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Handling Conflicts in Small Groups - Synopsis of the Book

3 pages
606 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
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Synopsis 320-325

There are various strategies that one can undertake to manage conflicts in small groups. These strategies include avoiding conflict-handling style, dominating conflict handling style, compromising conflict handling style, obliging conflict handling style, and integrating conflict handling style

The avoiding conflict-handling style is a strategy that is characterized by the deliberate withdrawing from or ignoring conflict rather than facing it. According to the author, the style is sometimes perceived as the ability not to care about ones issues or the issues of other individuals (Myers, 2009).

The second conflict handling style discussed by the author is the dominating conflict handling style. In this style, the individuals involved tend to have a low level of concern for others. The individuals who utilize this strategy to handle conflicts are in most instances seen as tyrants and do not appear to care about other individuals. Moreover, such individuals are only seen as only interested in achieving their objectives.

The third conflict handling style discussed by the author is the compromising conflict handling style. In this style, individuals have a moderate amount of concern regarding themselves and others. In most instances, the style of compromising often involves choosing an option that causes the least pain for everyone involved.

The fourth conflict handlings style that the author discusses is the obliging conflict handling style. This strategy is often implemented when the decision maker has a high concern for other individuals in the conflict and a low concern for self.

Finally, the fifth conflict handling style provided by the author is the integrating conflict handling style. In this strategy, there is a high concern for all the parties that are involved in the conflict. This style is appropriate when the decision maker in the group has enough time to debate and work towards a positive solution

Synopsis two (325-330)

The author of the book provides the guidelines for handling conflicts when they arise in the small groups. There are various techniques that are designed to assist groups to manage their conflicts. One of the best strategies to handle conflicts is through negotiated principled agreement. With principled negotiation, all the members involved in a conflict are encouraged to collaborate by ensuring that the express their needs and search for alternatives that meet their needs (Myers, 2009).

When negotiations as a strategy fail in handling conflicts, then there are other alternatives that can be pursued. These alternatives include mediation by the group leader, voting, forcing, and third-party arbitration. Group leaders have the responsibility of setting up meetings with the parties embroiled in conflicts in the group. During the mediations undertaken by the group leader, both sides in the conflict have the platform to air their grievances (Myers, 2009). If this strategy is not successful, then other alternatives such as voting are used. In instances where group members do not agree, there is need to vote to avoid an impasse. The disadvantage with voting is that groups may arrive at premature closures

The third strategy of handling conflicts is forcing. In this strategy, it is the leaders of the group who take charge and make the decisions for the group. The final strategy of handling conflicts is third-party arbitration. Third party arbitration occurs typically when individuals with a conflict bring outside negotiators to resolve the differences that they have. It is imperative to comprehend that the use of third-party arbitration is only necessary when the leader believes that the group has reached an impasse and by continuing, then the group would have resentment or may be destroyed.



Myers, S. A. (2009). Fundamentals of small group communication + peer groups. Place of publication not identified: Sage Publications.


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