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Conflict is a radical form of the collision of interests, positions, and beliefs which goes beyond common rules and norms. It is usually defined as an argument or a contest among people with opposing needs, ideas, values, or goals. It may be caused by various reasons; it may break out between individuals, big groups of people, nations, and countries, even the unions of countries. Depending on this, there are such types of conflict as interpersonal, juristic, and political.
In some situations, conflict is inevitable; for example, in teams or between people who spend much time together, or between relatives. The point is that the result of each conflict is hard to be predicted. The conflict may end with the outcome which benefits both opponents; it is the productive type of conflict solution. It also may be unproductive, when only one of the opponents is satisfied or they both are not happy because of the result. So, it is a highly professional skill to manage to solve conflicts in the productive way. There are also two types of people who participate in a conflict. The first ones are always seeking conflicts, and they can make an argument out of a small issue. They have a talent to develop a huge problem from the little discussion. The other people are oriented to avoid any conflicts, no matter whether they are little or big ones. The conflict has a different meaning for each person. Someone may think that it is a kind of war with fighting, business or trade competition. The others understand it as differences regarding perspective, personality or opinion. So, they may accept the simple discussion for the whole conflict.
Nevertheless, miscommunication happens even between non-contentious persons when they do not agree about their personal goals, values, and needs. The conflicts always lead to changes, whether negative or positive. The moving factors are the understanding of the conflict reasons and the need for changes (What is Conflict?). It is very important to avoid the unproductive result and to find out the most productive solution possible.
There are five common methods of conflict solution, namely avoidance, accommodation, competition, compromise, and collaboration. The first one, avoidance, is a type of ignorance and the unconscious denial to participate in finding of a solution. Consequently, there is no result, because nothing is done. Accommodation is total agreement with the opposite position without noticing the own one. As a result, the person who accommodates does not benefit at all. The competition is the most exciting method of conflict solution for some people, because it is a kind of fighting, not only physical but also mental one. At the end, there is only one winner. The compromise consists of partial acceptance of the opponent’s needs. Both sides win a little. Finally, the best method of problem solving is collaboration. The goal is to cooperate in order to find the agreeable solution; both parties win (Five Problem Solving Methods).
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The competition style is the style of my brother. That is when two people are “fighting” for the same thing. The energy pushes and motivates a person to define different aims and to go forward to their achievement. The most important for the people like my brother is self-affirmation. However, it is not only about fulfilling any personal need but also about the control of needs in the sphere of social achievements (The Psychology of Competition). For the other person involved into conflict, the competition is not funny at all. In most cases, it is ineffective in terms of finding solution. The collaboration style is based mostly on talking. Both sides should sit together and discuss. It is important to understand where they both see the reason of the conflict and what they want from its solution. It is my category; that is why I need to work with my brother and encourage him to co-operate with me. I try to follow the Indian wisdom saying that together we can do a lot while separately we can do very little.
Concerning my brother and me, we often have conflicts. Sometimes, they may be caused by a serious problem, sometimes by a little thing. We love each other but after each argument, it is hard to go back to the normal family relationship. It is always difficult to forget the offence, especially the bad words which sometimes can be said without a purpose, but they still hurt
. My brother’s type of conflict solution is competition. He always tries to be the best. He always wanted to be more loved by parents. He tried to show him from the better side and forgot about my feelings when he did it at the expense of me. It was a fun for him to “fight” for the attention and love of parents. The situation is really difficult, because my solution type is collaboration. I always try to find the best solution. I want to talk to my brother and to make him cooperate with me, but he is goal-oriented.
Conflicts were usual for us when we attended the additional sport classes when we were children. He always pushed me when I was playing tennis to make me loose the ball. When I was swimming, he shouted, “A shark!”, and I lost the balance. The most terrible pity were my basketball skills. It was always hard for me to lead the ball. He laughed at me although I asked him not to do that. He did so, because he was better than me and wanted to look the best. It lasted until the moment when I asked him to teach me to lead. He was very surprised and helped me. We talked to each other, and he explained why he teased me. Since that occasion, we live in peace.
Now, my brother and I are trying to cooperate. I always remind him that we are family and there is no reason to compete and to fight. He agrees that we are on the same side. Even when we have any conflicts, we just sit together, discuss the problem, and find out the solution. I remind him that it is really important to remember two things. The first one is that trust is like a paper; once it was scrunched, it will never be unscrunched and flat again. The second one sounds is that the apology is like a glass; breaking it means harming the person you love; any sorry cannot repair it afterwards.
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