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Plastic Thingamajigs Inc., Case Study Analysis and Intervention

Conflict is natural, it will happen whether we want it to or not. Conflict is inevitable, but the results can be constructive (Caffarella, 1984, pg. 35). One place where conflict occurs is the workplace, which is why it is beneficial for employees to be skilled in conflict management. Employees at all levels who are skilled in conflict resolution bring gifts to their workplace; their skills help them and other employees with job satisfaction, promotions, and effectiveness in the workplace (Hocker, 2014, pg. 7 ). Conflict in the workplace affects employees negatively that affects their performance. When people experience conflicts, much of their energy goes into emotions and strategizing related to those conflicts (Hocker, 2014, pg. 3). Instead of focusing on work, employees will focus on the conflict. Ineffective resolution of interpersonal disputes adds to pessimism and hopelessness (Hocker, 2014, pg. 3). Effective conflict management is not only to deal with the conflict when it occurs but also to prevent it. To prevent means “to anticipate, to forestall, to come before, to be in readiness for an occasion, to deprive something of power, to hold or keep back, and to deal with beforehand (Hocker, 2014, pg. 12). At Plastic Thingamajigs Inc., Aurora was not able to prevent a conflict; she is currently in a conflict with two employees. Aurora is not sure how she got herself into this difficult situation and is not sure how to resolve it. This paper examines how Aurora got herself into this conflict and methods she can take to resolve the conflict.

Case Study Analysis
Aurora Millier is a fresh MBA graduate from Southwest Missouri State University. Only 6 months on the job at Plastic Thingamajigs Inc. as a first shift sales and shipping manager. Her job responsibilities are to handle paperwork while overseeing the factory floor. Filling orders from her shift and shipping them out is an important part of her job evaluation. From her desk she can see everything that occurs on the shipping floor and is able to keep track of all incoming and outgoing deliveries without having to directly interact with other management. Aurora at work most likely feels in a low power position since she is new and a fresh MBA graduate. Anyone who is new should be treated kindly by management. If lower-power people are continually subjected to harsh treatment or lack of goal attainment, they are likely to produce some organized resistance to the higher-power people (Hocker, 2014, pg. 128). If Aurora is treated harshly or unfairly she may respond negatively. It is the person who feels powerless who turns to one extreme or the other – giving up or aggression (Hocker, 2014, pg. 128). Eric Darling Aurora’s manager has designate power over Aurora and another employee by the name of Sam. Designated power comes from your position, such as being a manager, the mother or father of a family, or the leader of a team (Hocker, 2014, pg. 105). Eric is over confident and has constant feelings of higher power. Constant feelings of higher power can result in consequences such as devaluing of the less powerful and the avoidance of close social contact with them (Hocker, 2014, pg. 127). Once a relationship goes downhill, concerns with power heighten (Hocker, 2014, pg. 108). Being in power and having feelings of higher power can have consequences. People who have a lot of power often feel burdened with decision-making responsibilities, worry about being blamed, and feel responsible for doing more than is good for them (Hocker, 2014, pg. 127). Aurora might have been unaware of the power differences before and loved her job before the conflict.

