The Role Played by Socialisation in Shaping Human Behaviour Has Been Overstated.’ Assess This Claim
Common sources of conflict – Conflict is an inevitable part of human relationships.Where commitment to mission and long hours with minimal resources intersect, nonprofit workplaces can be rife with conflict interchanges.Conflict can arise from managing differing perspectives and seemingly incompatible concerns.
If we can accept it as a natural part of our emotional landscape, it can be easier to work with than if we expect (or wish! ) conflict to disappear and never resurface.
As a manager, it is important to be able to identify and to understand the varying levels of conflicts and how these levels are manifested in different ways. An early sign of conflict is that “nagging feeling” or tension you feel, indicating that something is brewing under the surface. Pay attention to non-verbal behaviours such as crossed-arms, eyes lowered or someone sitting back or away from you or the group. These signs can provide you with important information about your current situation and can help you in assessing your next steps.
If these signs are not dealt with in a timely manner, this sense of apprehension can shift to another level of conflict and can be manifested more directly with opposition and conviction. This aspect of conflict is addressed in more depth in the sections below. More often than not, these early warning signs are a part of a larger web of dynamics present in your organization. As part of our analysis, it is helpful to understand the source of potential conflict. Below are some common sources of conflict: Conflict type | Description |
Values conflict| Involves incompatibility of preferences, principles and practices that people believe in such as religion, ethics or politics. | Power conflict | Occurs when each party wishes to maintain or maximize the amount of influence that it exerts in the relationship and the social setting such as in a decision making process. | Economic conflict | Involves competing to attain scarce resources such as monetary or human resources. | Interpersonal conflict | Occurs when two people or more have incompatible needs, goals, or approaches in their relationship such as different communication or work styles. Organizational conflict | Involves inequalities in the organizational chart and how employees report to one another. | Environmental conflict | Involves external pressures outside of the organization such as a recession, a changing government, or a high employment rate. | Once you know more about where the conflict stems from, you will be better equipped to address it. A variety of factors influence when and how conflict will surface. To get the bigger picture, consider all the sources above before taking action.
Now, we will look at the various ways in which we can respond and manage conflict. Understanding conflict styles – A first step in dealing with conflict is to discover your preferred conflict style(s) and subsequently, learn how to manage a variety of situations using different approaches. These styles have two basic dimensions: Assertiveness, which relates to behaviours intended to satisfy one’s own concerns. This dimension is also correlated to attaining one’s goals, Cooperativeness, which relates to behaviours intended to satisfy the other individual’s concerns.
This dimension can also be tracked as being concerned with relationships. A combination of these dimensions results in five conflict behaviours: 1. Competing 2. Accommodating 3. Avoiding 4. Collaborating 5. Compromising Each style is appropriate in particular contexts and learning how to be strategic when approaching conflict is ideal. Accommodating – The accommodating style is unassertive and cooperative. The goal of this stance is to yield. Typically a person using this conflict mode neglects his or her needs to satisfy the concerns of the other person.
There is an element of self-sacrifice and this stance is concerned with preserving the relationship versus attaining goals. The mode is also known as an appeasement or smoothing style and is the opposite of competing. Competing – The Competing style is a power-oriented mode that is high in assertiveness and low in cooperativeness. The goal of this stance is to win. In this mode the individual aims to pursue one’s agenda at another’s expense. This may mean standing up for one’s needs, defending a cherished position and/or simply trying to win. The goal is deemed very important.
This style is also referred to as a forcing or dominant style. Avoiding – The avoiding style is both unassertive and uncooperative. The goal of this stance is to delay. In this mode an individual does not immediately pursue his or her concerns or those of another. There is indifference to the outcome to the issue and the relationship and the person withdraws or postpones dealing with the conflict. This style can provide a needed respite from the situation or it can inflame things if the issue keeps being pushed aside. This mode is also known as flight. Collaborate
The collaborating style is both assertive and cooperative. The goal of this stance is to find a win-win situation. Typically this mode is concerned with finding creative solutions to issues that satisfy both individual’s concerns. Learning, listening and attending to both the organizational and personal issues are addressed with this conflict style. It takes time and effort. This mode is also known as a problem solving or integrative style and it is the opposite of avoiding. Compromise The compromising style lands one right in the middle of being assertive and cooperative.
The goal of this stance is to find a quick middle ground. Parties find an expedient, mutually acceptable solution by having each person give up something and split the difference. This mode is also known as sharing. Dealing with difficult people When working in a group, there may be times when you will have to work with a difficult person. Often times, this person is not aware of his or her impact on the group or the implications of his or her actions on others. Depending on the perspective, everyone has been viewed at one time or another, as a difficult person.
Everybody has the capacity to be both productive and problematic in the workplace. It is all in how you view the situation. With a simple change in perspective, your experience with a difficult person can change from a situation that is happening to you to a possibly enriching learning experience. If you are experiencing a strong reaction to another person, there are two elements you need to consider: you and the other person. First, start with yourself. It is essential to understand why you are reacting to that person and the possible strategies you can use to address the situation.
For example, a preferred conflict style can be exacerbated by a particular method of communication. If you have a tendency to avoid conflicts, are emails the only way you solve issues at the office? Or do you find yourself saying things on email that you would never say in person. Many of us can hide behind our computers or take on a bolder, more aggressive persona. In essence, change your behaviour to work effectively with someone. There are many ways in which to communicate with your colleagues – face to face meetings, phone calls, e-mails, video conferencing etc. he possibilities are limitless. When working with a difficult person, begin to locate the problem inside yourself. Dr. Ronald Short, in his book, Learning in Relationship, states: “The impact someone has on us (feeling and thoughts we have inside) is our responsibility. To understand impact, we need to look at ourselves – not judge others” (1998). Remember, as a rule (and this is easier said than done), try not to take things personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a direct reflection of what is happening inside of this person.