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The Nature of Conflict Conflict is a disagreement between two or more people who have differences in goals or methods for dealing with a situation Normal.

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Presentation on theme: "The Nature of Conflict Conflict is a disagreement between two or more people who have differences in goals or methods for dealing with a situation Normal."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Nature of Conflict Conflict is a disagreement between two or more people who have differences in goals or methods for dealing with a situation Normal Natural Necessary

2 Sources of Conflict Scarce resources have to be allocated People perceive interference from others People feel disrespected by others People have different goals for a situation People have different preferences for how to achieve the same goal

3 Conflict and Interdependence Conflicts usually happen when expectations for interdependence are violated The more interdependent the relationship, the more likely conflict becomes The way interdependence is negotiated often determines the outcome of the conflict (and the health of the relationship)

4 Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict Functional (helpful or constructive) Open Honest Calm Focused Flexible Energizing Creative Dysfunctional (not helpful or destructive) Closed Deceitful Tense Proliferation Rigid Draining Stupifying

5 Communication and Conflict Communication and conflict are always linked since conflict is an expressed struggle Communication creates conflict Communication reflects conflict Communication manages conflict

6 Functional Conflict and Diversity Functional Conflict Depends on How we Respond to Difference Do you appreciate the inevitability of difference? Do you value difference? How comfortable are you with change? Do you try and reduce your uncertainty about people who are different from you?

7 Conflict and Face Threats to Identity are an important cause of conflict and are likely to result in face- saving that leads to dysfunctional conflict Adds an issue to the conflict The issue is often hidden or implicit Conflict escalates dramatically

8 Strategies to Avoid Making Face Threats Describe behaviors rather than judging the person Try to find a shared solution rather than telling others what and how to behave Convey a belief in the equality/value of the other Try to remain open-minded

9 Attributions and Conflict The judgments we make about others determines how we deal with them in conflict Purposive v. reactive Internal v. external Some common biases occur Egocentric attribution bias Fundamental attribution error

10 The Attribution Cycle in Destructive Conflict A behavior occurs We judge/evaluate the behavior as purposive and intentional We assess the other as difficult We look for additional evidence of our assessment We find it We feel confirmed in acting out against the other We shut down communication with the other


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