Quiz 10: Managing Conflict


Another fundamental reason conflict may be experienced is that not everybody can get all the money, supplies, or human help they desire. Conflict also ensues when employees are asked to compete for prizes, such as bonuses based on individual effort or company-paid vacation trips. Because the number of awards is so limited, the competition becomes intense enough to be regarded as a conflict. Another university example of competition turning into conflict is regarding grades and grade curves. Students strive to score the highest on exams and set the curve, but this competition may lead to hostile study sessions and secretive behavior.

Lasting conflicts exist for the following reasons: • Competition for limited valuable resources and fundamental life needs (access to food and water). • Differences of opinion in regards to how policies should be written and enforced. • One group may feel that another is trampling upon their rights, therefore leading to conflict. • Personality clashes amongst leaders. • Clashing viewpoints and goals due to differences in ethnicity, religion, and gender. Because these lasting conflicts are so complicated and involve so many varying factors, it is difficult to ever resolve them.

Coworkers naturally disagree about topics, issues, and ideas. Yet some people convert disagreement into an attack that puts down other people and damages their self-esteem. As a result, conflict surfaces. When this aggressive and bullying behavior is coming from one's supervisor, it can become an even more stressful situation. Here are some tips for dealing with a bullying boss: • Become proactive and plan how to act in specific situations. • Maintain professionalism and always take the high road. • Display high self-esteem and a positive attitude. • Protect personal information and do not provide fodder for the bully. • Approach HR only when the situation seems unbearable and is compromising work productivity and civility.