APPROACHES TO CONFLICT MANAGEMENT The conflict management process starts with individual styles and.


The conflict management process starts with individual styles and approaches. We’re going to look at some of those, and then at some ways your self-awareness and ability to adapt your communication can help to manage conflicts as a team. Read about successful approaches to conflict and confrontation in the Harley- Davidson company in Case Study 12.1.

Individual Styles People tend to respond to conflict on the basis of two things: how much they care about the issue at hand, and how much they care about the other party(s) with whom they disagree (Richter, Scully & West, 2005). See if you recognize your own responses to conflict in any of these:

The Collaborator operates from a cooperative, win-win perspective, bringing everyone’s interests and points of view into perspective and trying to ensure that each person’s goals are achieved.

The Compromiser works from a cooperative point of view, but doesn’t see everyone winning as a possibility. His or her focus is on negotiating some gains for everyone.

The Accommodator assumes that situations are competitive—but that it’s better to yield than to fight it out. The accommodator shifts positions to allow others to win.

The Controller has a competitive, defensive, win-lose orientation and sees conflict management as making the right moves to win points and control others’ responses.

The Avoider assumes that everything is competitive, win-lose, and that loss is inevitable. This person simply avoids conflict by any means possible.

These styles relate to what psychologists call “fight-or-flight” reactions to threat. Conflict arises, and adrenalin pumps. People often can’t walk out or slug it out, so they adapt their responses to civilized alternatives. A person who wants to run away may play the role of an avoider or, perhaps, an accommodator.

Unit 10 Discussion Previous Next Negotiation is an important skill for everyday life as well as for your career. Whether the skill is used to negotiate a price at the farmer’s market, negotiate a truce between siblings, or negotiate a contract price in the business arena. You read about negotiation in your reading area and practiced with the concept in the Learning Activity. Now you will apply what you have learned to a real world scenario. Discussion: Negotiating a Resolution Your boss sent you out to purchase all of the office team’s holiday presents at 10:00 a.m. He gave you $300 for the 10 people in the office and said you could have the remaining afternoon hours off and the next two days if you got all of the presents. When you returned, you went over budget by $5 and completed your task in two (2) hours because you are an efficient shopper. Your boss says this is not fair since you went over budget and completed the task in two (2) hours instead of the six (6) hours he thought it would take.

How might you negotiate a resolution with which both parties would be satisfied?

What conflict management approach would you use?

Describe the process and hoped-for results. What does the result mean for both parties relative to the negotiation and why?

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