Dealing with conflict can be difficult. In order to be effective when dealing with conflict, one must learn how to communicate effectively given the problem at hand. According to Rothwell (2010), “A communication style of conflict management is ones orientation toward conflict.” The purpose of this paper is to provide a text explanation of conflict/conflict management, explain the five communication styles of conflict management that I feel can be applied to organizational communication, when each should be used, when to choose another option, and which styles are most likely to be effective and which are least likely. Definition of Conflict/Conflict Management
Conflict is, “the interaction of interdependent people who perceive opposition of goals, aims, and values, and who see other parties as potentially interfering with the realization of these goals.” (Eisenberg et al., 2010). The Five Communication Styles of Conflict Management
The first communication style of conflict management to be highlighted is collaborating. Collaborating allows for a cooperative approach to a given conflict. This approach demonstrates that someone using this style is highly concerned about the task at hand and the social relationships in the groups. In the collaboration style there are three main components. They are confrontation, integration, and smoothing. According to Rothwell (2010) confrontation is, “The overt recognition that conflict exists in a group and the direct effort to manage it effectively.” From a conflict management standpoint, confrontation is a way to incorporate all the elements of assertive communication (describe, express, specify, and identify consequences) and supportive communication (description, problem orientation, etc.) (Rothwell, 2010). Confrontation is meant to deal with all parties effectively and productively. It is also very important to decide what issues are worth confronting and what issues are best dealt with in a different manner,...
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