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Interpersonal Conflict Essay, Research Paper

Donahue 1

Josh Donahue

Speech 4

Miss Douglass

11/28/99

Interpersonal Conflict

Interpersonal Conflict is such a broad topic in that it covers an immense number of variables and situations. After a lot of research on conflict, there were many different types of definitions for it. They all basically said the same thing. Gini Graham Scott defines conflict as ?everyday differences of opinion, disagreements, and the interplay of different ideas, needs, drives wishes, lifestyles, values, beliefs, interests, and personalities of people. (24) Scott further suggests that conflict are more than just debates, or negotiations, in that they are an escalation of everyday competition and discussion into an arena of hostile or emotion provoking encounters that strain personal or interpersonal tranquility or both (24).

If you think about it conflict is a disagreement between to people, how would you solve it? Well there are many ways to solve conflict, you can talk it out or resort to violence. Well there are only two ways to resolve it. I bet you did not know that not all conflicts could be solved. According to R.J Doolittle who says that ?Although a great number of conflicts can be solved by empathic listening, by paraphrasing, by assertiveness, some disagreements are so intense and perceptions so fixed that conflict

Donahue 2

may simply remain, and participants will either have to end the relationship or learn to live with the disagreement?(http://www2.pstcc.cc.tn.us/~dking/conmyths.htm). Is this statement true? Although it says it is this true well yes, it is true. Not all conflicts can be resolved which the book calls ?Loose Loose method? (464) in which both sides of the conflict are not happy with the outcome of the conflict. Astonishingly enough this is the most common way conflicts are resolved.

An example of this method would be, lets say there are two friends and a girl. The girl is seeing both of the friends and they find out and both of them each want for the other to stop seeing the girl. Thus, we now have a conflict, so the girl stops seeing both friends and they end their friendship with each other. This would a good example of the ?Loose Loose? method of conflict resolution. In that, the friends lost their girl and their friendship with each other.

According to the early studies of Thomas and Kilmann (http://chadwick.jlmc.iastate.edu/314/conflict.html) there are five different way to manage conflict. These ways called ?Conflict Management Styles.? They are Accommodating, Avoiding, Collaborating, Competing, and Compromising. Every person has used each of these methods depending on the situation they are in at the time.

The Accommodating tactic would be used if you know you are loosing the argument and to save face you agree with your opposition. Another way the

Donahue 3

Accommodating tactic may be used is if, the argument is not important enough for you too win so you sit back, listen to their side, and learn from it. There are more ways to use the Accommodating tactic but these are just a few.

The Avoiding factor is used when a confrontation is almost impossible to avoid. When you see there is zero chance to satisfy your point of view in the conflict, or when people are so mad that they loose their cool, to let them regain their composure and to cool down.

The Collaborating tactic may be used when your whole objective on the conflict is to learn. Also good idea to use this type of conflict management style when you want to work through feeling that have interfered with the relationship with the other person in the conflict.

Competing tactic an excellent when you want to cut the through all of the bull*censored* and get to a resolution of the conflict quickly. When quick decisive resolutions are very important, or when people attempt to disagree with you and your right without a doubt.

The last tactic that Thomas and Kilmann talk about is the Compromising tactic. This is good for when, goals are important to you but the are not worth all the trouble they may cause. To achieve rather quick and easy resolutions to rather complex disagreements.

Donahue 4

Now I bet you are wondering how most disagreements end. Well according to our book (Adler, and Browne) there are four different techniques used to end all conflicts (463-466). Loose Loose, which I touched on earlier in my paper.

?Win Loose? in which one party will win the conflict and the other party will loose the conflict. Example, Lets say your going to a party on Saturday evening and your mom says you have to go to you grandma?s house. There is the Conflict so one of you will loose the conflict and one of you will win. So you go to your grandma?s house you loose the conflict, and your mother wins thus we have a ?Win Loose? situation here.

Then we have the Compromise, which both people in the conflict get partially what they wanted. Another example of this is your mother wanted you to clean your room and the kitchen, but you made plans to go out with your friends. Therefore, you ask your mother if you can clean your room now and clean the kitchen when you return. Your mother says sure no problem. You and you mother just used the Compromise technique in the book.

The last form of resolving a conflict would be the ?Win Win? tactic of ending a conflict. The ?Win Win? and the ?Compromise? are kind of the same but then again they are totally different in their ways. In a ?Win Win? both parties get what they want just not in the way they wanted. Hope that makes sense. An example of the ?Win Win? would be


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