Company’s Meetings and the Rest of the Staff. Aurora attended departmental staff meeting where the managers met with the general supervisor to discuss current goals and upcoming projects. Before the conflict the only times of tension occurred during weekly staff meetings. Training sessions were offered by the company on how to deal with conflict but seemed to be ineffective during these meetings. Managers need to learn conflict skills to intervene in disputes in their organization (Hocker, 2014, pg. 5). Eric as a manager should have been the most skilled at Plastic Thingamajigs Inc. in conflict management. It is important to study conflict, because if we don’t, we are more likely to repeat the damaging patterns we see on the job and in our homes (Hocker, 2014, pg. 8). All three employees, Eric, Sam, and Aurora, failed to show good conflict management skills. These employees could have benefited from conflict coaching. Conflict coaching is the process in which a coach and disputant communicate one-on-one for the purpose of developing the disputant’s conflict-related understanding (Brinkert, 2006, pg. 518). Even conflict coaching sounds expensive for Plastic Thingamajigs Inc. it might not be. Conflict coaching is primarily understood as a face-to-face interaction with occasional use of printed activities and resources; however, it can also reasonably (co-)occur via the telephone, Internet, videophone, or another medium (Brinkert, 2006, pg. 518). There was a missed opportunity to avoid conflict through regular classroom training and conflict coaching. Conflicts at these meetings continued, Eric Darling would do the most shouting and yelling at these meetings. Eric a manager had been with the company for about five years, is in a high power position, and used a dominating conflict style. A dominating, competitive, or “power over” style is characterized by aggressive and uncooperative behavior – pursuing your own concerns at the expense of another (Hocker, 2014, pg. 156). Dominating style has many positives. For example, dominating informs the other of one’s degree of commitment to the issue and can be used to demonstrate to the other party the importance of the issue (Hocker, 2014, pg. 157). But has one big negative attribute. Dominating responses can harm the relationship between the parties because of the focus on external goals (Hocker, 2014, pg. 157). In a company like Plastic Thingamajigs Inc. this can have serious consequences since everyone needs to work together. People using dominance often escalate the cycle by not listening to the needs of others, numbing themselves to injustice, focusing only on their own needs and tasks, making light of others’ needs, trivializing and minimizing the needs of others, and blaming the victim (Hocker, 2014, pg. 262). At times Eric would also use destructive domination tactics and threats. Eric belittled others for his own personal satisfaction and resorted to petty name-calling and other verbal abuses if employees responded. Destructive domination tactics have a win/lose orientation and reflect a belief that what one person gets, the other loses (Hocker, 2014, pg. 158). A threat is credible only if (1) the source is in a position to administer the punishment, (2) the source appears willing to invoke the punishment, and (3) the punishment is something to be avoided (Hocker, 2014, pg. 160). Sam Sneed is a second shift sales and shipping manager and recognized sales leader. Sam Sneed was immune to Eric’s tirades since they were friends. Sam would use obliging conflict style when dealing with Eric. Obliging is defined as “willing to do a service or kindness; helpful” (Hocker, 2014, pg. 163). The individual sets aside his or her concerns in favor of pleasing the other people involved (this relational goal may be the most important goal for the accommodating person) (Hocker, 2014, pg. 163). While with Aurora, Sam used a dominating style to get his way and then went into avoiding afterwards. Avoidance style is characterized by denial of the conflict, changing and avoiding topics, being noncommittal, and joking rather than dealing with the conflict at hand (Hocker, 2014, pg. 151). Avoidance can supply time to think of some other response to the conflict, as some people cannot “think on their feet” (Hocker, 2014, pg. 152). Since Sam did not value his relationship with Aurora, this style served him well. If the relationship itself is unimportant to one person or if others can manage the conflict without his or her involvement, avoidance is a wise choice (Hocker, 2014, pg. 152). Aurora used the avoidant style in these meetings since she never got involved in these arguments. In arguments outside these meetings Aurora starts out using a blend of dominating and integrating style but when she is confronted rudely with a dominating style of her coworkers she goes into avoiding. Integrating conflict style shows a high level of concern for one’s own goals, the goals of others, the successful solution of the problem, and the enhancement of the relationship (Hocker, 2014, pg. 165). Integrative style is the most positive conflict resolution style. By using integrating style, the parties work creatively to find new solutions that will maximize goals for them both (Hocker, 2014, pg. 166). But since both Eric and Sam do not see Aurora as a friend they choose not to use integrative style with her. If investment in the relationship or issue is low, integrating is not worth the time and energy consumed (Hocker, 2014, pg. 168). Eric and Sam are friends, they are a coalition. Coalition forms when some are closer to each other than they are to others (Hocker, 2014, pg. 234). When two people are “coalesced,” they orient to one another, share more information, and feel closer than to others (Hocker, 2014, pg. 234). For Aurora this coalition is a big negative. Coalitions serve to scapegoat other individuals or coalitions (Hocker, 2014, pg. 236).

