When involved in a confrontation, I try to find compromise and reach a common ground while meeting mutual goals and preserving the relationships.
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Conflict is defined as a confrontation or disagreement between people because of differences in attitudes, interests, perceptions, or needs (Friend & Cook, 2013). It is hard to avoid conflict in the educational environment due to the distinct perceptions, overlapping authority, and limited resources both among instructors and students.
According to Friend and Cook (2013), the conflict between people with different goals happens when two individuals seek different outcomes yet are forced to settle for the same result. The conflict between individuals with the same goals occurs when professionals have the same objectives but limited access to accommodate them. Conflict about power takes place when a person strives to establish status or authority while conflict within individuals refers to internal discrepancy (Friend & Cook, 2013).
Organizational variables impact conflict resolution and causes of conflicts due to the differences in school administration and organization, as well as communication patterns (Friend & Cook, 2013).
As explained by Friend and Cook (2013), and accommodating conflict management style occurs when one gives in and fully agrees to another point of view. Avoiding response refers to postponing conflict resolution and failure to engage in direct opposition. Compromising helps to find a solution that partially satisfies both parties while collaborating strives to meet all the needs of people involved. Last, competing for management style is used to push one’s viewpoint only without considering the perspectives of other individuals (Friend & Cook, 2013).
Friend and Cook (2013) wrote that negotiation happens when two parties in a conflict try to reach a mutual agreement between themselves through discussion. Mediation involves a third party who takes a neutral side and assists people in conflict to find a solution (Friend & Cook, 2013). I prefer to use the negotiation technique because I do not like getting third parties involved in personal disputes. Mediation should be utilized only in critical situations.
It is important to consider culture because it shapes perceptions, behaviors, and attitudes of the people that may lead to misunderstandings. Culture is also a definite factor in communication, determining identities, and roles, naming, taming and framing conflict.
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I experienced displacement of responsibility and support without substance in the professional setting.
One should address resistance if it possesses a threat to the status change in the relationship between faculty and staff. Also, resistance should be addressed if the change is not accepted because of the identity of the person initiating it (Friend & Cook, 2013).
The three types of persuasion are ethos (ethics and morality), logos (logic and rationality), and pathos (appeal to emotion) (Friend & Cook, 2013). I think that I use pathos the most in my communication because it is the easiest way to persuade the other party. Yet, I want to utilize logos more in the professional setting to avoid manipulation of emotions.
I am most likely to use consistency because I think that people are most likely to change if they have a persistent feeling of cognitive dissonance.
I was deeply interested in the distinction between compromising and collaborating. Before reading the chapter, I did not know that compromise is a “lose-lose” strategy which leaves me wondering why this technique is so frequently promoted. When faced with conflict in the future, I want to try collaborating with the opposing party to find a solution that meets all our needs.
Friend, M. P., & Cook, L. (2013). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school professionals (7th ed.). Pearson.