Communication Conflicts

By: Lazaro Loya

What is a conflict.

A serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.

What is desirable conflict

A small amount of conflict is sometimes beneficial because it may challenge employees and stimulate new ideas.

What is an undesirable conflict.

Undesirable Conflict

Unfortunately, if polarities are not managed so that they are in creative tension, the attendant conflicts can get out of hand and escalate. When groups of people no longer are speaking to each other, it is time to get advice from professionals who work with seriously conflicted groups, instead of doing systems analysis. Friedman’s books (mentioned earlier) are helpful in understanding the underlying dynamics and family tensions usually present in societies.

How can desirable conflict lead to undesirable conflict?

Desirable conflict can lead to undesirable conflict when one person within the organization get jealous or betrays by trying to interfere with the goals of the organization.

What is the role of a manager in resolving conflict?

The manager is there to be capable of solving and conflict within the organization and better it.

What is the avoidance strategy?

Taking a neutral position or agreeing with another persons position even though it differs from your personal belief in order to avoid conflict.

What is the compromise strategy?

What is Compromise?

Compromise is a basic negotiation process in which both parties give up something that they want in order to get something else they want more. Compromises usually occur in win-lose situations -- when there is a fixed pie to be divided up, and whatever one side gets, the other side loses. In compromise situations, neither side gets all of what they really want, but they each make concessions in order to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both.

There are two principal ways to negotiate a compromise. The first is for the parties to go back and forth with offers and concessions until they meet somewhere in the middle. This usually takes place around a single issue, such as the price of an item. For example, Juan and Antonia want to buy a house that is on the market for $200,000. However, they do not want to pay that much, so they make an offer of $160,000. Bob, the seller, does not want to go that low, but does want to sell the house soon, so he offers to sell for $180,000. Juan and Antonia accept the deal and the house is sold. In this case, Juan and Antonia paid $20,000 more than they wanted to and Bob sold for $20,000 less, but the house was exchanged, which was the main goal of both parties.

When there are multiple issues to be negotiated, then parties may make additional concessions. The basic idea is that each party gives up something that the other party values but that they themselves do not care about. For example, Juan and Antonia want to move into the new house in one month, but Bob was planning to stay for three months. Moving in sooner means a lot to Juan and Antonia because they are currently staying in a motel suite that is too small and is costing a lot of money. Leaving the house sooner is not really a problem for Bob, but would force him to work hard to get out faster. For that he wants to be compensated. The agreed price of the house is $180,000, but Juan and Antonia offer $185,000 if they can move in eight weeks earlier. Moving in faster is of value to them but not to Bob. By offering to pay $5,000 more than the agreed price of the home, Juan and Antonia create an incentive for Bob to move out quickly, because doing so is now a valuable proposition for him. This is an example of trading value in a compromise situation.

What is the win/lose strategy?

The Basics

Morton Deutsch continues his discussion of what makes people be competitive or cooperative, and describes the results of those choices.

Win-win, win-lose, and lose-lose are game theory terms that refer to the possible outcomes of a game or dispute involving two sides, and more importantly, how each side perceives their outcome relative to their standing before the game. For example, a "win" results when the outcome of a negotiation is better than expected, a "loss" when the outcome is worse than expected. Two people may receive the same outcome in measurable terms, say $10, but for one side that may be a loss, while for the other it is a win. In other words, expectations determine one's perception of any given result.

Win-win outcomes occur when each side of a dispute feels they have won. Since both sides benefit from such a scenario, any resolutions to the conflict are likely to be accepted voluntarily. The process o fintegrative bargaining aims to achieve, through cooperation, win-win outcomes.

Win-lose situations result when only one side perceives the outcome as positive. Thus, win-lose outcomes are less likely to be accepted voluntarily. Distributive bargaining processes, based on a principle of competition between participants, are more likely than integrative bargaining to end in win-lose outcomes--or they may result in a situation where each side gets part of what he or she wanted, but not as much as they might have gotten if they had used integrative bargaining.

Lose-lose means that all parties end up being worse off. An example of this would be a budget-cutting negotiation in which all parties lose money. The intractable budget debates in Congress in 2012-13 are example of lose-lose situations. Cuts are essential--the question is where they will be made and who will be hurt. In some lose-lose situations, all parties understand that losses are unavoidable and that they will be evenly distributed. In such situations, lose-lose outcomes can be preferable to win-lose outcomes because the distribution is at least considered to be fair.[1]

Jay Rothman , President of the ARIA Group, Inc., describes the use of action evaluation to find non-litigious ways, i.e. win-win, of dealing with racial profiling problems in Cincinnati. In particular, he highlights efforts to engage young people.

In other situations, though, lose-lose outcomes occur when win-win outcomes might have been possible. The classic example of this is called the prisoner's dilemma in which two prisoners must decide whether to confess to a crime. Neither prisoner knows what the other will do. The best outcome for prisoner A occurs if he/she confesses, while prisoner B keeps quiet. In this case, the prisoner who confesses and implicates the other is rewarded by being set free, and the other (who stayed quiet) receives the maximum sentence, as s/he didn't cooperate with the police, yet they have enough evidence to convict. (This is a win-lose outcome.) The same goes for prisoner B. But if both prisoners confess (trying to take advantage of their partner), they each serve the maximum sentence (a lose-lose outcome). If neither confesses, they both serve a reduced sentence (a win-win outcome, although the win is not as big as the one they would have received in the win-lose scenario).

This situation occurs fairly often, as win-win outcomes can only be identified through cooperative (or integrative) bargaining, and are likely to be overlooked if negotiations take a competitive distributive) stance.

The key thing to remember is that any negotiation may be reframed (placed in a new context) so that expectations are lowered. In the prisoner's dilemma, for example, if both prisoners are able to perceive the reduced sentence as a win rather than a loss, then the outcome is a win-win situation. Thus, with lowered expectations, it may be possible for negotiators to craft win-win solutions out of a potentially lose-lose situation. However, this requires that the parties sacrifice their original demands for lesser ones.