Conflict Resolution

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September 1, 2013 by patriciawhite84

I found the video on conflict resolution strategies to be extremely enlightening, particularly identifying the fight or flight response caused by the mental processing of the Amygdala. Although not as engaging as other videos, the content is easy to follow and the information is highly transferrable when considering how teachers and students react to certain situations. It highlights the importance of understanding the context of the conflict rather than the action the conflict results in.

By having an understanding of the reasons for conflict, a leader is better equipped to resolve these situations. Methods of resolving conflict are commonly summarised by 5 techniques, original identified in the 1970s by Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann, being Competitive, Collaborative, Compromising, Accommodating and Avoiding. Having completed a conflict resolution questionnaire analysis, I found that my conflict resolution style was collaboration. According to Shearouse (2011) a collaborative approach to conflict resolution takes into account what is important for all parties, encourages ownership and commitment to the decision making process and builds supportive relationships. It is for these reasons that I found the concept of the Amygdala hijack so compelling. I do feel the need to hear other people’s opinions and perspectives as I find how people interpret and act upon information very intriguing.

However I do recognise that you cannot make everyone happy. This is just something I know I’ll have to work on professionally. By completing the questionnaire I have been able to identify where my leadership strengths lie in conflict resolution. But it has also made it apparent that there are multiple approaches that I need to practice. Although I do not wish to have to deal with conflict, I feel that I am better able to figure out solutions. A good leader understands of how people operate, but an even better leader knows how to handle conflict appropriately.

Shearouse, S. H. (2011). Conflict 101: A manager’s guide to resolving problems so everyone can get back to work. New York: American Management Association.


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