Conflict Management Chapter 5

Style Preferences
Develop over a persons lifetime based on complex mix of personal characteristics, life experiences, and family background
– By the time you are an adult your basic orientation to conflicts in contents take place
Conflict Styles
are PATTERNED RESPONSES, or groups of behavior, that people use in conflict.
– When you use a comm choice many times it becomes a style
5 Conflict Styles
1.) Avoiding
2.) Integrating (collaborating)
3.) Dominating (Competing)
4.) Obliging (accommodating)
5.) Compromising
(conflict style)
↓ concern for self ↓ concern for others

– Changing and avoiding topics, being noncommittal (Not expressing opinion), and joking rather than dealing with the conflict directly

Advantages for Avoiding
1.) Supply time to think
2.) If conflict is minor or if the relationship isn’t valued
Disadvantages for Avoiding
1.) Signals you don’t care and gives the impression that you can’t change
2.) Allows conflict to increase
Avoid/Criticize loop
Avoid brining up an issue to people directly and spend time talking about them to others
– “I cant talk to him, he is just so uncaring” she is both avoiding and critizing
– (Professional circles) “She doesn’t have the training to do this accurately” “He doesn’t understand the new initiative” “He is just so negative I can’t stand to be in meetings with him.”
Tactic works best when several conditions are present
– The emotional content on the conflict needs to be acknowledged while other issues are differed to a later time
– “I know you’re upset,” Acknowledged emotional content. Then after it is acknowledged both parties agree on a time to talk about it that is realistic
Integrating/Collaborating (Conflict style)
↑ concern for self ↑ concern for others
– -demands the MOST CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT of any of the conflict styles.
– an invitation to others so the two of you can reach a joint resolution. (Mutual problem solving- Calls on your best communication skills)
– does not accomplish until both parties are satisfied and can jointly support a solution
Advantages of Integrating/Collaborating
1.) Can find ideas that satisfy both parties, generates ideas
2.) shows respect to both parties
3.) helps long term relationships
Disadvantages of Integrating/Collaborating
1.) one can be imprisoned in it
2.) Can waste time in meaningless relationships and interactions that waste energy
3.) Pesudointergrating and manipulating can happen
(Conflict style)
↑ concern for self ↓ concern for others

or “power over” is aggressive and uncooperative behavior pursing your own concerns at the expense of another
– try to “Win” the argument

What does Dominating/Competing see conflict as?
Advantages of Dominating/Competing
1.) Good for when quick choices are needed (best in short term, minimal relations)
2.) Can generate good ideas
3.) Show someones commitment/importance to the issue
Disadvantages of Dominating/Competing
1.) Can harm relationships because of external focus
2.) Competition can be harmful if 1 party is unwilling to deal with conflict in a head on manner and can cause other issues that cause the conflict to not be solved
Most commonly used in dominating tactic because they are though as effective (often confused with warnings)
“Do your homework or your grounded” “Stop partying so much or I wont pay for next semester”
Threats are only credible if?
1.) Source is in position to give a punishment
2.) Source is willing to give a punishment
3.) Punishment is something to be avoided
source does not control the outcome “If you don’t get your paper in on time, it will hurt you grade” “If you drink too much, you’ll never graduate”
If the source controls the outcome and sees that come as positive it is a promise “Grounded but you have a TV in your room so its not as bad”
Source doesn’t not control outcome with a positive sanction
The Nature of Threats
The Nature of Threats
(Conflict Styles)
↓ concern for self ↑ concern for others

Oblige or accommodate to other needs
– Does not assert individual needs but prefers a cooperative and harmonizing approach
– Can be associated with Codependence

