UMD COMM 107 - Chapter 7: Interpersonal Skills and Conflict Management

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Chapter 7: Interpersonal Skills and Conflict Management Participating in Conversations- Conversation: is an interaction with at least one other person- Small talk: is an exchange of information with someone on a surface level; info exchanged centers on biographics (name, occupation, hometown) or slightly morepersonal info (hobbies, future plans); lasts for about 15 min until in-depth convo starts- Ppl like to talk about themselves and their experiences- Keep track of current events, watch non-verbal cues, show interest, hit common interest points, ask questions- Questions encourage ppl to open up by drawing them out, aid you in discovering the other’s attitudes, keep the convo to the topic at hand, can be used to direct the convo, help you gain info and clarify meanings, require the person to give more than a yes/no answer - European Americans often speak in thought patterns emphasizing analytical thinking - Southern American & Asian cultures: holistic thinking that doesn’t dissect events/concepts - Conversations should be 2-sided with both ppl having the opportunity to participate, don’t assume, before speaking ask yourself what message is neededGiving Directions- Be specific & as clear as possible using specific language but not too many detailsor else it’s overwhelming - Directions can be given in chronological order (first, second, third) or spatial order (geographic directions)- Linear thinkers prefer maps and written out directions; global thinkers prefer pictures and oral directions with specific landmarks Requesting - Requesting is the process of exploring a desire for something - Requesting information & asking questions (asking for restatement, asking for definitions, asking for clarificationsExpressing Empathy- Empathy: is the ability to put oneself into the mental shoes of another person, to understand his or her emotions and feelings Dealing with Interpersonal Conflict- Conflict can be negative or positive - Conflict: is any situation in which you perceive that another person with whom your interdependent is frustrating or might frustrate the satisfaction of some concern, need, want or desire of yours - Causes of conflict: goals, allocation of resources, decision making, behavior- Levels: no conflict, latent conflict, problems to solve, dispute, help, fight or flight,intractability - Anger: is the feeling of being upset with yourself or others or botho Negative expressions of anger: internal actions, acting out, passive resistance, violence, external actionso Positive expressions of anger: clear, direct, expressive assertion of needs/wants o Can be implosive (beat yourself up) or explosive (beat up others)o Do not react immediately when angry, don’t make important decisions in the heat of the moment, use the extra energy generated by anger to act constructively, apologize if necessary- Fair fighting: participants work toward an amicable solution to the problem and keep in mind that although the issue is important the relationship is also importanto Get as much info as your can & attempt to adjust to the problem based on this info, keep arguments in the present tense, do not try ot make the other person change things that can’t be altered, do not start a fight when it cannot be finished, the setting can affect a conflict, a fight can take place only if both parties participate, listen to your body, identify realistically what you need to get out of the transaction- Styles of conflict managemento Conflict avoidance: not confronting the conflict; nonassertive (person’s needs are not met)o Conflict accommodation: put the needs of others ahead of their own, giving in; nonassertive Conflict smoothing over: seeks above all else to preserve the image that everything is okay o Conflict compromise: brings concerns out into the open in an attempt to satisfy the needs of both parties; assertive or nonassertive o Conflict competition: main element is power; get another person to comply with or accept your point of view or do something that person doesn’t want to doo Conflict integration: concerned about their own needs as well as those of the other person; wont settle for a partially satisfying solution; relationshipand issue are equally important; assertion - Communicative approaches to managing conflicto Assertive communication: takes place when a person stands up for and tries to achieve personal rights without damaging others  Assertiveness: does not mean taking advantage of others; its means taking charge of yourself and your world Nonassertive behavior: goal is to avoid conflict Aggressive behavior: goal is to dominate, to get your own way- Direct aggression: outward expression of dominating - Passive aggression: attacks in a manipulative way  Simple assertion: you state the facts relating to the existence of a problem Empathic assertion: recognize the other person’s position but state your own needs Follow-up assertion: is used when the simple or empathic assertion is not successful in getting the desired action  DESC scripting: is a way of dealing with interpersonal conflicts; process is describing, expressing, specifying and stating consequences o Negotiation: is the act of bargaining to reach an agreement with at least two people or groups working on a mutual problem 4 principals of negotiation: prepare in advance, reframe the questions and arguments, respond & don’t react, identify & alter tactics  Win-lose negotiations: center on one person’s getting what he or she wants while the other comes up short Lose-lose negotiations: neither person is satisfied with the outcome b/c neither gets what he or she wants Win-win negotiation: find a solution that is satisfying to everyoneo Arbitration: is an alternative process for deciding disputes o Litigation: is adversarial communication in which a dispute is settled by presenting evidence to a judge or jury who decides who is righto Mediation: is a process in which a neutral person who has no vested interest in the outcome facilitates communication between parties and without imposing a solution on the parties enables them to understand and resolve their disputeo Conflict active societies: conflict is accepted as an important part of life; Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures o Conflict avoidance societies: group is stressed over individual; Asians Criticism - Criticism: the act of judging - When criticized seek more information, paraphrase the ideas of the


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UMD COMM 107 - Chapter 7: Interpersonal Skills and Conflict Management

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