BUS610 Wk3 Assignment
BUS610 Wk3 Assignment
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Date Created: 11/15/15
Running Head: CONFLICTED COMMUNICATION: RESOLVING 1 Conflicted Communication: Resolving the Inevitable Kerry Vault BUS610: Organizational Behavior Professor Yamil Guevara Ashford University April 27, 2015 CONFLICTED COMMUNICATION: RESOLVING 2 Conflict is considered to be a natural occurrence during communication, though most people are unable to deal with conflict in a constructive manner. Since there will inevitably be conflicting points of views, and more often than not those conflicting views may be involved with high running emotions, the necessity and ability to resolve conflict is an important part of communication. There are various ways to approach the resolution of conflict, and it is important for the management of a company to know the difference between functional and dysfunctional conflict. Functional conflict, otherwise known as constructive conflict, is what a company uses to improve upon certain facets of the company – as if by a trial and error type of process (Baack, Management communication). Dysfunctional conflict, however, is what occurs when one individual intentionally harms another – through actions that introduce dysfunction into a company and burden the effectiveness of the company. A situation I was recently in involving a conflict in the workplace involved a communication process that turned heated and ended with both parties being frustrated. During a routine process of redistributing workstations from one room to another, I was giving instructions to one of our new crewmembers. When this crewmember questioned my request, I was instantly frustrated – mainly because this was not the first time my requests were questioned by the rookie. My frustration, coupled with my exhausted mental and physical state, led to me lose patience and tell my coworker to do whatever he wanted to do – obviously counterproductive to getting the job done as well as failing to maintain my strength as a leader. This type of maneuver can be considered dysfunctional conflict, since it introduces a dysfunctional facet into the company that contributes to the loss of effectiveness and efficiency CONFLICTED COMMUNICATION: RESOLVING 3 of company resources (Baack, Management communication). Unknowingly, I created a situation that forced employees to focus more on the conflict than the job at hand, even though my purpose was to efficiently produce results. Perhaps it was my upbringing, living in a military household where commands were made and not questioned. In fact, according to the Managing Conflict Resolution (n.d.) video, most of the behaviors and tools that people use during conflicts are learned from watching their parents during childhood. This tells me that there is already a certain bias when I expect my wishes to be followed, and I should be more open to other’s inability to follow my directions – instead remembering what the final outcome should be and working toward that. Resolving conflict comes with some difficulty yet can be accomplished with some ease. Through understanding, patience, and empathy, each party can understand the other – thereby gaining some traction in meeting the goals of the company. According to Baack (2012), the concern one has for the other’s outcome will greatly affect the level of resolution that is accomplished (Organizational behavior). For example, when there is a low concern for others, there is either competition or avoidance of the other; yet when a high concern for others is found, the two parties are accommodating and collaborate together (Baack, Management communication). This is another example of why management should be empathetic and actively listen to their subordinates and peers, creating the ability to have a high concern for their outcomes and thereby making collaboration possible. In the very least, compromise can be made by each party, allowing the company to remain productive and efficient. Since I was sure that my suggestion was the best course of action for the company – even though the way I communicated was adverse – I was determined that the situation would play CONFLICTED COMMUNICATION: RESOLVING 4 itself out. Indeed, once the actions were taken that I suggested, it was apparent that there was a reason I suggested what I did, and my coworker was readily able to see that. At this point, we both had the opportunity to discuss the conflict, which led to both of use describing why we said what we said and that we were sorry for our reaction. Although it is not appropriate to apologize and immediately justify why the action was done (Managing Conflict Resolution, n.d.), it helped to understand where each party was coming from to successfully avoid additional conflict. Knowing it is inadvisable to justify an action in the same breath as an apology, it would have been better to calmly explain to my coworker why the action I recommend will be the best course of action. In the same instance, it is appropriate to empathize with the other party to understand why they are convinced their actions would be best. Once these two factors are out in the open, it is likely that both parties can have a discussion about the best course of action moving forward – making it a winwin scenario. One outcome of using this empathybuilding, feedback driven resolution method to resolve conflict could be a continued misunderstanding of what the appropriate response is to resolve future conflict. In other words, if one relies on feedback from the other solely to resolve the conflict that has occurred, chances are the conflict will escalate until each party can successfully communicate. Baack (2012) has shown that anger often leads to poor decisions and the inability to communicate effectively (Organizational behavior), providing traction to the idea that an anger filled conflict will most likely not be resolved until each party has calmed down. Another outcome of using proper communication and feedback to resolve conflict is the strengthening of a proper management system, outlining and prioritizing the proper system of CONFLICTED COMMUNICATION: RESOLVING 5 employee interaction and conflict avoidance and resolution. According to Mostenska & Ralko, (2014), “At the basis of corporate conflicts, … issues such as: … tactical decisions … may also be related to management activities” (p.225). In addition, Mostenska & Ralko (2014), state that “…when system of corporate management is properly constructed, the probability of arising of corporate conflicts in it is minimized, and disagreements are resolved effectively without significant financial and emotional losses” (p. 225). These theories allude to the concept that employees who are expected to make tactical decisions, among other issues, should have proper training and guidance from management. Essentially, the issues that may arise to escalate conflict are the responsibility of management. A third outcome of this type of resolution to conflict is the potential that the existence of conflict may resurface, or each party may not know if the conflict has indeed been resolved. According to O’Neill & Allen, (2014), conflict resolution is defined as “…the extent to which different opinions, viewpoints, and perspectives were resolved” (p. 160). Since opinions in the workplace may continue to differ, even after communication has taken place to understand where each party is coming from, the chances that conflict will be resolved by differing opinions being absolved are slim to none. Conflict is naturally occurring, especially in a workplace that contains people with varying backgrounds, work ethic, cultures, and hierarchal standings. The hope is to resolve these conflicts in as few steps as possible, helping both, or all, parties understand how to properly avoid excessive emotion or escalated levels of conflict. Through proper implementation and CONFLICTED COMMUNICATION: RESOLVING 6 management, a conflict resolution plan using communication can be used to reduce the onset of conflict – as well as diminish the level that conflict is allowed to proceed to. CONFLICTED COMMUNICATION: RESOLVING 7 References Baack, D. (2012). Management communication. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu.books/AUBUS600.12.2 . (2012). Organizational behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUBUS610.12.2 Managing Conflict Resolution (n.d.). [Video file]. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/PortalViewVideo.aspx?xtid=42092&loid=107356) Mostenska, T., & Ralko, O. (2014). Conflicts in Organisation: Features of Corporate Conflicts Management. Transformations In Business And Economics, 13(2), 220235. Retrieved from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxylibrary.ashford.edu/ O’Neill, T. A., & Allen, N. J. (2014). Team task conflict resolution: An examination of its linkages to team personality composition and team effectiveness outcomes. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, And Practice, 18(2), 159173. doi:10.1037/gdn0000004
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