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The behavior of the pedagogist to resolve the conflict
(strategies and methods)
High school teacher should know the basic strategy of conflict management or conflict situations, including his own style, the style of other parties to the conflict. In the educational activities it is possible to use the five basic types of behavior in conflict situations, defined by Thomas-Kilmen.
Fig.1 Thomas-Kilmen grid
1. Competition. This type of behavior can be effective if person possesses some authority and is confident that his/her decision or approach is correct and has enough reasons to insist on them. However, competition in personal relations may cause alienation. It should not be used with lack of sufficient power, support, environment (eg, head), because you can experience the fiasco. This type of behavior is recommended to use in such circumstances (J. Scott Graham):
- Due to high actuality of the result for the individual who hopes to solve the problem by his/her own;
- Due to presence of the individual and sufficient authority to make decisions and when the analysis shows that it is - the best one;
- If it is necessary to make a decision quickly and having sufficient authority of the individual;
- The impossibility of another choice when there is nothing to lose;
- In a critical situation that requires immediate reaction;
- Due to impossibility for person to admit the despair of the situation because someone has to lead people;
- If it is necessary, to adopt irregular solution and presence of sufficient authority to do so.
Resorting to such type of behavior, each of conflict participants are seeking for victory and cares only about their own interests.
2. Avoiding (escaping). This type of behavior is used, if the problem in which the interests of the parties came together, not too important, not worth spending power for its solution, when an individual feels wrong, more and more convinced of the benefits of the arguments or power of his opponent; while communicating with "hard" person, there are no grounds for further contacts with him/her; if necessary to make a decision and lack of knowledge about how to do it; being convinced about conflict insignificance, problems which do not affect fundamental aspects of activity; due to the absence of information for problems solving.
In general, situation in which such style of avoidance is recommended are the following types:
- The tension is too great, and the individual feels the need to reduce the aggravation;
- Persuasion of the individual in impossibility in solving of conflict in his favor or his unwillingness to do so;
- Attempts to gain time for obtaining the information and getting someone's support;
- Realization of opponent benefits in solving of the problem;
- Realization the awareness of attempts to solve the problem, because open discussion of it may worsen the situation.
In general, on the one hand avoiding, could be "escape" from problems and responsibilities, and on the other - it is a constructive reaction to the conflict situation. And if the person ignores it, does not express his attitude towards it, it is quite possible that the conflict resolved itself. In other circumstances a person can return to the problem when he/she feels ready for this.
3. Adaptation. This type of behavior is appropriate for the next situations:
- If the outcome of the concern is unprincipled for individual but too important to his opponent;
- When the opposite side possesses greater power, and as a result is going to win;
In any case, the individual make concessions, agrees with his opponent.
Adaptations somewhat like the avoidance, as it implies the transfer of problem for some later period. The difference of avoidance is that an individual cooperate with his opponent, follow his demands and proposals. Due to avoiding, he does nothing for satisfying interests of the opponent, but simply pushes the problem away. Giving way, accepting or sacrificing the interests to the opposing side benefit, an individual can mitigate the conflict situation and restore harmony. Often he uses the quiet period, to gain time and then achieve the desired solution. Adaptations like type of behavior is recommended in the following situations:
- If the individual is not particularly care about what had happened;
- If the individual wants to maintain good relations with others;
- If the individual is realize that importance to preserve good relations than to protect his/her interests;
- If an individual believes that the result is much more important for other people than for him;
- Realizing that true is on the opposite side;
- Due to insufficient chance for winning, small power resources;
- Having confidence that the other side will get the useful lesson from this situation is if to compromise in this situation .
So, adapting to different opinions a person smoothing the conflict situation that may restore the harmony.
4. Co-operation. This behavior is aimed at finding a solution which would satisfy the interests of all parties. Therefore the parties which are involved in the conflict defend their interests, trying to collaborate. This type of behavior requires a longer work, because firstly individuals express their concerns, interests, needs, and then discuss them. If there is sufficient time, urgency of the problem for both sides is quite possible to develop mutually beneficial solutions. Especially effective cooperation is when the parties have different hidden needs, strategic goals and plans for the future, which is the direct source of conflict. But first they must give up a strong opposition, to discuss the issue, seeking the most rational way to solve the problem.
Cooperation is the best type of behavior in such situations:
- If the problem is very important for both sides and no one is going to give way to someone;
- If the parties have close, prolonged and interdependent relationship;
- If the parties have time to solve the problem (solving of conflicts on the basis of perspective plans);
- If the parties are acquainted with the problem, know their own interests and counterclaims;
- If the parties intend to submit for discussion of certain ideas and work out the solution;
- If the parties have the same power or don’t realize the differences in their positions.
Despite the fact that the type of collaboration requires considerable effort, a lot of time, the ability to express your needs, listen to the opposite side, making alternative solution, it is the most effective in meeting the interests of both parties in complex conflict situations. For this type of behavior the principle: "I want to win and want you to win also" is dominated. To do this the next action should be done (H. Cornelius, S. Fair):
- to establish the opposite side;
- Find out, the reason why differences may compensate each other;
- Develop new variants of decisions that will satisfy everybody’s needs in a best way;
- Demonstrate that the opponents are partners, but not rivals.
Collaboration is a wise approach in solving problems, most productive strategy and style of behavior in conflicts. It is a constructive way out of conflict, which satisfies the interests of both parties.
5. Compromise. This type of conduct provides the problem settlement by mutual concessions. It is especially effective if the parties realize that simultaneous achievement of the same goal is not possible.
Compromise as a productive type of behavior is suitable in the following situations:
- If both parties have the same power and their interests are mutually exclusive;
- If the individual is trying to find a solution in a short time or realozing that it is economical and efficient way;
- If an individual is satisfied with a temporary solution or short-term benefit;
- If other ways of solving the problem were ineffective;
- If it is possible slightly adjust the previous goal;
- Realizing that a compromise will preserve the relationship, so it is better to get at least something than lose everything.
In some situations, cooperation is unsuitable (for example, neither party has no time or energy for cooperation or their interests are mutually axcluding). Under these conditions the compromise can operate. Often it is also a good retreat or the last opportunity to find the optimal solution. However, if a compromise was reached without a analysis of possible options for resolving the problem, it can be not the optimal conflict solution.
However, if a compromise was reached without a thorough analysis of possible options for solving the problem, it may not be an optimal solution to the conflict.
In conflict situations research and educational staff can use next methods [Volk., p.107-108]:
· The method of introspection: to imagine yourself in the place of opponent, his thoughts, feelings and work out through this reasonable conclusions about the motives and external motives of his conduct;
· Method of empathy: the penetration to another person's feelings (usually this method are used by emotional teachers, capable to intuitive thinking, which, trusting intuitive feeling stop intellectual interpretations in time);
· The method of logical analysis (rational thinking person to understand the opponent intellectually simulates a situation in which he is).
Optimization by the teacher of his internal state allows to maintain internal equilibrium and thereby avoid conflict.
A.V. Dmitriev identifies several other methods of normative regulation of the conflict:
· An informal method (best options for everyday behavior and relationships are determined);
· The method of formalization (written or oral fixation of rules in order to eliminate uncertainty of requirements, that are expressed, differences in their perception);
· Method of localization ("linking" of norms to local conditions and living conditions);
· The method of individualization (differentiation of norms taking into account personal characteristics and resources of people);
· Method of information (explaining the necessity and usefulness of abidance by norms);
· Method of favorable contrast (norms are deliberately overstated, and then "release" to psychologically acceptable level, which is usually higher than starting).