Organizational Communication

Course Description Lecture Syllabus Lab Syllabus Assign. Due Dates
Course Assignments Lecture Notes Lab Notes Training Resources

last updated 11/6/2009

 Myths Concerning Conflict

  1. Conflict is harmful and should be avoided -- No, only if mismanaged.

    Conflict :

    1. expands exploration of issues
    2. helps critical thinking and decisions
    3. increases involvement
    4. can increase cohesiveness
  2. Misunderstanding or communication breakdown is the cause of conflict  -- No, only occasionally (see list below)
  3. Conflict can always be resolved - No! but it can be managed productively.

 General Steps in Managing Conflict 

  1. Identify the type of conflict.
  2. Set conflict management rules (meta-communicate): stop arguing and discuss how to manage the conflict
  3. Apply the appropriate techniques for the type of conflict that has occurred -- Avoid making it personal if it doesn't start that way.
  4. Use appropriate skills
  5. :
    1. Remember perceptions are SUBJECTIVE BUT REAL to members -- "own" your perceptions
    2. para-phrase and para-support and confirm relationships
    3. avoid irrelevancies and "past history"
    4. keep a future orientation -- avoid the blame game ("who caused it")
    5. leave people an option to" save face"
  6. Compromise (or agree to disagree) only as a last resort.