Every organization apparently has internal communications problems and comflicts between various individuals and groups. As a result, the effectiveness of the organization suffers and unnecessary strain is placed on individuals. Managers and non-managers usually find these the most difficult, nebulous, and frustrating of all their problems and challenges. Most often they feel they don’t know how to handle them in a fully satisfactory way.
To improve the abilities to manage communications and conflict, first we need to find out how the problems happen. There are powerful forces that account for the virtual universality of communication and conflict problems in organizations. The first is our communications are extremely complex processes. People communicate in individual secret codes made up of words, voice tones, body signals, facial expressions, movements, feelings, styles of grooming and dress. Each is unique to the individual and every person relies on a different combination. And there is much room for error to understand another person. Secondly, we are taught to be “Polite”, have the “Right personality”, manipulate ourselves and others, and play roles. Thirdly, we fear and avoid conflict. People fear conflict, fear that it will destory working relationship. In a sense, we do need to be careful of it because most of us are not taught how to handle it skillfully. The fourth is we draw conclusions, make assumptions, evaluate and judge rather than observe behavior and report what we see, hear, and feel. The fifth is we usually aren’t well in touch with ourselves. Our own stereotypes, daydreaming, fantasizing and so on. To know and understand others, we must know and understand ourselves. And the last one is we lack skills. We generally lack collaborative skills and we have well-developed competitive skills which get in the way of communication.
Fortunately, we can learn new ways and skills to greatly improve our ability to communicate and utilize...
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