A positive perspective of conflict
Common Misconceptions-Harmony is normal, and conflict is abnormal.
-Some level of conflict is present (or could develop) in any number of situations.
-Conflict and disagreements are the same.
-Conflict and anger are closely merged.
-Confrontation in conflict is inherently destructive
Types of Adjustments* Domination: The strong party may *win* by forcing its preferred outcome. In time,
however, the *losers* may regroup and gather strength to continue the fight directly or
* Cold war: The opposing parties are of equal strength, which results in a stalemate. Each party tries to weaken the other by working behind the scenes.
* Avoidance: People repress their emotional reactions, look the other way, or leave the
situation entirely. Participants in the conflict can*t always avoid the opposing party, but
they try hard to avoid the situation or the issue. The weaker party may choose to avoid
the conflict if the alternative is to be dominated by the opposition.
Resolving ConflictUsing *I* messages . . .
An *I* message allows the speaker to describe his or her feelings about another party*s
behavior. When the speaker focuses on his or her own feelings, the threat is taken out of
the message. The speaker always starts out by saying *I feel . . . *
A *you* message can order, command, blame, label or ridicule. These messages are
threatening and accusatory. Practicing *I* messages . . .
An *I* message consists of three parts: the speaker*s feelings, a description of the other
party*s behavior, and the effect of that behavior on the speaker.