Another approach to confrontational situations is using an assertive message. This is an excellent tool to use when you need to confront someone, especially if they have power in the situatio
Describe the consequences of their current and ongoing behavior. These consequences could be to you, to them and/or to others.
Describe your intentions. This is a statement of how you will respond if the behavior continues. This statement could be a request. It could be a statement of how you will behave in the future Or, it could be a statement of where you stand on the issue.
Offer your interpretation of the other person’s behavior: Again this is like the perception check. State why you think they are engaged in the behavior. Go ahead and offer two interpretations if you want.
Describe how their behavior makes you feel. While this is a consequence of the behavior it is important to state your feelings separate from the other consequences.
Describe the observable behavior: Describe the behavior, being careful to not use evaluative language. This first step is just like the first step of a perception check.
For example, "Chris, yesterday you called my friend an FOB (fresh off the boat)(DESCRIPTION) I think you think you were being funny (INTERPRETATION) but I was really offended and upset by your comment (FEELING). When you make jokes like that it hurts other people and makes you look bad (CONSEQUENCE). Please don't make racist jokes around me. (INTENTION)."
Collaborating (I win, you win)
Issue important to both, Relationship important, Issue is complex, Creative solutions needed, Future commitment needed.
Takes time, Takes trust in self and others, Takes skills in problem solving, listening, and confronting, Working on needs before solutions, Separating needs from values, Separating issues from people.
Identify your problem and unmet needs to yourself
Follow-up on the solution to see if modifications are needed
Make a date with them to find the right time to talk about the problem
Describe your problem and needs to them using I-Language
Ask them to paraphrase you to make sure they understand what you said
Ask them what they want and need
Paraphrase their wants and needs to be sure you understand them
Negotiate a solution
a. Identify and define the conflict
b. Generate a number of possible solutions
c. Evaluate the alternative solutions
d. Decide on the best solutions
Avoiding/Denying (I lose, you lose)
Issue unimportant, No time, Winning impossible, other has power, Emotions high, Value collisions, Not enough information, Harmony worth it, It's not your problem
Miss creative solutions, Will resurface in worse form, No closure, Self is denied, Encourages further avoidance, Unmet needs, Repressed anger.
Accomodating (I lose, you win)
You see reason to satisfy other's needs, You want to avoid confrontation, When it's possible.
Miss creative solutions, No guarantee other's n eeds met, Encourages pattern of avoiding, Miss basic issues, Creates a new problem, Often expensive.
Compromising (I lose, you lose, I win a little, you win a little)
Limited time, Winning impossible, Win Win impossible, Issues are relatively minor.
No one really satisfied, Will resurface, Miss creative solutions.
Competing (I win, you lose)
You have power, Not concerned with relationship, Limited time, Issue so important the consequences worth it, Issue is urgent, Issue unimportant to other.
Other's needs unmet, Other has repressed anger, Other feels bad about self, Damaged relationship, No commitment to 'solution, Miss creative solutions
Model of Conflict (Thomas-Kilmann)
Types of Conflicts
A difference in ideologies or values between relational partners is called value conflict
For example, if a Buddhist and an Atheist goes out together, and one would rather eat beef, while the other does not. This conflict is derived from one of their religious beliefs.
The difference in thought process, interpretation of events, and perceptions
Marsha and Victoria, a long-term couple, are both invited to a party. Victoria declines because she has a big presentation at work the next morning and wants to be well rested. At the party, their mutual friends Michael and Lisa notice Marsha spending the entire evening with Karen. Lisa suspects Marsha may be flirting and cheating on Victoria, but Michael disagrees and says Marsha and Karen are just close friends catching up. Michael and Lisa are observing the same interaction but have a disagreement about what it means.
Conflict of Interest
Arises when people disagree about a plan of action or what to do in a given circumstance
For example, if my housemates want to have fun, they like to go out, while my idea of fun is staying at home and binge-watching The Office. My housemates often try to force me to go, leading to conflict.
Negotiation of Selves Conflict
Occurs when our identities and how we think the other person sees us conflict
For instance, as a 17-year-old living at home, you might argue with your parents about what time to be home on a Friday night. It looks like a content conflict—what time is curfew—but you are also negotiating having your parents view you as an adult and responsible, your parents are trying to negotiate the identity of being the parent and having some say over when you can come and go…they are still seeing you as someone they can protect.
Arises when we have incompatible feelings with another person
For example, if a couple has been dating for a while, one of the partners may want to marry as a sign of love while the other decides he/she wants to see other people.
Occurs when people disagree about a final outcome
Jesse and Maria are getting ready to buy their first house. Maria wants something that has long-term investment potential while Jesse wants a house to suit their needs for a few years, and then plans to move into a larger house. Maria has long-term goals for the house purchase and Jesse is thinking in more immediate terms
Destructive and Productive Conflict
Four assumptions which leads to viewing conflict as destructive
The social system should not be adjusted to meet the needs of members; rather, members should adapt to the established values.
Confrontations are destructive and ineffective.
Conflict is a destructive disturbance of the peace.
Disputants should be punished.
We believe that it is a threat to the established order of the relationship.
In contrast to seeing conflict as destructive, it is possible, even healthy, to view conflict as a productive natural outgrowth and component of human relationships
Four assumptions which leads to viewing conflict as productive
All issues are subject to change through negotiation.
Direct confrontation and conciliation is valued.
Conflict is a normal, useful process.
Conflict is a necessary renegotiation of an implied contract—a redistribution of opportunity, release of tensions, and renewal of relationships
Conflict provides an opportunity for strengthening relationships, not harming them. It is a chance for relational partners to find ways to meet the needs of one another, even when these needs conflict.
Conflict is the expressed struggle between two or more interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce rewards, limited resources and interference from the other party in achieving their goals
Again, these topics, or at least what is presented in the short introductory chapters of these topics, are very simple. They are presented well, and clearly. No questions about this topic
Collaboration seems an interesting part of this chapter. Being able to use conflict as a way to boost productivity is cool.