Conflicts can sometimes be difficult to resolve, so in my HDO class we’ve learned about different strategies to handle conflicts. There are four methods for solving disputes: 1. Arbitration – Power goes to the arbiter, 2. Mediation – The disputes need to agree, 3. Votes – Majority rules, 4. Juries – A consensus.
I recently had a conflict with a group assignment that I had to do for school. There are 5 people in my group, and we always have to find time to get together to do our work. It was just the other day, no one had come up with a plan, so someone finally sent a message asking when we were going to do our assignment. Of course, everyone suggested different days and times. The person who sent the initial message picked a time and asked if everyone agreed. Four out of Five group members agreed to the time, and the other person wasn’t thrilled, so we had to get them to agree.
So, what strategies did we use? In this case, arbitration and mediation were used to solve our dispute. Arbitration was used because the person who sent the initial message had power because they were the first one to say anything about the assignment. Mediation is used because we had to get the other member to agree. It’s a fairly simple example.
Another conflict that I constantly run into is having a group of people pick somewhere to eat. It’s a nightmare. Everyone is craving something different, or some people are really picky with food or restaurants, not fun. So, needless to say, I was a part of this conflict once again. What did I do? I gave a list of three places for them to vote on. The two with the highest votes would move on, and I made them choose between those two options. We ended up with three out of four people choosing the same restaurant, so it worked out.
Something that I’ve learned in my class is that turning the first people is the hardest, and it’s true. At first, no one even wanted to vote. I had to use my mediation skills just to convince them to vote on a place to eat. Another strategy that I used beside mediation was votes! There are four types of power in votes: 1. Plurality – Most votes, 2. Majority – Winning more than 50%, 3. Super Majority – Winning more than 2/3, 4. Voting System – Majority opinion rules, minority gets little representation. Super majority is what we experienced in my restaurant example. More than 2/3 of people voted for one restaurant.
Learning how to resolve disputes/conflicts helps students in their futures. Conflicts are something we experience daily, even if they’re little ones. Knowing different strategies on how to handle them can not only help you in your career, but it can help you in your personal life, as well. Although it can be difficult to observe a situation that you’re in, it is possible.