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interpersonal comm ch 11- Conflict

define interpersonal conflict
a struggle between interdependent parties that occurs whenever one individuals thoughts or actions are perceived to limit or interfere with those of another individual
what do parties recognize during conflict?
the incompatibility of their goals and each does their best to prevail
what is conflict based on
how is conflict created and maintained?
what does conflict test?
every relationship
is it necessary to have conflcit?
yes, you need resistance for a meaningful relationships
what is conflict a means for?
growth and development in interpersonal relationships
if conflict itself does not create problems, then what does?
the way we approach and deal with a situation is what creates problems; conflict by itself is neither positive or negative, how we handle and perceive it is what adds a charge
when does funcitonal conflict occur?
when we handle conflict so that it helps us develop insights into our relationship and develop more effective means of relating to one another
what does functinal conflict help us with?
building an understanding of each others needs, attitudes or beliefs
what are the benefits of functional conflict?
willingness to listen to opposing views; openness to changing troublesome behaviors; openness to accepting differences of others
when does dysfunctional conflict occur?
when conflict is not handled properly and escalates resulting in a destructive outcome
what does dysfunctional conflict create?
problems in relationships, often resulting in personal pain, emotional strain and resentment
what does dysfunctional confilct often involve?
threats, deception, force, inflexibility one ones part
does dysfunctional conflict tend to get worse?
what are the forms of dysfunctional conflict?
crazymaking behavior
what is crazymaking behavior
conflict producing technique that can figuratively drive a partner crazy; often the root of dysfunctional conflict; involves “gunny sacking” (the idea that one saves all complaints for that one huge fight then just lets everything out at once); passive aggressive behavior; catching one off guard; confusing him/ her; arousing anger
what are examples of crazymaking behavior
guiltmaking; beltlining; avoiding; withholding
what is guiltmaking
one party makes the other party responsible for causing pain
what is beltlining
voicing comments that “hit below the belt”
what is avoiding
when one refuses to face an issue, leaving the other person frustrated because no one will face the problem
what is withholding
keeping back affection, humor, material possession, or other desirable thing because of conflict
how to avoid crazymaking behavior
be specific when you introduce a complaint; ask for change that will make the situation better; be tolerant of your partner; attack the issue not the other person; think about what you say before you say it
what are sources of conflict?
intrapersonal (internal conflict) vs intrerpersonal (it takes 2); interactions among individuals (often occurs when we perceive individual differences in beliefs, opinions, perceptions, values, needs, assumptions, interests and goals); observing scarcity of certain resources or rewards (money time power popularity space position etc); engage in rivalry; disagree on how to define a relationship; misinterpret another’s intent
what are conflict generating behaviors?
when one blocks your goals, he or she may generate conflict; the behaviors that may precipitate conflict are: preemptive striking, forcing, blaming,
how do we classify conflicts?
by the nature of the goal (shareable vs non-shareable); level of intensity (low-intensity, medium-intensity, high intensity); the general character (pseudoconflict, content conflic, value conflict, ego conflict)
what are the different conflict management styles?
assertive (your needs first) vs cooperative (defer to group needs/ relationship); five types of conflict behavior
what are the five types of conflict behavior by Blake and Moulton
avoiding; competitive; compromising (neither party gets everything they want); accommodative; collaborative (win win situation where each side achieves its goals)
describe the competitive style of conflict behavior
highly assertive, low cooperation; forces their position on another; posesses “win-lose” mindset like bullies; maximizes own needs, minimizes others’; has low levels of effective communication
describe the compromising style of conflict behavior
aims to find middle ground; may give something up to reach agreement; uses sharing or horsetrading but leaves one partially satisfied; often called lose-lose situation, as part of the goal or relationship is sacrificed in the agreement; appeals to fairness and negotiates tradeoffs; is moderately effective
describe the accommodative style of conflict behacior
unassertive and cooperative; shows a “give in and lose” atitude; overvalues maintenance of reltionships and undervalues the attainment of personal goals; feels conflict should be avoided in favor of harmony; conceals ill feelings and smooths over differences; approaches conflict indirectly and passively; is generally ineffective
describe the collaborative style of conflict behavior
high in assertiveness and cooperativeness; has “win-win” orientation; problem solver, seeks to integrate needs of all parties; sees conflict as a means of improving relationship; seeks to discover a solution that achieves both their goals and those of others; highly competent communicators
what are communication behaviors when faced with conflict
Destructive (deceitful, fail to respect others, dont try to understand other points of view, often impede solution); Constructive (see win win opportunity, express themselves honestly, listen effectively, use perception validation techniques and role reversal, encourage free exchange of ideas)
what is a DESC script?
means of epxressing feelings ands understanding others’ feelings; D= describe, E= Express, S= Specify, C= consequences
expressive styles
nonassertive; aggressive; assertive
what is the nonassertive expressive style
fearful or hesitant to express their own feelings; often, others intimidate and needs are not met; language used (um, uh, not really, i guess)
what is the aggressive expressive style?
expressive needs, wants, and ideas openly; often ignores or violates rights of others, goal is to win; language used (attack, stare down, threats)
what is the assertive expressive style?
communicates honestly, clearly, and directly; tends to be rewarding behavior, helps to resolve conflict; language used: good eye contact, I and We messages
conflict resolution and culture
individualistic vs stylistic, see chart
how do men approach conflict resolution (based on masculine gender role)?
tend to focus on task-related issues; taught to use communication to solve problems and assert heir point of view; put priority on outcomes; may be better at staying focused on goal gained from resolving conflict; often withdraw faster from conflict; tend to use more direct and forcefully means to get their way; advantage of this approach is it is more direct
how do women approach conflict resolution? (based on feminine gender role)
specialize in communication that builds support; conversation is a means to work out conflicts and relationship problems; put priority on relationship; may be better to prepared to interpret feelings, moods, and needs of those they are in conflict with; want to talk about it; tend to compromise and accommodate more
how has media impacted conflict resolution?
media and technology can both help and hinder conflict resolution; social learning (from cable, TV, film) we see many examples of reality TV shows and sitcoms that involve conflict, is this reality? what do we learn from them?
how has tehnology impacted conflict resolution?
(blogs facebook video games) flaming: online disinhibition effect; but sometimes can help users diffuse conflicts (time to examine and reflect on what you have received/ what you want to say)
do media and technology help or hinder conflict resolution?
guidelines for resolving conflict
recognize that conflict can be resolved rationally; agree how to define the conflict; exchange perceptions (describe, express, specify, and not behavioral consequences); assess alternative solutions and choose the one that seems best; implement and evaluate the selected solution
what is the avoiding type of conflict behavior according to Blake and Mouton
unassertive, uncooperative person; withdraws or walks away from conflict; aims to maintain appearance of indifference; physically and mentally separate from conflict; often gives up goals and relationships as a result

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