Basic Orientation to Conflict Situations - Essay Example

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Basic orientations to conflict situations Date: Name: Institution: Basic orientations to conflict situations There are three orientations to conflict management in interpersonal relationships; the first orientation is that of a compromise where the conflicting sides gives up something in the process this is referred to as Lose-lose situation…
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Basic Orientation to Conflict Situations
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Basic orientations to conflict situations Basic orientations to conflict situations There are three orientations to conflict management in interpersonal relationships; the first orientation is that of a compromise where the conflicting sides gives up something in the process this is referred to as Lose-lose situation. Secondly, is a case of domination where one of the conflicting sides gains victory over the other and is classified as a win-lose case. Finally, is a situation of integration where each side refocuses their efforts with a view of ensuring neither side loses anything but gains. This situation is also known as a win-win approach. The three approaches always direct us on how to confront conflicting situations in interpersonal relationships. In this paper, the three approaches will be deeply examined and differentiated from each other for the purpose of establishing which approach best fits a given scenario. Lose-lose approach (compromise approach) In this approach, each person or party involved in the conflict atleast loses something. It is an approach that holds an assumption that both parties will be satisfied having lost equally. It is not a good method since it creates a potential cause of future conflict. The conflicting parties should reach a compromise by accepting to lose. It is a damaging and unhealthy approach to settling conflicts. Unlike the win-lose and win-win approaches where one or both parties may win, the overall result of lose-lose approach in conflict resolution is a loss for both persons and parties conflicting. Lose-lose approach might exhibit a characteristic feature that can make a person desist from disagreeing with a friend or colleague with a belief that the repercussion would be wounded friendship between them. Since there is a belief that lose-lose conflict orientation assumes that conflicts are certainly negative, people try to avoid conflicts at all costs. Win-lose approach (domination approach) It is an approach where one party or person gains victory against the conflicting party or person. An important aspect to take into consideration in this kind of orientation is look at conflict resolution as either a win or a lose battle. Moreover, what one of the parties loses is a gain to the opposite party and what one party gains is a loss to the other. This approach to conflict resolution is seen as a game that can lead to either a win or lose. It implies an approach that is competitive based on the assumption that the cake to be shared is fixed in size and the most important business is how big your portion will be upon sharing. Someone who is optimistic of the outcome and has little concern for other people will most likely orient to a win- lose approach. Similarly, an individual who has little attachment to the outcome of the negotiation will most probably give in to the opponents demands not because of anything else but because of the need to maintain friendship or relationship. Win-win approach This type of orientation takes the assumption that everyone gains in the event of resolving conflicts or differences. It aims at discovering a satisfactory resolution that is mutually acceptable to all the conflicting parties as opposed to win-lose approach which seeks to find a solution to the conflicting parties regardless of which party losses or wins. It is worth noting that it might not be possible to reach at win-win conclusion and when a deadlock is reached, parties or persons involved will always be required to make some amendments to their demands in order to accommodate the divergent views and arrive at win-win level. Unlike lose-lose, this approach seeks to search for several solutions which had not been explored by either side of the conflicting parties for the purpose of utilization in giving a win-win situation to the parties in conflict. Win-win approach works positively to both parties where none of the parties appears to be selfish and hence everyone is a winner. The orientation chosen in resolving a conflict affect the manner in which we advance to conflicting situations. To start with, two conflicting persons or parties may not look at issues in the same perspective. It is possible that one person is much indebted to a certain relationship or issue than the other person and therefore each person in conflict will tend to employ his or her own strategy in resolution. In cases where several issues are discussed, some may be accorded more attention than others and even when their importance is different for each. Therefore the negotiating party may oblige selectively on issues that are under discussion. Secondly, there is an affinity among persons to assume one approach over the others claiming its moral superiority in problem solving. For instance, the win – win approach is perceived by many theorists as the most appropriate over the other two approaches as it is seen to produce better creativity, sustainable agreements. The win – lose and lose – lose approaches are perceived to result in last minute give and take or even a deadlock. The under mentioned assertion has no clear prove or justification and therefore appears to be more of an individual wish on how conflicts should be resolved rather than how they should be resolved in reality. The emphasized alignment to win-win strategy by academicians in conflict resolution defeats logic since for several years this has not worked well. A greater percentage of the world’s negotiations have resulted into a win-lose affair. Learning only win-win tactics is likely to prove disastrous, as its proponents tend to make concessions in the hope of inducing cooperation in tough opponents, who are more likely to simply pocket each concession and ask for more until they encounter resistance, then to finally begin negotiating. (Churchman, 2005). The assertion will certainly affect the manner in which conflicts will be resolved as the win-win approach may not be appropriate in some cases. Basically, the three approaches have their own weaknesses and the choice of one strategy will depend on the type of conflict. A win-win case approach An example of a case when a win-win advance has been used is where two members of a family staying together in a shared room engage in a disagreement on who should work on the daily chores. The two engage in a conflict finally decides to discuss on how they should work on the chores. One of them offers to cook lunch while the other opts to clean the bench and other tableware. From this scenario both parties have achieved a win-win status because none of them does all the work alone and still none escapes performance of duties. References: Churchman, D. (2005), “Why we fight”, Theories of human aggression and conflict. Lanham Maryland, University Press of America. West, R & Lynn H. (2009), “Turner Understanding Interpersonal Communication”, Making Choices in Changing Times, 2nd ed. Uhl Lyn, Cengage learning. Wood, T. J (2010), “Interpersonal Communication”, Everyday Encounters, 6th Ed. New York, NY: Cengage learning. Read More
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