Advantages of Obliging/Accommodating
1.) Demonstates reasonableness
2.) can prevent one party from harming the other
3.) Good if one person doesn’t think the issue is a big deal
Disadvantages of Obliging/Accommodating
1.) Can foster undertone of competitiveness of how nice they can be
2.) Can fost on ups, if overused can harm a relationship by avoiding conflict
3.) Can further ones lack of power
what one person does, thinks, or feels, is dependent on what someone else does, thinks, or feels (often results from a person growing up in an alcoholic or abusive family)
– a person who has codependence answers “What are you feeling” with “I don’t know”
Mid concern for self and others
Intermediate style resulting in some gains and some losses for each party
– Moderately assertive and cooperative “You can be satisfied with part of the pie” Give a little get a little”
– Dependent on shared power because if the other party is perceived as powerless
– Compromising and Integrating defer because compromising requires trade offs and
Advantages of Compromising
1.) lets conflict parties accomplish certain goals with less time in conflict
2.) Reinforces power balance, can be used to achieve temporary solutions in quick moments, appears reasonable to most parties
Disadvantages of Compromising
1.) An easy way out, formula-like
2.) Mostly a form of a loss rather than a win
3.) Prevents new creative options
4.) Can be avoided
Verbal aggressiveness and Verbal abuse
– Forms of communication violence (individualistic cultures more common)
– ATTACK the SELF CONCEPTS of the other.
– Character attacks (“You are just a rotten wife”),
– Insults (well, I suppose someone with your IQ would see it that way)
– Rough teasing, ridicule and profanity
Ex. Your stupid, your ugly, your low class
Most damaging verbal abuse is directed to whom?
a persons group, clan, tribe, village, or family
Verbal aggression is closely tied to ________________
Physical abuse
People who exhibit high verbal aggressiveness
Claim that 46% of their messages are humorous
– Outsiders view them as less creditable, and as having fewer valid arguments than those who do not use this type of language
Abusive Vs. Non-Abusive talk
Abusive Vs. Non-Abusive talk
-Vague language
-negative relational talk
-interfering w/ interdependence
-ineffective change
Non-Abusive talk
-precise language
-content talk
-facilitating interdependence
-effective change
Sometimes, researchers label verbally aggressive tactics this…
ongoing, persistent badgering harassment and psychological terrorizing that demoralizes, dehumanizes and isolates those targeted.
Workplace bullying:
Repeated patterns of negative workplace behavior that has been for six months or longer (workplace)
Unmanaged Incivility
Rudeness and injustice that contaminates the workplace
-Precursor to bullying
Any verbal or physical strategy that attempts to convince, control or compel others to your point of view
-Occurs when conflict interactions move beyond threats to verbal abuse and aggressiveness
-May occur in homes, on dates, or in the workplace
Patterns of violence:
1) Physical aggression is almost always preceded by verbal aggression

2) intimate violence is usually reciprocal, both participate

3) women and children suffer many more injuries

4) victims of abuse are in a no-win situation

5) perpetrators and victims have discrepant narrative about violence

(Stuck in a style that doesn’t work well)
1) does your current conflict response feel like the only natural one?
Friends suggest to you to try “might try talking it through” rather than repetitively escalating conflict. if stuck, do what comes unnaturally
(Stuck in a style that doesn’t work well)
2) does your conflict style remain constant across a number of conflicts that have similar characteristics?
In every public conflict, do you accomodate others regardless of the issues at hand or your relationship with the others involved?
(Stuck in a style that doesn’t work well)
3) do you have a set of responses that follow a preset pattern?
— Do you “go for the jugular” then back off and accommodate the other becuase you made a scene?
– if you follow reguar cycles of behavior, you may be stuck
(Stuck in a style that doesn’t work well)
4) do others seem to do the same thing with you?
– if different people engage in similar behavior with you, you may be doing something that triggers their response.
(Stuck in a style that doesn’t work well)
5) do you carry a label that is used to describe you?
– “our little fireball” “power-house” labels contain grains of truth
Rhetorical Sensitivity
-Idea that people change their communication styles based on the demands of different situations
1. comfortable alerting their roles in response to the behaviors of others
2. Avoid stylizing their communication behavior, so they are able to adapt
3. Develop skills to deal w/ different audiences and are able to withstand the pressure and ambiguity of constant adaptation
4. Able to monitor talk w/ others to make it purposive rather than expressive. Speak not so much to “spill their guts” as to solve problems
5. Adapt and alter behaviors in a rational and orderly way

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