The purpose of this conflict brief is to examine my conflict management skills. The first step was to complete a conflict styles assessment. The results of the assessment showed my personal strengths and weaknesses when it comes to conflict management. The survey questions were answered according to how I handle conflict scenarios at work. It has been shown that I have strengths of a compromiser and weaknesses associated with avoidance and problem-solving. Based on this information, the recommendations for myself are avoiding conflict in the workplace less and being more proactive with problem-solving with my supervisors.
Based on the assessment, how do you tend to respond to conflict? What were your results/percentages for each conflict style?
The results/percentages of the different conflict styles, per the United States Institute of Peace Conflict Styles Assessment, were as follows: Avoider-75%, Compromiser-73%, Competer-50%, Accommodator-29%, and Problem Solver-27% (Conflict Styles Assessment, 2017).
Where you surprised? If so, in what ways? Or, was this confirmation? If so, in what ways?
When looking at this assessment, I found that I was very surprised that the problem solver was the lowest style and that the avoider was the highest percentage(Conflict Styles Assessment, 2017). In my teaching in the classroom, I am a problem solver and teach these skills on a daily basis to my students. However, when answering the questionnaire, I answered as I would as an employee. I feel like my supervisors' bosses do not do well with subordinates challenging authority. I do not like to create unnecessary waves and I know that in this situation I am an avoider and a compromiser.
What factors contribute/have contributed to your conflict style? Consider the terms filter and bias from the readings as you answer this question. What struggles do you face when addressing a conflict situation?
I can look at this question from two different perspectives. As a teacher, I feel like I am the employer. Therefore, I am able to settle the conflict in the classroom the way I see fit. I create the classroom rules and consequences for not following those rules. The struggles lie in the fact that the different departments do not remain consistent with following through on the consequences. If a student disrupts to the point I have to involve another department then this inconsistency is shown. This makes it hard on me to be a problem solver and makes me want to avoid the conflicts as much as possible. (Conflict Styles Assessment, 2017)
Hocker and Wilmot state that, “avoidance serves as a defense against engagement, or confrontation, with a partner or co-worker when the person avoiding decides that engaging a conflict would not serve a good purpose” (2018, p. 157).
As an employee in a school with multiple departments, I am the subordinate. The struggle in this is that I feel the upper management does not like others to challenge their authority. Therefore, I keep my thoughts and opinions to myself as much as possible. I am afraid that if I voice my opinion it wouldn’t serve a good purpose.
What strengths do you bring to situations that require conflict management?
I feel that my strength is that I am a compromiser. I am a realist and I know that in life everyone is not always rewarded for participation. According to Hocker and Wilmot, “compromise is a style that sometimes shortchanges the conflict process, while at other times it effectively deals with the reality that not everyone can get everything they want” (2018, p. 173).
How can you become more effective in your approach? Identify two specific aspects of conflict management you can focus on to improve your effectiveness. The two aspects of conflict management that I can focus on to improve my effectiveness are avoidance to conflict and better problem solver in the workplace. Provide one specific strategy for improving each aspect.
The first thing I want to improve on is my avoidance to a conflict in my workplace. I know my avoidance is based on my perception of how my opinion will be perceived by management. Corey, Fok, & Payne state, “Uncertainty avoidance measures the extent to which people in a society feel threatened by ambiguous situations” (2017, p. 63). Therefore, my strategy would be to be more assertive with my thoughts and feeling of how a situation should be dealt with.
The second thing I want to work on is being a better problem solver in the workplace. The strategy for being a better problem-solver is to put myself out there and allow myself to be involved. I usually keep to myself in order to avoid conflict in the workplace. Leon-Perez, Medina, Arenas, & Munduate state that “when concern for both the self and the other is high, problem-solving is a more likely strategic choice” (2015, p. 252). Provide at least one biblical truth that supports your development in each area and explain the connection.
The Bible has many things to say about avoidance. The one that sticks out to me the most is 2 John chapter 1 verse 8, “Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward (English Standard Version). The Bible also has many truths about problem-solving. The truth I need to remember the most is from Philippians chapter 4 verse 6, “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (English Standard Version).
Conflict Styles Assessment. (2017, April 17). Retrieved February 3, 2019, from https://www.usip.org/public-education/students/conflict-styles-assessment
Corey, C. M., Fok, L. Y., & Payne, D. M. (2014). CROSS-CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN VALUES AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: A COMPARISON OF U.S. AND PUERTO RICO. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, 18(2), 59-78. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/docview/1647822478?accountid=12085
Hocker, J. L., & Wilmot, W. W. (2018). Interpersonal conflict. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Leon-Perez, J., Medina, F. J., Arenas, A., & Munduate, L. (2015). The relationship between interpersonal conflict and workplace bullying. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 30(3), 250-263. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/10.1108/JMP-01-2013-0034
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