Conflicts are a natural consequence of interactions because of the diversity of the people who constitute the environment. Though people naturally tend to look at conflicts from a negative perspective, it is an undeniable fact that conflicts are normal and necessary in any functioning organization. When well resolved, conflicts have a way of releasing a persons creative energy and reorienting them to engage more on productive activities . For proper conflict resolution to take place, there must be a process of genuine negotiations among the conflicting parties for purposes of bridging the gap that was created by the conflict, and charting a new way for the parties (Johnson, 2009).
conflict management can take a variety of dimensions. When learning how to work with people, I use avoidance as my dominant conflict style. I find it a good idea to avoid the conflict and create some time to think about it. One disadvantage of Avoidance is that it can have unpredictable results since members involved in the conflict can stew over it or forget about it and become increasingly irate. Avoidance allows me to have more time to myself hence enabling me to make a good decision concerning problem at hand (Johnson, 2009).
During my childhood at around 10-14 years when I was still at pre-high school level, I was indeed a poor listener since I would forget everything that I was told by my parents or teachers because I was not patient enough to listen carefully before acting. This caused conflict with my relatives at home and teachers at school.
I interpreted nonverbal cues, such as eye contact, body posture, facial expressions, and movement of the opposing parties. Such interpretation were reliable in determining the depth and breadth of relationship. There was greater disclosure of information by teachers hence implying the willingness to collaborate. The resolution created a win-win situation, in that neither party felt sidelined. I felt relieved since my relationship with the teachers and relatives remaind strong (Conerly & Tripathi, 2004).
I was also involved in a conflict of interest where I was faced with an ethically questionable situation where I had to decide between what was ethically right and beneficial to the institution I was working for and my personal interests. The ethically questionable situation had arisen before my resignation from the admission board of one of the colleges in the county.
The admission board to which I belonged had just finalized our second selection meeting. We had already picked on most of the students who were to be admitted, with fifty students being categorized in a waiting list where only ten were required. Among the names in the waiting list was my nephew. My brother had mentioned and inquired his opinion on the possibility of my nephew’s admission. On checking his grades, I was certain that he would be admitted and did not think much about it. This was until I saw the familiar family name in the waiting list. I knew how much my brother had wanted my nephew son to join this particular college. I also knew the chances of him being selected from the long waiting list were slim. I also remembered how much my brother had helped me as I progressed in my career, having paid my school fees for a certain period of time, I felt I owed him. I articulated that since my nephew had the academic qualifications, there would be no harm in influencing other board members to admit him without necessarily having to go through the process. I was in a dilemma between helping my nephew and maintaining the transparent and strictly adhered to selection process. I contemplated on the best decision to make. On the day the admission board was to finalize on the list of selected students, I decided to skip the meeting. This way I would not have violated the statement by influencing the decision to my nephews favor.
In solving the conflict I consider the interest of each party. I try to adopt problem-solving approach in addressing the demands of the parties involved. I also try not be subjective during negotiations. Rather, I adopt an unbiased approach to resolving the conflict. I facilitate an open discussion that would help build mutual trust that would enable the parties to open up (Johnson, 2009).
The next time I am involved in a conflict, I would approach it differently by solving the problem as soon as it occurs, and whenever there is a problem, I will conduct a discussion to come up with a solution.
Johnson, W. (2009). Reaching out: Interpersonal effectiveness and self-actualization (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.