Conflict Analysis Part 1: Observe an instance that you are not personally involved with where conflict is present (you will need to be a bit of a covert operator to accomplish this). Answer the following:
In several detailed paragraphs, describe the conflict scene.
1a. Who was involved in the conflict? What was the relationship between the participants prior to the conflict? Did it appear as if the relationship between the participants had any impact on how either person responded to the conflict?
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I decided to pay a visit to my aunt and uncle one day. They own their own business and they run it out of their home. I pulled into their driveway and proceeded to enter their house, when I overhead a loud argument coming from another room. An employee was arguing with my aunt, who owns the business. My aunt and uncle are both co-owners, the employee decided to play both sides against one another. She basically asked my aunt for something work related and my aunt said no, so the employee decided to go behind her back and ask my uncle without informing him that his wife had already said no. My aunt was livid that the employee went behind her back, since she has just as much pull as my uncle does. She felt it was really dishonest and disrespectful. I feel that the relationship between the two participants was civil at one point, but as the argument escalated, the trust was gone and was never to be regained. My uncle is a smart man, he told the employee that he needed to discuss it with his wife before he can grant any permissions. At the end of the day, the employee was issue a warning and as far as I know, she has never overstepped her boundaries since.
1b. When and where did it take place? Was it formal or informal? Planned or unplanned? What impact did the location and time have on the outcome?
The argument took place in the basement of their home, where they have their home based business setup. The date was Monday, September 15th, 2014, the time was roughly 8:30 am. The argument seemed to be unplanned by the employee, because up until that point, she wasn’t aware that she had gotten caught and was in trouble. On the other hand, the argument seemed to be planned or premeditated by my aunt who seemed to be waiting for the employee to arrive that morning to give her a piece of her mind. The impact of the argument, caused a decreased moral in the work environment and in my opinion should have not taken place during business hours. I feel that this matter should have been taken care of outside of the work place, after hours, or during a staff meeting and not while the office was open for business and other employees were present. This was not a formal argument, I feel both parties were wrong in the ways that they acted or went about handling the matters at hand, but if I had to choose, I would say that the employee was more to blame for the escalated argument because it was her actions that started this issue..
1c. What transpired? (Be specific.)
Many times when we face conflict, there is a surface-level problem and an underlying problem. The surface-level problem acts only as a symptom of the real problem. Consider both.
1d. What was the surface problem?
The surface level problem seemed to be distrust and dishonesty. The fact that there was lying and conniving behavior present in the workplace was sure to cause a domino effect if it wasn’t resolved. The surface level problem also presented issues not only related to the business, but also between my aunt and uncle as a married couple. This type of issue could potentionally cause an argument between the business owners who are also married to one another, so it would directly affect both their professional as well as their personal lives.
1e. What was the underlying problem, or the real problem? If this is unclear, what might you speculate the real problem to be?
There are many conflict management strategies that can be employed when dealing with conflict. Consider which were present in this conflict.
The underlying problem in this circumstance was proven to be the fact that the employee overstepped her boundaries by going behind both owners backs and acting in a shady manner. She was fully aware that she was being dishonest, but all she was concerned about is getting her own way and she didn’t care how she got it. Again, the employees actions and dishonesty is what led to this argument and unnecessary drama.
1f. Which conflict management strategies were employed by each of the participants? Did the conflict management strategies change during the course of the conversation? How do you know?
There was no type of conflict management strategies utilized. Both parties yelled and screamed at one another. My aunt made accusations and the employee denied everything and made excuses, They basically sat there pointing fingers at one another and getting verbally louder as the argument carried on. I know this, because I heard most of the argument and then happened to walk right in the middle of it as it was taking place. I am actually surprised that it did not become physical, because at one point, it looked as if that is where it was headed.
1g. What was the outcome? Was there a winner? A loser? Did there appear to be an impact on the relationship? If so, what was that impact?
The outcome pretty much reached a stalemate as my aunt was the accuser and the employee was the accuse, The employee denied everything and swore up and down that she didn’t do anything wrong. There was no proof, just a case of he said she said stories. I would like to say that there didn’t seem to be a winner, but at the end of the day my aunt issued the employee a written warning for tardiness and misconduct, so I guess she is declared as the winner. The relationship between the two of them has determinate rapidly and they no longer communicate or associate with one another as they used to. They are really distant from one another and they strictly has a no nonsense work relationship now.
1h. Looking back, describeat least two variables that could be changed in this scene to alter the outcome.
Conflict Analysis Part 2: Much of the learning in this course requires you to draw conclusions about your experiences and observations based on the concepts we have read about and discussed. Take this into consideration:
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First, I think that if my aunt did not approach the employee in an aggressive manner, the issue may have been resolved in a more rationally, responsibly, and mature manner. Second, if the employee would just respect what her superiors say and not overstep her boundaries this all could have been avoided.
2a., 2b. List two specific things you learned about conflict as a result of this exercise. Reference material from the text, discussions, lecture, terminal course objectives, and so forth. Answersthat demonstrate application of the course material and effective critical thinking will earn the greatestnumber of points.
Your submission should be approximately one page in length: one paragraph per item for 1a.–1h., and 2a. and 2b.
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