Perceptions before the Conflict. Aurora left her purse in the office one day, got upset and went back to get it. Aurora noticed a delivery truck, which is odd that a truck would be leaving so late, this is when she started to make perceptions. Each person has a “lens” that gives that person a particular perspective, just as people use different types of glasses to see (Hocker, 2014, pg. 60). Perceptions are, in fact, “real,” and must be treated as important data (Hocker, 2014, pg. 60). What you see is all there is … until enough conversation occurs to change one’s views of the self, the other, and the relationship (Hocker, 2014, pg. 60). Aurora did not remember a delivery truck scheduled, checked with night manager to see what is going on. It is possible that it was a late rush delivery from her day shift that Aurora somehow missed. This is where Aurora becomes even angrier by making more perceptions and avoiding positive communication. When we are exposed to conflict, we tend to attribute any negative effects to the other rather than to ourselves (Hocker, 2014, pg. 61). We begin with an attribution of blame, and then choose our next conflict move based on our perception that the other is at fault (Hocker, 2014, pg. 61). We attribute our successes to our own efforts and our failures to external factors (Hocker, 2014, pg. 61). Without interaction with the other, the only “information, you have is what is going on in your own mind – your filter doesn’t have a chance to get corrected (Hocker, 2014, pg. 63). Prolonged thinking about disputes in the absence of communication focuses individuals on their own perspective and enhances biases toward seeing disputes as serious and holding partners responsible for conflicts (Hocker, 2014, pg. 63). But it is not only Aurora that is guilty of this; Sam also is trying to avoid communication. People involved in conflicts have perceptions about their own thoughts and feelings and perceptions about the other’s thoughts and feelings (Hocker, 2014, pg. 14).

Confrontation with Sam. As Aurora approached the loading dock she noted a surprised look on the face of Sam Sneed. Aurora asked Sam where the truck is headed for. Sam called Aurora “Mrs. Nosey”, and said that “this is his shift and has been doing it for past 30 years, never lost a shipment.” Boys and men are seen as valuing autonomy and independence more highly, learning to communicate in ways that preserve their independence from others (Hocker, 2014, pg. 65). Sam used negative nonverbal and verbal communication to express autonomy and independence. Conflict is present when there are joint communicative representations of it, verbal or nonverbal communication may be subtle (Hocker, 2014, pg. 14). Most likely both Aurora and Sam judge the other silently as to the amount of power each has. In a conflict people usually think the other person has more power and self-esteem (Hocker, 2014, pg. 20). This feeling of low power by Sam caused him to use defensive communication. When people use defensive communication, they are communicating a desire to protect themselves against pain, fear, personal responsibility, or new information (Hocker, 2014, pg. 23). Aurora said that she is not trying to pry but make sure records will balance in the morning. Sam responded that he will not barter and that everything is under control and paperwork will be in order as usual. This confrontation with Sam was a triggering event. A triggering even brings the conflict into the open (Caffarella, 1984, pg. 36). Aurora could have spent a little more time in planning this event. In planning a triggering event, it is very important to choose the right issues, time and place (Caffarella, 1984, pg. 36). This is where the conflict ended, it was unresolved. Unresolved prior conflict can lead to greater conflict. Those involved in a prior conflict may bring with them the aftermath of unresolved prior conflicts, and the greater this aftermath, the greater likelihood for further conflict (Caffarella, 1984, pg. 36).

After the Confrontation with Sam. After the confrontation Sam was relieved and knew that Eric would back him up. Sam knew that the shipment he sent out should have been credited to Aurora’s shift, but he did it to keep his position as number one producer. This was a topic goal that Sam was after. Topic, or content, goals emerge as different ideas about what to do, what decisions to make, where to go, how to allocate resources or other externally objectifiable issues (Hocker, 2014, pg. 75). Topic goals can be easily seen and talked about; they are external to us – we can point to them and say, “I want that.” (Hocker, 2014, pg. 76). Aurora on her way home scolded herself for being so intimidated, felt very uncomfortable, emotionally and physically drained. Aurora was mostly affected by a relationship goal. Relationship goals define how each party wants to be treated by the other and the amount of interdependence they desire (how they define themselves as a unit). (Hocker, 2014, pg. 77). What started as a topic goal now became a relational goal. Relational goals will emerge in any ongoing dispute and must be recognized and managed (Hocker, 2014, pg. 77). We don’t see the other person as the villain because they disagree with us; we see them as the villain because of how they treat us (Hocker, 2014, pg. 80).

