Communication is one of the most important basic functions of human needs and relational health and development. Yet problematic communications interaction permeates even healthiest of all relationships, resulting to misunderstanding between senders as well as receivers of the message. Very few individuals fully understand communication as packages and affects it holds on relational interactions. Communication is one thing we do with others, not something we carry out to them. It cognizant to note that communications an intention where senders intend the receivers to listen to message with same meanings they have in mind. In many instances lack of handling problems arising from miscommunications results to conflicts in many instances.
As indicated by Fisher, conflicts usually involve two or more parties in disagreement over their perception or have varied values or attitudes. Trivial conflicts can easily be solved over quick discussions but larger forms of conflicts require interveners or mediators. Mediation is process whereby third parties get in the ways of conflicting parties in an effort to solving the misunderstanding. Usually mediator’s acts like facilitator in session s who guides members in process until agreements are attained. It is important for organizations to regularly carry out conflict analysis. Conflict analysis is systematic study of profiles actors, causes as well as dynamics of the conflicts. In carrying out conflict analysis, several levels of such as local, region or international levels are involved .Identification of appropriate focuses for conflict analysis is very crucial. This is due to the fact that dynamics and issues resulting to conflicts at grassroots levels are very different for those in the national or international levels. Generally, if conflicts are approached constructively from onset, people concerned recognize that they have a problem at hand and they unite with each other in an effort to confront the conflict as well as solving it. This paper will critically analyze meditation and interpersonal conflict.
There are various concepts that are applied in solving communication conflict. One of the major concepts is that of conflict and negotiation tactic. These are the moves one can make when in negotiation or conflict situation. Lose tactic or negative win situation can easily make one to be stuck in conflict spiral. This makes it necessary to look for positive methods of integrating and maximizing communication conflict outcomes in order to create a win –win situation in solving a conflict. The other concept is debate versus dialogue. This is heated win or loses or point scoring argument which takes place when two parties are in conflict. This necessities conversation which may lead to understanding as parties positively engages about the problems rather than focusing on the other party. For example in countries like Rwanda, where two major communities namely Hutus and Tutsi are healing from the 1994 genocide, which killed more than 0.8 million citizens, the Rwandese government through the ministry of Justice have trained more than 35,000 mediators in the last five years. The mediation team and committee have been useful in promoting the activities recently carried out by the recent concluded Gacaca courts, and also promoting reconciliation, citizenly participations in judicial processes and peaceful co-existence.
Mediation, a form of ADR (Alternative dispute resolution), is a way in which parties resolve the disputes. Third party, known as a mediator, helps parties concerned to negotiate. In some instances, mediators can express views on what is fair or a reasonable form of settlement. Mediation conflict has structures, dynamics and timetables which ordinary forms of negotiation lacks. The process is usually private and confidential with the presence of mediators being key distinguishing feature of this process. In the entire instance the parties involved in these confidential processes hopes to attain win- win solutions for people involved in the conflicts with each other. Trained mediators facilitates transformative mediations processes in order to encourage face to face dialogues between the conflicting parties, discuss issues and concerns, build understanding among other important aspects which concerns of conflict solving.
Mediators employ various techniques in order tom open as well as improve dialogues between the disputants, with an aim of helping the parties to reach to an agreement that have concrete effects especially on the disputed issue. It is worth noting that, in mediation conflict the mediators must be entirely impartial to achieve best outcomes. Mediation conflicts are usually used in solving many disputes like diplomatic, legal, commercial, family, community matters among others. Third part representatives may contract and arbitrate between corporations and unions. For instant, in many part of the world, when workers union goes on strike, disputes arise, concerned parties can agree to third party in settling agreement or contracts between the corporation and the unions.
Importance’s of mediation conflict
It is clear that many dispute especially those that involve country, community among other organizations results to mediation conflict to solve the problem. For example, in Africa, where elections irregularities are common phenomenon, concerned parties results to mediation processes all aimed at resolving the issue at hand. The recent one was in Ivory Coast, West Africa where prominent leaders such United Nation organization secretary among other African leaders were selected to solve election disputes which faced the country. From this example it can be deduced that the popularity of mediation conflict has increased drastically over the recent past due to the numerous advantages held by this method. First, parties concerned may select mediation, which is mostly a less expensive route in resolving disputes as compared to other methods. In many instances the mediators may charge fees comparable to the attorney, but the mediation process takes less time than litigating through the standard legal channels .In most cases, mediation achieves resolutions within hours, thus consuming less time which translate to less overall costs. As indicated earlier, mediation process offers more confidential processes. This is due to the fact that, no one except the parties to disputes and mediator know what is going on in the mediation forums. In most cases the mediators involved in the process normally destroys the notes taken in the forums and agreement all in an aim of enhancing confidentiality.
