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Case Study: The Work Friends

Charlotte and Brian both work as pharmacists at a large drug store chain. Although it was against company policy for two employees in the same store to engage in an intimate relationship, they did so for two years. Brian and Charlotte successfully hid their relationship, but recently Charlotte broke off the relationship with Brian as they constantly fought about wanting to get married and have children. Charlotte made it clear she is not interested in getting married or having children and she got tired of discussing it all the time. She is currently dating a gentleman that she met online.

Brian was not happy about the decision to end the relationship and is aggressive and rude towards Charlotte when she is at work. He knows about her new relationship and is upset. Brian was a nice guy throughout their relationship and is very hurt that Charlotte doesn’t want a personal relationship with him anymore. He makes inappropriate and sexual comments and jokes towards her when no one is listening and is very passive aggressive when co-workers and customers are around. He constantly sends her emails and texts.

Charlotte has asked to relocate to another store but it will take three or more months before she will be able to transfer to another location. In the meantime Charlotte has to make do. She is ignoring Brian and not acknowledging his behavior, but this strategy doesn’t seem to be working.

1. Refer to “components of jealousy” (DeVito, Shimoni, & Clark, 2016, p. 194) and discuss what type of jealousy Brian is exhibiting. What strategies can Briantake to deal with his jealousy? Be specific, giving examples of what he can do in this particular case for each strategy.

2. What conflict styles are Charlotte and Brian, respectively, demonstrating by approaching their currentsituation? Explain your answer by referring to DeVito et al.’s guidelines about conflict styles on pp. 216-217.

3. Considering the “Ways to Manage Conflict” (DeVito et al., 2016, p. 217), what are strategies that both Charlotte and Brian can take to engage in effective professional communication while they continue to work in the same store? Discuss two strategies in your answer.

4. Before she gets transferred to a different store, Charlotte notices that Brian is avoiding doing the routine end-of-day tasks pharmacists complete when closing their store, leaving Charlotte to do most of the work. Charlotte is planning on speaking to Brian about what she’s noticed. Discuss how Charlotte can benefit from two of the assertiveness strategies (DeVito et al., 2016, pp. 252-253) in this professionalconversation with Brian.

Fill in the information below reflecting on your own personal experiences:

1. What strategies or approaches in Chapter 10 are most helpful to maintain interpersonal relationships and manage conflict in the workplace? Why?

2. Diversity in age is a characteristic of many workplaces. The textbook identifies and characterizes age groups, including “Boomers,” “Generation Xers,” and “Millennials” (DeVito, Shimoni, & Clark, 2016, p. 235). Consider which age group one of your work colleagues or supervisors belongs to. Does the person fit the general descriptions of a Boomer, Generation Xer, or Millennial? How would you use this information to foster positive and effective communication?

Case Study: The Work Friends

1. Brian is upset and sad after he came to know that Charlotte is dating another gentleman. Brian is found to make sexual comments and jokes when nobody is around them in the workplace. Also, Brian constantly sends Charlotte texts and emails. Brian often becomes passively aggressive when the customers and co-workers are around Charlotte. Hence, it can be concluded that Brian exhibits cognitive jealousy. Cognitive jealousy can be defined as jealousy which involves worrying, suspicious thinking and imagining of the several scenarios in which the partner inclined to another person.

The strategies that Brian must take to cope up with the jealousy include practicing an effective conflict management because Brain has already conveyed his feelings to charlotte and was honest throughout the relationship. However, Charlotte was unwilling to marry Brian and went to have another relationship with a gentleman. Thus, he must control his aggression and divert his thoughts to something constructive. Brian also can change the department where he and Charlotte are working. This way he can effectively move away from the proximity of Charlotte (Pines, 2013).  

2. Considering Charlotte, she is demonstrating a competing: I win, you lose conflict style. In this competing style the person who demonstrates such a style always thinks about themselves and neglects other feelings and desires. This kind of people have selfish tendencies and use people for their own benefits. During a verbal conflict these people often become verbally aggressive and blame the other person for negative outcome. In this conflict style one person wins at the loss of another person. This sort of conflict style leads to resentment and enmity between two people and in the end the problem does not get solved, it gets delayed (DeVito, Clark & Shimoni, 2015).

While on the other side the conflict style demonstrated by Brian is an avoiding: I lose, you lose style of conflict. In this conflict the person showing this conflict strategy is neither concerned about his own feeling nor the feeling of the other person. The person often avoids to communicate effectively relating to the problem and changes the subject when the issue surfaces. The concerned generally move away from the scene psychologically and physically. The avoiding tendency contributes very little towards the redressal of the issue or the problem. This issues need to be death actively and effectively else it affects a person psychologically (DeVito, Clark & Shimoni, 2015).

