Managing Conflict in Interpersonal Relationship (Understanding…
Managing Conflict in Interpersonal Relationship
Understanding Interpersonal Conflict
However antagonistic they might feel toward each other, the parties in a conflict are usually dependent on each other.
3. Perceived incompatible goal.
Conflicts often look as if one party's gain will be another's loss. People often fail to see mutually satisfying answers to their problems. And as long as they perceive their goals to be mutually exclusive, they may create a self-fulfilling prophecy in which the conflict is very real.
1. Expressed struggle.
There are times when we fume to ourselves rather than expressing our frustration. Once both parties know that a problem exists, it's an interpersonal conflict.
4. Perceived scarce resources.
In a conflict, people often believe that there isn't enough of the desired resource to go around. Time and money are some scarce commodity.
---An expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce rewards, and interference from the other party in achieving their goal.
Approaches to Conflict
Gender and Conflict Style
Origins of Gender Differences
Biology explains some of the difference between the way males and females deal with conflict. During disagreements, men tend to experience greater physiological arousal than women, which comes in form of increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Women face a double standard: They may be judged more harshly than men if they are assertive.
Social expectations change over time and stereotypes do not always apply. The qualities men and women have in common far outnumber their differences.
Styles of Expressing Conflict
---Hinting at a message instead of expressing thoughts and feelings directly.
Indirect communication conveys a message in a roundabout manner in order to save face for the recipient. It involves more initiative than nonassertion.
---An indirect expression of aggression, delivered in a way that allows the sender to maintain a facade of kindness.
pretend to agree with you.
use humor as a weapon.
try to make you feel bad.
do small things to drive you crazy.
keep back something valuable.
---A message that attacks the position and perhaps the dignity of the receiver.
Direct aggression can be hurtful, and the consequences for the relationship can be long-lasting.
---A style of communicating that directly expresses the sender's needs, thoughts, or feelings, delivered in a way that does not attack the receiver.
They have the attitude that most of the time it is possible to resolve problems to everyone's satisfaction.
---The inability or unwillingness to express one's thoughts or feelings.
Sometimes nonassertion comes from a lack of confidence. At other times, people lack the awareness or skill to use a more direct means of expression.
Conflict in Online Communication
The absence of face-to-face contact can make it easy to respond aggressively, without considering the consequences until it's too late.
The asynchronous nature of most mediated channels means that communicators aren't obliged to respond immediately to one another.
Because emails and text messages come in written form, there's a permanent "transcript" that doesn't exist when communicators deal with conflict face to face.
Cultural influences on Conflict
The ways people communicate during conflicts vary widely from one culture to another. The kind of rational, calm, yet assertive approach that is the ideal for European American disagreements is not the norm in some other cultures.
Characteristic of an Assertive Message
3. Describe your feelings.
Expressing your feelings adds a new dimension to a message, and it makes the assertive message clearer.
4. Describe the consequences.
A consequence statement explains what happens as a result of the behavior you have described, your interpretation, and the ensuing feeling.
2. Share your interpretation of the other person's behavior.
The key is to label your hunches as such instead of suggesting that you are positive about what the other person's behavior means.
5. State your intentions.
Intention statements are the final element in the assertive format, they communicate three kinds of messages: where you stand on an issue; request of others; descriptions of how you plan to act in the future.
1. Describe the behavior in question.
An assertive description is specific without being evaluating or judgmental.
Communication Climates in Interpersonal Relationship
Confirming and Disconfirming Messages
---Actions and words that express respect and show that we value the other person.
2. Acknowledge the person's thoughts and feelings
Acknowledging the ideas and emotions of others is an even stronger form of confirmation than simply recognizing them. Listening is probably the most common form of acknowledgment.
1. Show recognition
The most fundamental act of confirmation is to recognize the other person. Recognition seems easy and obvious, and yet there are many times when we don't respond to others on this basic level.
3. Show that you agree
Whereas acknowledgment means you are interested on other people's ideas, endorsement means that you agree with them. Outright praise is a strong form of endorsement and one you can use surprisingly often if you look for opportunities to compliment others.
---Words and actions that express a lack of caring or respect for another person.
1. Partners criticize each other
---A message that is personal, all-encompassing, and accusatory.
2. Partners show contempt
---Verbal and nonverbal messages that ridicule or belittle the other person.
3. Partners are defensive
---Protecting oneself by counterattacking the other person.
4. One or both partners engage in stonewalling
---Refusing to engage with the other person.
How Communication Climates Develop
---A reciprocal communication pattern in which each person's message reinforces the other's.
---A reciprocal pattern of communication in which messages, either confirming or disconfirming, between two or more communicators reinforce one another.
---A communication spiral in which the parties slowly reduce their dependence on one another, withdraw, and become less invested in the relationship.
---The emotional tone of a relationship as it is expressed in the message that the partners send and receive.
Managing Interpersonal Conflicts
Steps in Win-Win Problem Solving
Identify your problem.
Explore your unmet needs.
Check your partner's understanding.
Describe your problem and needs.
Make a date.
Check your understanding of your partner's need.
Solicit your partner's needs.
Discuss ways to meet your common goals.
Identify and define the conflict.
Generate a number of possible solutions.
Evaluate alternative solutions.
Decide on the best solution.
Follow up on the solution.
Methods for Conflict Resolution
---An approach to conflict resolution in which parties work together to satisfy all their goals.
---An approach to conflict resolution in which both parties attain at least part of what they seek by giving something up.
---An approach to conflict resolution in which neither party achieves its goals.
---An approach to conflict resolution in which one party reaches his or her goal at the expense of the other.