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Conflicts: Interpersonal Conflict Management, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1389

Research Paper

Abstract

Conflict is critically examined in this paper. The aspect of conflict is first introduced from various definitions that have been conventionally accepted in the contemporary society. The other issues that are given attention regarding conflicts are the various types that are in existence within the different set-ups. The world is examined as an epitome of conflict issues and differences between individuals and groups. The effects of such conflicts are also tackled, and possible solutions as well as policies that aim at controlling these conflicts. The general discussion on the state of conflicts in the contemporary society is analyzed in the conclusion sections, and any matters that have been raised today in the world of conflicts, especially in relationships.

Introduction

Conflict is a word that is derived from the Latin word conflictus and according to Donohue & Kolt (1994), it refers to a struggle or clash between opposing forces. It may synonymously be used to refer to a ‘battle’ that exists between individuals or groups based on ideological differences. The conflict arises when there id failure on the part of the parties involved to come to a general understanding regarding the issue that causes conflicts. The issue behind conflicts has been given attentions at the domestic set-ups, and even at the workplace.

A World of Conflicts

The world in which we live today has been known to be a center of conflict of all kinds. Individuals and organizations have expressed unending struggles and fights for common interests, through the different ideologies that they hold. In the current society, there are numerous aspects of conflicts that have been witnessed. Introductions of modern technology has led to great differences between the conservatives and the dynamic people. Policies that are being used to handle different emergent issues have led to serious conflicts between the rival groups, hence leading to constant arguments and enlargement of the boundaries between the persons. In the business society, there are many conflicts that exist between firms that compete for market share. Issues have been raised, dealing with unfair competition practices.

Equally, in the social set-up, families have had numerous conflicts, based on different ideologies towards the same issues. The relationships between individuals themselves and between organizations have been greatly affected by the conflicts that arise during such times when there emerges issues that need to be unanimously solved by more than one person. There are four main types of conflicts, and these are briefly discussed in this discussion.

Types of Conflicts

The most common type of conflict is interpersonal conflict. This is the conflict that arises due to a struggle between two people based on the same thing, but from different levels of understanding. This kind of conflict arises from different reasons. In most instances, it is based on personal interests that differ from one person to another; with each party not willing to give up any section of their interests to let go the conflict. An example in this case could be the conflict that exists between a student and a teacher based on a particular concept. The student may argue from a given perspective to score marks whereas the teacher will be defending his or her argument to uphold the quality of the marking scheme. Most people have expressed some degree of misunderstanding as to what conflict entails. What comes to our minds is usually some sort of violence, but it is not always the case that there must be violence for conflicts to exist.

In addition to interpersonal conflicts, the other type of conflict in the intrapersonal conflict. In this category, a person is at war with himself or herself regarding to the various issues that are internal, either emotional, psychological or physical. The state of the mind is not fully operational, and one may be fixed in a dilemma to make choices between relevant alternatives. The conflicts of this nature are not easy to identify or solve, but with time they may begin to show physical signs, such as stress or stigma.

The differences are internal, and in most cases within the minds of those that are experiencing the conflict. Unfortunately, most of us have no skills of handling intrapersonal conflicts. Hocker, & Wilmot (2013) explain the reason why there are counselors and professional advisors that have been given the responsibility of attempting to provide possible solutions to our daily problems. An example of intrapersonal conflict is seen where a High School student is challenged on the best undergraduate course to pursue. In this case, there are equal options from which the student is to make a choice. The dilemma is in the mind of the decision maker, based on what best faculty to pursue. There will be need to seek professional advice to solve the problem. This does not mark the end of the basic conflict types.

Another category of conflicts is the intragroup conflict. This type of conflict exists between members of a common pool. The group in this case could be a business organization, a welfare organization, sports club, among very many existing groups. This kind of conflict arises when there is no consensus on a critical issue or decision to be made. Allocation of finances has the greatest contribution to the intragroup conflicts. An example is the conflict between the management of an organization and the employees, based on pay reductions. It is not easy for the employees to admit to pay reductions. Instead, most of them will even organize strikes and boycotts to communicate to their bosses concerning the pay schemes that they advocate for.

The last type of conflict is the intergroup conflict that takes place between rival groups, with common interests of acquiring resources from a common pool. In this case, the groups could even be neighboring countries fighting over gold mines or boundaries. In this type of conflict, the solution is mostly derived from external bodies (Eunson, 2012).

In the previous section, one of the main types of conflicts that were mentioned is the interpersonal conflict. The conflict that exists between couples or people in a relationship of any kind falls under interpersonal conflict. There are ways in which interpersonal conflicts contribute towards the welfare of different relationships.

Functions of Conflicts in Relationships

It may appear that conflicts always have negative impact on the concerned persons who are affected by those conflicts. However, it is not guaranteed that the outcome of all forms of conflict will be negative to the people who are participating in it. In relationships, for example, couples who are able to solve their conflicts to the satisfaction of each one of them understand each other more. It leads to strengthened bond between the couple, and this mutual understanding helps to eliminate possibilities of any future related conflicts.

Moreover, conflicts in relationships have the tendency of being solved not to the satisfaction of both parties in some instances. This feature is important in determining the levels of satisfaction that either of the spouses obtains from their relationships. This kind of evaluation is important since it makes the two people to come up with possible suggestions towards enhancing the relationships.

Some of the roles played by conflicts in relationships have a negative effect on the status of the relationship. It is not guaranteed that once a conflict emerges it will find a solution. Some of the conflicts are left unsolved and they may totally ruin relationship. Family break-ups have been rampant in the 21st Century due to the interpersonal conflict of interest between the spouses. This has brought down many relationships. There are possible tactics that have been proposed and used to solve interpersonal conflicts.

Interpersonal Conflict Management

Interpersonal conflict is managed in five distinct stages. The very first stage involves defining the conflict, followed by examination of possible solutions to the conflict. After coming up with possible solutions, a test solution is selected from among alternatives, which is then evaluated. The final step involves rejection or acceptance of the proposed solution.

Conclusion

Conflicts are in existence in all the areas that we get involved in different activities. They come in different forms, depending on who is participating in them. There are different ways in which these conflicts impact on our welfare, based on how they are approached.

References

Donohue, W. A., & Kolt, R. (1994). Managing interpersonal conflict. Newbury Park [u.a.: Sage. Eunson, B. (2012). Conflict Management. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Hocker, J. L., Wilmot, W. W., & Wilmot, W. W. (2013). Interpersonal conflict. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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