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Verbal Communication

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‘\Give in to other, sometime to the extent that you compromise yourself. • Use this approach very sparingly and infrequently, for examples: in situations when you know that you will have another more useful approach in the very near future. Usually this approach tends to worsen the conflict over time and causes conflict within yourself. • Takes place when one party tries to satisfy the interest of other by sacrificing its own interests
Conflict is the “process which begins when one party perceives that the other has frustrated, or is about to frustrate, some concern of his”, according to Kenneth Thomas, author of The Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology and co-designer of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. Thomas outlines that conflicts are situations in which the needs, wants or values of two parties clash or in some way interfere with one another. Conflict needn’t be damaging; it all depends on how we handle presenting situations.
Our reactions to conflict arise from two general impulses: (a) our desire to satisfy personal concerns, (which manifest as assertive behaviour) and, (b) our desire to satisfy the concerns of others, (which manifest as nonassertive behaviour). Plot these two behaviours on vertical and horizontal axes and you’ve got yourself another fabulous quadrant model–The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument.
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According to the Thomas-Kilmann instrument, when it comes to dealing with conflict, people will: • compete • collaborate • avoid • compromise or • accommodate
These behaviours are plotted along two axes. The vertical focuses on the self/degree of assertiveness; the horizontal focuses on the other/degree of cooperation.
A high degree of assertiveness, mixed with a low degree of concern for the other involved in the conflict, creates a “win-lose” scenario. “I win, you lose”; a.k.a. Competing (domination; upper left quadrant).
When one rates highly on both assertiveness/self-interests and desire to maximally cooperate with another,Collaborating (upper right quadrant; integration) behaviour is demonstrated, and “win-win” results. “I win and you win, too”.
A low degree of assertiveness, mixed with a low degree of cooperation to resolve a conflict, creates an Avoiding (neglect; lower left quadrant) reaction; a
“lose-lose” situation. “I lose and you lose, too, because, for some reason, I don’t want to address the conflict between us.
When one demonstrates both a moderate degree of self-concern and assertiveness, and willingness to cooperate with another, the middle-of-the-road behaviour of Compromise (middle of the quadrant model; sharing) is plotted. The compromiser neither fully avoids the conflict, nor fully collaborates to resolve. It’s a half-baked “win-win”.
Then there are those Accommodating types (lower right quadrant; appeasement), practicing “lose-win” behaviour. “I lose and you win, because of what I choose to surrender.”
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There is not any one conflict management strategy which works with all of the people all of the time. There are both effective and ineffective moments to demonstrate each of these behaviours. Although you may prefer one conflict management style over another, it’s valuable to release your “inner chameleon” and sincerely learn how to flex your conflict reactions.

Differences Between Destructive & Constructive Conflict

Conflict results from real or perceived opposition to one’s values, actions, desires or general interests. Conflicts may occur internally or externally between individuals or groups; conflict between work groups typically emulates larger scale conflict within the organization as a whole. Although conflict causes frustration, anger and occasionally violence, proper conflict resolution often generates positive results for the involved parties. Conflict management skills remain in demand; conflict may be managed successfully by reaching an agreement that satisfies the needs of both the individual(s) and the larger organization.

Definitions

Constructive conflict refers to conflict in which the benefits exceed the costs; it generates productive, mutually beneficial, shared decisions. In constructive conflicts, the process becomes as important as the end result. Individuals come together to redefine or strengthen their relationship for the greater good of the parties involved. Destructive conflict often flows from narrowly defined or rigid goals, and most often produces negative results. Individuals involved become less flexible and assume that the opposing party must suffer defeat. Involved parties succumb to personal attacks, threats and a general tone of hostility.

Contributing Factors

Constructive conflict operates under the belief that all parties can win, and that the goals of both involved parties are flexible. When two opposing parties locate a common link between them, they may begin the process of reaching a shared decision. Commonly, constructive conflict occurs when the parties feel comfortable with the level of disagreement and acknowledge a need to compromise. Constructive conflict relies on a steady flow of communication and a shared willingness to embrace change. Destructive conflict, which often ignores the real issues between the conflicting parties, occurs for a variety of reasons. Often, a power struggle is to blame; one party remains determined to win his way on an issue of particular interest. Poor conflict management skills limit positive interaction and contribute to destructive conflict. The causes of destructive conflict originate primarily from feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness. Other contributing factors include lack of empathy, inability to understand the views of others, fear of change and personal vulnerability.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Constructive conflict benefits both the involved parties and those around them. In the workplace, constructive conflict spurs open communication, debate and the possibility of producing high-quality ideas and decisions. Employees develop better relationships with each other and their superiors. Consequently, collaboration begins to occur more often and overall productivity increases. Constructive conflict helps to restore equality and strengthen relationships. Destructive conflict, which promotes inequality and an imbalance of power, often damages relationships. Employees who feel they are judged negatively lose focus, fail to complete tasks, suffer a decrease in productivity and lose self-confidence. Without the respect of their co-workers, these employees experience frustration and resentment; they might spend more time trying to get even rather than dealing with the underlying issues. Avoiding conflict and closing the channels of communication increases the likelihood of additional destructive conflict.
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Constructive Responses. Behaviors that help to build relationships, manage emotions and accept and resolve conflict are considered constructive responses. They emphasize task-completion and problem solving, creativity and exchange of ideas and the expression of positive emotions. When constructive behaviors are the norm in a group or organization, typical outcomes include: • Win-win solutions. • Open and honest communication of feelings. • The needs of both parties being met. • Non-judgmental actions. • Less insistence on sticking adamantly to one position. • Active resolution of conflict (not allowing conflict to continue). • Thoughtful, not impulsive, responses. • Improved team performance.
Destructive Responses. Destructive responses prolong and inflame conflict and get in the way of productivity. Trying to win no matter what, lack of respect for others, avoiding conflict and negatively expressing emotions are destructive. These behaviors will lead to: • Feelings of anger and frustration. • Judgmental actions. • Getting even and keeping score. • Parties not having needs met. • Closed channels of communication. • Refusal to deal with issues. • Decreased self-confidence. • Incomplete tasks. • Decreased team performance.
If your work environment shows the signs of destructive responses, you'll want to identify the behaviors that are undermining resolution and rein them in. Set new norms and expectations for handling disagreements and begin to develop the skills that lead to more constructive outcomes.…...

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