Aurora’s Conversation with Her Husband Patrick. Aurora explained the evening’s events to her husband Patrick as he fixed dinner. Unlike Sam, Aurora cannot forget or let go this conflict and is currently in a hidden conflict. Hidden conflict refers to living conflict out in the crevices and not confronting the target of the conflict (Horvath, 2008, pg. 5). Part of hidden conflict, employees are prone to express dissent outside the organization to family members and non-work friends (Horvath, 2008, pg. 5). Aurora in a low power position needs someone to talk to about this. The employees that enact hidden conflict tend to hold non-management positions and displace their dissent as part of their employee experience (Horvath, 2008, pg. 5). Aurora is spending a good portion of her time outside of work thinking about this conflict. Retrospective goals emerge after the conflict is over (Hocker, 2014, pg. 97). People spend a large part of their time and energy justifying decisions they have made in the past (Hocker, 2014, pg. 97). They need to explain to themselves and others why they made the choices they did (Hocker, 2014, pg. 97). It can be good to go over what happened in the past to plan for the future. In retrospective accounts, your prospective goals for the next episode are formulated (Hocker, 2014, pg. 97). Learning from experience is a good thing and a conversation with Patrick can give new ideas to conflict resolution. We carry our interpersonal relationships into our workplaces; work life and private life intertwine (Hocker, 2014, pg. 5). Patrick reassured Aurora that she had done the right thing and should talk with Sam in private about his rude behavior. This way Aurora would avoid the avoid/criticize loop. In the avoid/criticize loop, you avoid bringing up an issue to people directly and spend time talking about them to others (Hocker, 2014, pg. 153). Patrick added that if she did not stick up for herself then no one would.

Aurora Back at Work Monday. Aurora was angry and investigated the mysterious truck from Friday night. Anger differs from aggression in that aggression is an attack, whereas “anger is the feeling connected to a perceived unfairness or injustice” (Hocker, 2014, pg. 201). Angrily went through the logs from the previous night, found nothing out of place – everything looked legitimate. What caught her eye was that the shipment consisted entirely of product logged under her watch and slated for delivery the next morning. Aurora did all the work, while Sam got credit, made his numbers look great. Aurora understood Eric’s management style, but felt he was the one to whom she should carry her complaint. Eric’s management style is that he expected people to take care of their own business. Aurora at this time decided not to confront Sam and not to speak with Eric, hoping issue will not reoccur. Ignoring workplace conflict sets destructive forces in motion that decrease productivity, spread the conflict to others, and lead to lower morale (Hocker, 2014, pg. 6).

Conflict with Sam Again. Two weeks later same thing occurred; shipment under her billing was missing, and was listed on Sam’s inventory instead. Aurora approached Sam; Sam gave Aurora a piercing stare and asked her: “Do you know who you are talking to?” The next day Aurora made an appointment to meet with her supervisor Eric the following day. All afternoon and long into the evening, Aurora created a detailed report of what was going on. At home Aurora informed Patrick of the meeting the next day. Patrick cautioned Aurora to be very careful about choosing her words.

Meeting and Conflict with Eric. Aurora arrived promptly at nine the next morning for her meeting with Eric Darling. Aurora took a seat directly across from Eric, which is a negative. Sitting directly across is a confrontational seating position, Aurora should have sat at a 90 degree angle. Eric started the conversation kindly by asking: “What seems to be the problem Aurora? Sam tells me you interfered with his job the other night.” Aurora answered kindly but was judgmental. After the second question Eric responded rudely with a bad tone. When anger is expressed directly, the person to whom it is directed is warned – change or face the consequences (Hocker, 2014, pg. 201). Gender differences play a big role. Men are more likely than women to take control of the conversation to lead it in the direction they want (Hocker, 2014, pg. 64). Women often remain in the “listening” role rather than “lecturing,” which puts them at a disadvantage in having their voices heard (Hocker, 2014, pg. 65). Aurora did not argue with Eric; thanked him for his time and left. In organizations, women are more likely to leave than men are when there is ongoing, pervasive conflict (Hocker, 2014, pg. 65). Aurora left the office thinking that her complaint was not worth it, that she angered her supervisor. Aurora felt that the entire confrontation with Eric had been like being on a sinking ship without any lifeboats. This is why Eric should have had more training in conflict management, to prevent such negative outcomes. Organizations depend on leaders to become expert conflict managers (Hocker, 2014, pg. 6). Eric concentrated more on the topic goal and ignored relationship issues. When leaders ignore relationship issues, the conflict will go underground and get more toxic (Hocker, 2014, pg. 6). This is again an unresolved conflict. Unresolved conflict in the workplace leads to low productivity and being fired (Hocker, 2014, pg. 8). When you come to see your work relationship (or personal relationship) as “having no hope,” that belief alone predicts dissolution (Hocker, 2014, pg. 62).

