Different Ways To Deal With The Conflict Situation
In this essay, I will be drawing on my reflections and by using examples from my learning journal, I will reflect and investigate these examples in relation to relevant theories and models of conflict. I will be discussing life experiences that have changed me as an individual and how I deal with forms of conflict. I will also include how my learning from this module caused an impact on the way I think today and how I work around conflict. In this essay, I will bring in what future practice could change in the light of my learning and what further development I may need in order to achieve that. I have been storing my evidence by keeping a note of my experiences in my book. I did this by writing the date and what forms of conflict I came across during the day. I then made notes on how those conflict situations made me I was feeling that day. Critical reflection is always thought upon by most people on a day-to-day basis.
I am an introvert by nature and because of this, I find it difficult to share my sorrows and worries with others. I have a tendency to be a gentle, reserved, and contemplative individual. I have a certain way of doing things, it must be done in order and tasks must be completed to high standards. This is why I feel like I tend to do my own tasks and I hate other people getting involved in what I am doing especially when they happen to either make more of a mess of the situation or confuse me and my thought process. I have OCD and I prefer things done in a nice orderly manner. I get quite anxious when my things are misplaced or when things are out of place.
What is Conflict?
Personal conflict is a part of life that can arise in almost any area, from personal relationships to conflicts in organizations. There are three types; personal conflict usually about one’s self-image or identity, second is and instrumental conflict that is about goals and structures it can be something substantial and structural within the organization or for an individual. Conflicts of interest are the last type of conflict, this can affect the way in which the means of achieving goals are delivered, such as time, money, space, and staff. Learning to work through it effectively, so that it does not increase your stress levels, is therefore very important. Those with good conflict resolution skills generally help organizations and groups to work more effectively. It is important to highlight that dealing with conflict early is usually easier because attitudes are not so rooted. The best way to address a conflict in its early stages is through negotiation between the members. After this, those in conflict are likely to need the support of mediation, or even arbitration so it is much better to resolve things early.
Mostly reflection is done when an issue has occurred. Critical reflection is a perceptive way to make meaning of an experience and is the method of continuous learning. Critical reflection is often descriptive, critical, and analytical. According to one definition, it is about “paying critical attention to the practical theories and values which inform everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively which leads to developmental understanding’. According to Donald Schon’s book The Reflective Practitioner, it was introduced that concepts such as reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action explain how professionals meet the challenges of their work with a kind of improvisation that is improved through practice. As part of Human life, it is important for individuals to go back to their experiences. Reflect on it as well as the choices they made think over it and re-evaluate the situation.
The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument identifies five conflict styles – competing, compromising, collaborating, avoiding, and accommodating. The classic win/lose situation, where the strength and power of one person win the conflict this is known as the Competing style. Collaboration is another method and according to research, this is the ideal way of dealing with conflict as it is a win/win situation. Thirdly, negotiation or compromise is likely to result in a better outcome than the compete or fight the way it is when both sides give up something in favor of an agreed answer. The denial or avoidance way of dealing with conflict is when individuals may pretend that there is no problem. This strategy is used quite often and can be quite effective. I tend to use this method quite a lot when I am dealing with conflict because I don’t want the situation to escalate and I do not want to hurt people’s feelings therefore I usually act as nothing has happened and carry on behaving as normal but sometimes there is awkwardness between two individuals when conflict arises and arguments happen. The fifth and final way of dealing with conflict is the accommodating method where harmony is maintained but, underneath it all, there is still conflict. This method can work well where protecting a relationship is more important than dealing with the conflict right now.
