What is your approach to managing conflict?
According to the questionnaire, after super strongly avoiding the conflict in the first place (19/20), I then have an equally strong preference for problem solving (17/20) and compromising (17/20). In using force to win conflict I scored 13/20, closely followed by yielding on 12/20.
Does this match to how you think of yourself?
I absolutely, 100% like to avoid conflict. Who likes conflict? What kind of a person actively goes out to try and find/cause/create conflict??? However, I also like to stand up for myself and my ideas, and if I feel like they are under threat I probably do use a bit of force to advocate for them, but what an awful phrase to use to describe being passionate about something you believe in. In light of this, I think I was surprised to see that my problem solving and compromising scores were quite a bit higher, but I am definitely a fence sitter in most respects, so I guess it does make sense. As for yielding, I can think of a couple of times I have yielded, but mostly they were to keep the peace (compromise), and because I didn’t have particularly strong feelings on the outcome either way (no force), and to just yield was easier than to get in a fluff about it (conflict avoidance). So, yes. Even though I don’t think I would have described myself as such, I do think that these results match me.
What areas do you think you need to develop?
Two key pieces from module 3.2 stood out to me which have made me reconsider how I feel about conflict management (they will answer that question in a roundabout way, bear with me…)
“When conflict is handled well, it can actually enable administration and library staff members to reach their goals in a beneficial manner. Constructive conflict, or positive conflict, enables disputants to consider different viewpoints and perspectives when approaching an unfamiliar situation, thus resulting in creative and effective conflict resolution techniques.” (Plocharczyk, 2013, p. 308).
“Resolving conflicts may be done so quietly and effectively that the moment is not remembered as a conflict. You have probably experienced this on a daily basis. Say, someone comes into your office with a question, you talk it over, agree on an answer, and sketch out a way to proceed.” (Shearouse, 2011).
I think I avoid conflict so much because of the negativity I associate with it. Conflict is fighting, fighting doesn’t feel good, therefore conflict is bad. The two quotes above have forced me (see what I did there?) to view conflict from a different, and dare I say it, positive perspective. I should probably develop this view, and not run from conflict as much as possible but (sometimes) embrace it as a change, and open to seeing where it could take me.