Part A: Answer the following questions

3. There are strategies that are effective to manage the conflict between Brian and Charlotte. For Brian the goal based strategy which includes both the short term and long term goals that Brian wants to achieve. Depending on the depth of the situation and conflict state between Brian and Charlotte, both the parties can come into a casual friendship so that the conflict can reduce between the two. Considering the fact that they both work in the same office, they can either ignore the conflicting issues or they can come into the relationship again. If they want to come into a relationship, then they can analyze the issues that previously caused their separation (Schlaerth, Ensari & Christian, 2013).

Another strategy is much more aligned to Charlotte because she is the one who broke the relationship with Brian. Charlotte must assess the situation, that is she must assess her actions and beliefs that caused the conflict among them. She can actively convey her message to Brian that she does not want get married now, however she will marry him after a few years. This way the issue that arose between them can be actively dealt and managed and the both stay in the same office and carryout their work.

4. Depending on the problematic situation, Charlotte can communicate actively with the Brian so that she does not face the extra burden of work pressure. Charlotte needs to be assertive because being assertive she will be able to communicating patiently as well put her views effectively in front of Brian. This philosophy which is similar to you win I lose philosophy. To communicate assertively a person needs to follow an effective pattern in which the Charlotte describes the specific problem, without evaluating or judging it. Then comes the step in which the Charlotte states that how this problem will affect her and will propose practical solutions that are workable. The final step involves effectively communication with the other person and confirming that the message is understood. Communicating politely is also an effective means of communication. There are however certain rules that a person must follow when he or she wants to convey important in workplace. Charlotte must be respectful of Brian’s time as well as be respectful of Brian’s territory, charlotte must follow the rules necessary for effective electronic communication (Ceravolo et al., 2012). 

1. The effective communication is the heart of maintaining proper interpersonal relationships and also effective conflict management. The acronym POSITIVE designates and signifies the basic principle of effective management. Positiveness signifies the positive attitude during a communication and reciprocating with appropriate expression to the other person. While it must be kept in mind that positiveness must be confused with agreement. This means that a person need not to agree with everything the other person says. Openness is another characteristic of conflict management in which the listener is willing to listen and empathize the other for anxieties and worries the other person is experiencing. Supportiveness in a workplace is encouraging the other colleagues so that they can perform their best, and whenever a problem arises, it is solved by collective effort. Interest is another most needed trait in the employee of a workplace. Employees must show in the other person, so that the other do not feel left out and avoided. Learning new skills and solving problems together in a workplace is an effective way to increase friendly atmosphere in a workplace. Truthfulness and Honesty are the two most important qualities that are most important in a workplace that enhances work environment and reduces corruption. Involvement means that the in a workplace every worker must work actively and participate in every venture that the organization is undertaking. Value means that in a workplace the employee must value the other person for their inner qualities. Equity entails that power and decision making must be shared to during a conflict (DeVito, Clark & Shimoni, 2015).

2. One of my work colleagues belongs to the Millennial group because my colleague was born after 1980. No, the general description of the Millennial does not adhere to my colleague because the characteristics of boomer are much appropriate for my colleague. He is brought up in an affluent family and opportunity filled environment. He is an idealist, competitive and competitive. These people are center of attraction and always look for personal gratification. However, there are certain characteristics of millennials that are found in my colleague, like the millennials grew up in an environment where electronics and social networking increasingly filled the environment. The other traits are that these people are very tolerant and they have one mantra, that is follow their heart and dreams (Stein, 2013).

To foster positive and effective communication, I think these boomers are highly frank and open. Hence, communicating effectively with these people is not a big deal. These boomers are very competitive and thus always look for opportunities to grow. Also, the new advent of the social networking opened up new ways of electronic communication which improves connectivity outside workplace. Thus, conflicts do not arise often when working with these people and the work done are more productive (Parment, 2013).

References

Ceravolo, D. J., Schwartz, D. G., FOLTZ?RAMOS, K. M., & Castner, J. (2012). Strengthening communication to overcome lateral violence. Journal of Nursing Management, 20(5), 599-606.

DeVito, J. A., Clark, D., & Shimoni, R. (2015). Messages: Building interpersonal communication skills. Pearson Education Canada

Parment, A. (2013). Generation Y vs. Baby Boomers: Shopping behavior, buyer involvement and implications for retailing. Journal of retailing and consumer services, 20(2), 189-199.

Pines, A. M. (2013). Romantic jealousy: Causes, symptoms, cures. Routledge.

Schlaerth, A., Ensari, N., & Christian, J. (2013). A meta-analytical review of the relationship between emotional intelligence and leaders’ constructive conflict management. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 16(1), 126-136.

Stein, J. (2013). Millennials: The me me me generation. Time magazine, 20, 1-8.

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