The strategy of “competing” is a way of gaining power and control this comes from early childhood and is reinforced throughout our years in school and college. When I was in my early childhood years, I had everything I needed in order to be happy and feel loved. I was taught by my parents to be kind, considerate, and supportive Therefore, I didn’t feel the need to compete for anything as I was living with my family in a loving household and there were children out there in worse situations than me. I was often told that if I do not stand up for myself in conflict situations is because I may be weak or at fault and that was not the case. The reason why I used to avoid conflict was that I tend to overthink about hurting other people and making sure that what I say doesn’t upset them in any way because it was in my nature to be a caring, friendly individual who was always there for people she cared about. I used to sacrifice sharing how I really felt at times in certain situations when I wanted to open up and kept peace with everyone because I couldn’t bear the finding out that someone is upset and has been hurt with the words I have said. Over the years this has slowly been changing as I have now started to come to terms with my conflict and worries instead of suppressing them at the back of my mind.
My personal issue is that I see myself as a shy, reserved individual this can often prevent me from confronting others in conflict situations. I can share my joys well with other people, but I find it difficult to share my sorrows and worries and this has developed from past life experiences. Some people may mistakenly think that I am detached or unfriendly. But it just takes time to get to know me as I do not like opening to people straight away as it makes me feel vulnerable and I do not easily trust people because of life experiences that I have been through. My classmates know I am a caring friend, a great listener, and I have an amazing sense of humor when I get comfortable. New and unfamiliar situations can bring out my introverted feelings like the first time I started university and during our first group work session, speaking in front of a group for the first time was challenging because I was not sure how to act nor did I know how the class would react to my views. I do not like being the center of attention. I was put on the spot numerous times and at first, I used to get frustrated at my classmates and tutors because I always felt as if they were putting me on the spot to make me feel uncomfortable and awkward. I also felt like my tutors had the power to control and influence the direction of how the group discussions went, and they used it to their full advantage. Initially, my response to this form of conflict was that I didn’t attend group work sessions to avoid the feeling of being under pressure. But today I am grateful for that experience because when I allowed myself to be vulnerable and shared my views, it opened up many doors to me fitting in with the group and getting affirmation from my peers as some of the group may have had the same thoughts.
An example could be in a classroom environment before a student’s cognitive needs can be met, they must first fulfill their basic physiological needs. Meaning if there is a hungry and exhausted student, they will find it difficult to focus on learning. It is important for the student to feel emotionally and physically safe which meets the safety needs. Once those needs have been met the student needs to feel comfortable and accepted within the classroom to progress which fulfills their belonging needs and allows them to reach their full potential (self-actualization). Behavior change can be seen when individuals lack any of the basic physiological needs they need in order to survive like “oxygen, food, water, and warmth.” If one or more of these basic needs are lost, the main concern of a person immediately shifts to satisfying the missing need.
Maslow said that there are 5 basic needs that need to be met for you to develop as an individual. If basic needs are not met, you wouldn’t really grow. Maslow (1943, 1954) identified that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take priority over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behavior. He looked at the Ever since secondary school, I always have thought of myself as quiet and shy. I would rather warm up slowly to new people or situations because new settings make me feel uneasy. This was not always the case, the change that I saw within myself was that from a bubbly, cheeky, and loud infant I became a reserved teenager. As a teenager, my physiological and belonging needs have been met the reason is even though I had a family that loved me and I had a roof over my head, but one need that wasn’t met was my safety needs because I was sexually assaulted at 13. This is when I started seeing a major change in myself where I started to become a closed individual than before. I isolated myself from the outside world and I stopped talking to my friends and my family because I felt ashamed. I didn’t know who to trust and who to tell so instead I just kept it in and let frustration build up inside me to a point where I started self-harming because for me as a 13-year-old that was my coping mechanism and I used to have suicidal thoughts.
One thing that I got affected was my schoolwork because I was dissociated from this including not being able to focus on my work, I rarely went to school, so I didn’t have to see anybody. I also felt like there were moments where I didn’t feel present in everyday situations. Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others. What I learned through group work sessions is that if you don’t know how or why you feel a certain way, you won’t be able to communicate effectively with others or resolve disagreements. One way that I could have dealt with the conflict situation that I suffered from as a teenager could have been by speaking to somebody about it and got advice from them and support this way I would have not felt alone and if I had the support of someone my recovering stage would have been a lot less painful. I am still an anxious and shy individual today, but this has slowly started changing through the help of my university peers and my family and friends. Because they have thought me that no matter what one goes through everyone is still the same and my life experiences have made me who I am today and there is no need for me to be ashamed of it. I have started to open about my feelings and allowed myself to feel exposed as this is where greater learning happens. It still takes me a bit of time, but I am getting there. When you come to terms with yourself and are in touch with your feelings the more beneficial it is for you to develop as an individual.