In some countries, the mediators facilitating certain disputes are protected from testifying in court cases in line with the progress or the content of mediation. The only exception to strict confidentiality involves threatened criminal activities and child abuse. The other advantage of mediation conflict its ability to offer flexible and multiple possibilities, for resolving disputes as well as control possessed by parties involved in dispute have. Mediators are able to produce results which is mutually agreeable or win-win situation for concerned parties. Due to the fact that, results are attained by parties working together and are mutually agreeable, compliance with mediated agreements are usually high as compared to other forms of legal processes. It is worth noting that the mediated agreements are fully enforceable in courts of law. The other advantage of mediation conflict process is the fact that, the mediation process consists of mutual endeavors.
Unlike the other forms of negotiations, where parties concerned are usually entrenched to their positions, parties, in mediation usually seek mediation due to the fact that they are willing to work towards resolutions to their disputes. This makes it easy for them to work with each another rather than against each other. This makes it easy for parties to be amenable to a mutual understanding to other party’s side and thus work on the underlying issues to dispute. This is crucial as it helps in preserving relationship between the parties especially after reaching to an agreement.
Challenges facing mediation conflict
One of the main challenges facing the mediation conflict is when the mediator(s) becomes biased to one side of the parties, resulting to lack of confidence to the parties concerned. This becomes hard to reach to an agreement. In most cases the injured party may result to litigate the case in a court of law, thus making the process to take longer than usual hence more costly as compared to resolving the dispute in a court of law.
As indicated by AMA (American management Association), middle and superior managers spends at least two hours on daily basis to solve conflict situations at the work places. Conflict is a problem which results to reduced productivity and lowers morale at work places. In most cases, interpersonal conflicts are known to result to more damages not only in work places but in other n places as compared to other forms of conflict. Collier stipulates that interpersonal or social conflicts which manifests between people who are involved in projects or between varied groups of interests. Interpersonal conflict is a process through which persons or department frustrate each other from obtaining desired results. Observation of this type of conflict is very conflict from the start to the end.
Causes of interpersonal conflict
Identifications and dislocation from groups
It is important noting that, nota all groups or individuals are compatible in an organization or other setups, as they have different principles that may not always be objective. In work places, interpersonal conflicts are rampant in cases where the relationship between members are not well bonded, making some members to be advantage seekers thus easily indentifying them from a given group.
Differences of status, power and culture
When one has the power of decision over the others, conflict may arise if the authorized person takes unjust decisions resulting to a conflict.
Differences of personality
This mainly entails people who have strong personalities, those with internal problems among others. The differences of personality are usually the causes of communication problems both at work and other places. The disturbances or barriers makes messages to be transmitted and received wrongly thus resulting to decreased relationships between the parties concerned.
In many wok places, the issue of dead lines has been known to result to interpersonal conflicts. Coupled with other forms of pressure in work places, these results to destructive emotional reactions. It is thus important for managers to take into account the capacity which any given employee can adapt to.
Ways of solving interpersonal conflicts
There are different means that are used to solve problems arising interpersonal conflict. In most cases people in dispute are forced to adopt to each other weaknesses, which represent the cooperative behaviors. As indicated by Augsburger, adaptability represents acts of altruism, long term strategies in direction of encouragement in cooperation’s with other individuals and in acceptance to the others desires. How ever some may view adaptability as a form of weakness hence may hamper the achievement of desired results in interpersonal conflict. In solving interpersonal conflict several mediation strategies may be put in place and this varies greatly from one place to the other. MCS (Mediation control strategy) is one of the strategies employed by several firms to solve interpersonal conflicts. In this case, the manager intervenes in the conflict at hand, by influencing the processes in getting to the final decision.
This way, communication between the two parties is facilitated, clarifies the problem, maintain order, but doesn’t dictate on decision to be made at the end. The decision is made by the aggrieved party thus achieving the desired results. Generally, this is a higher control of process, but low control of results. PCS (Partial control strategy) is the other strategy where the manager or any other person resolving the interpersonal conflict, intervenes in solving conflict through influencing results of final decisions being made. In this case he assumes the entire control of final decision, but does not interfere with the process. This is thus a higher control of results, but low control of process. Other strategies used in solving interpersonal conflicts includes the Total control strategy, where the managers influence the process as well as the results, LCS (Limited Control strategy), where managers shares with each side the control of process and at the same time that of the result among other notable aspects of solving interpersonal conflict.
However, conflicts are harmful in work places among other areas they are important for the survival of a group of people or an organization. Conflicts results to a harmonized work force especially when the problem at hand is adequately handled. In all instances, win-win situations for both parties must be enhanced. This way it ensures that a healthy relationship is maintained among the aggrieved parties. This fosters good relationship, which is crucial for any society. In conclusion, it can be deduced that communication conflict exists when there messages are misinterpreted by either the receiver or the sender or both. The higher the level of misunderstanding which exists between the parties, the more the costly the conflict is. At all levels of stages and level of conflicts, clear communication among the parties is vital as it usually works in reducing unwise decisions by and cost for participants.