The video in Week 2’s Assignment illustrates interpersonal conflict between two coworkers. Their manager walks in toward the end. I chose to respond to several of the prompts in order to get the most benefit and learning from the content, and I am choosing to focus on the male coworker for the assignment. The situational aspects of this setting that contributed to this conflict was the fact that they were right outside the boss’ door and he could hear them arguing, and it even interrupted an important phone call he was on.
Both employees were tense and letting their voices rise, and appeared to be taking the issue very personally. The contextual aspects of this conflict include both parties in a defensive stance with arms crossed, raising their voices and rolling their eyes.
The male coworker rolled his eyes and became defensive when the female coworker became accusatory. He then proceeded to downplay the importance of his part being late, saying “give me a break!”.
He said that it didn’t matter so much that it was late, disregarding the fact that she needed his part done. All of these types of exchanges contributed to the conflict. They even put each other down at times. The manager came into the room upset himself that someone had interrupted his phone call. In this moment, the manager could have used active listening and became the role of mediator to facilitate better communication. Keeping his “emotional tone” in check would have aided the employees to resolution, and the manager would have been practicing the first step in conflict resolution.
The male coworker could have had a more relaxed, inviting posture, noting that his colleague was upset over something. He could have used active listening to find out more about what was bothering them and what the real issue was. In this week’s PowerPoint lecture, on slide 4, it says it’s important to control your emotions and move forward. The matter at hand is not about you, and it seems as though he was taking the conflict personally. Additionally, the male coworker would have been more understanding to his own deadline and the conflict might have been resolved. He could have been aware of his tone and asked his female coworker for a little time to cool off and think. If I was the manager in this situation, I would have approached it as a mediator, and helped the two solve the problem, instead of adding to their problem by telling them they were being too loud. The PowerPoint says to use a mediator (Dunne) and that every manager will have to do conflict management in their career.