In my opinion, I think that areas of development for me in the future is to carry on working on sharing and talking to people and I need to stop keeping my thoughts and feelings in because I am only cheating myself and the only person who will be at a disadvantage will just be myself.
We’ve all most likely faced conflicts in our workplace that affect our self-esteem, limit our productivity, and may even lead us to seek employment elsewhere as we may be unhappy in the organization. An example of when I recently was in a conflict situation. A new manager was hired to oversee our floor as our management team was not as consistent as the other floors. I was uncertain if she was aware of how to direct the team as she didn’t take into consideration of the team roles, responsibilities, and capabilities. Another reason for me feeling this way was because she didn’t get to know her team members and because she had the power and authority, she just spoke to us like we were nothing but robots. This made me feel uncomfortable and on edge when working with her, this uneasiness made me change my attitude towards her. To a point where whenever I was around her my body language would change where I’d look unbothered to work and have my arms crossed. Body language can show that there was tension between individuals. You can tell when people are in the middle of a conflict because the words they use hardly communicate the issues at the core of the problem. But when you pay close attention to the other person’s nonverbal signals or “body language,” such as facial expressions, gestures, postures, and tone of voice, you can better understand what the person is really saying. When I allowed myself to be open and change my body language it allowed me to respond in a way that built trust between myself and my manager. This then resulted in us having a mature conversation the result being we got to the root of the problem and my manager understood my frustrations and sped up the process for my pay rate.
When professional conflict is mismanaged, it can cause harm to a relationship, but when handled in a positive, respectful manner, conflict can provide an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people. Whatever the cause of disagreements and disputes, by learning these skills for conflict resolution, you can keep your personal and professional relationships strong and growing. Conflict can damage wellbeing and may relate to passive negative emotions. Daily process and relationship conflicts are positively related to people’s negative emotions, and specifically, passive negative emotions appear to be detrimental for future in-role and extra-role performance. From experience, I can see that within organizations individuals compete for status and position sometimes when someone is being rewarded for their ability to achieve business targets by being better than their internal colleagues gives that individual higher self-esteem as they feel respected for achieving something. This is known as dominance and leadership. This is where people can become dominant because either they have more information than others or may feel most strongly about the issue. Sometimes individuals have certain personality traits that may feel insecure unless they feel in control.
Another conflicting issue that I had to deal with a few months ago was I felt as if my manager was taking advantage of my role and making me do tasks that yeah by my role title I am meant to be doing but my pay did not reflect that as she had been delaying the process of getting my pay rate changed. The way I dealt with that situation was by having a rant about the same thing every time I went into work and what I learned was that I was just ruining my mood and day by ranting on to my colleagues about it. Because until I go to the management team and speak about my worries, nothing was going to get sorted. From teachings, I have learned that when there is a power dynamic it can influence the distribution of energy among parties who are in conflict. I also learned that power used strongly will manipulate conflict processes as those who have the power will use it to their advantage. When I felt as if management didn’t care about their team members and their wellbeing. My initial reaction was that I decided to resign from the organization because it was not worth all the stress and tension and I was not happy working there.
In conclusion, conflict resolution is appropriate for almost any disagreement. Our daily lives give us plenty of opportunities to deal with conflict this can be between parents and children, friends or co-workers and there’s always room for negotiation. Conflict should be settled to ensure that your relationships with opponents continue and grow. If you make peace with your challengers, you increase your own supporters in the community. I have learned that successful negotiations cover the way for smooth relationships in the future and finding peaceful solutions to difficult situations is the way to go for the resolve to be effective.