Topic, Relational, and Identity Goals. With Eric there are topic, relational, and identity or face-saving goals in this conflict. As conflicts increase in intensity, the parties shift to face saving as a key goal (Hocker, 2014, pg. 81). Eric felt that his identity is being attacked, that Aurora might be telling him that he is not a good supervisor or manager. When identity or face saving becomes an issue, people are less flexible and engage in destructive moves (Hocker, 2014, pg. 81). In some instances, protecting against loss of face becomes so central an issue that it swamps the importance of the tangible issues at stake and generates intense conflicts that can impede progress toward agreement and increase substantially the costs of conflict resolution (Hocker, 2014, pg. 81). Now Aurora’s identity is being attacked. Since people often act out of self-interest, what normally happens as a dispute progresses is that people protect their own face, or identity, while damaging the other’s face, or identity (Hocker, 2014, pg. 82). Eric is trying to avoid seeing any problems with Sam. People try to save face by refusing to admit that a conflict exists, since to acknowledge the conflict might mean that events are out of control, which might make people feel uncomfortable and incompetent (Hocker, 2014, pg. 84). Many people see identity and relational goals as “intangible” because they are difficult to specify, yet even though they may be difficult to put in specific terms, they nevertheless are the key drivers in all conflicts (Hocker, 2014, pg. 88). A shift in topic, relational, identity, and process goals is normal. Goals don’t stay static but undergo transformation before, during, and after disputes (Hocker, 2014, pg. 92).

Power currencies. Power currencies are an important part in every conflict. Power currencies depend on how much your particular resources are valued by the other persons in a relationship context (Hocker, 2014, pg. 119). Power depends on having currencies that other people need (Hocker, 2014, pg. 119). Aurora at this point realizes that her power currencies are low at Plastic Thingamajigs Inc. Aurora has only been at her job 6 months and right out of college. Her expertise currency is low when compared to Eric and Sam. Expertise currencies are special skills or knowledge someone else values (Hocker, 2014, pg. 121). Sam has interpersonal linkages currency to Eric who defends him. Interpersonal currencies dependent on your interpersonal contacts and network of friends and supporters (Hocker, 2014, pg. 120). People often obtain power based on whom they know and with whom they associate (Hocker, 2014, pg. 120). Eric as a supervisor has resource control currency. Resource control currency often results from attaining a formal position that brings resources to you (Hocker, 2014, pg. 120). Whatever the position – secretary, boss, chairperson, teacher, manager, or volunteer – you will be in a position to control resources that others desire (Hocker, 2014, pg. 120). All three employees lack communication currency, because none of them resolved this conflict. One cannot become an effective conflict manager without excellent interpersonal communication skills (Hocker, 2014, pg. 121).

Conflict Intervention
There are two conflicts; one conflict is with Sam and the other with Eric. Both conflicts have differing issues and types of resolutions that Aurora can take.

Saving Face. The first thing Aurora should tackle is to save face whenever possible. She needs to treat others with goodwill, giving them the benefit of the doubt even when they have been belligerent or unproductive (Hocker, 2014, pg. 84). Even saying something like, “I know you were doing what you though was best” gives the other person the benefit of the doubt and is usually true (Hocker, 2014, pg. 85). Aurora could have complemented Sam on the good work that he does for the company. Afterwards could have asked him questions. Avoid direct threats and use persuasion and face-saving communication instead (Hocker, 2014, pg. 85). Aurora did not use any threats and needs to make sure that she does not in the future. Even when you don’t have to listen because you have the power to make a decision independently, listening and taking care of others’ concerns as best you can helps them feel included, approved of, and respected (Hocker, 2014, pg. 85). Aurora did do a good job of listening, although Sam did not. Needs to especially ask more questions, during the last conflict with Eric no questions were asked. By asking questions instead of attacking, you give the other person a chance to change in the interaction instead of entrenching or digging in (Hocker, 2014, pg. 85).

Protect from Verbal Abuse. Aurora needs to stand up to herself when being verbally abused by both Eric and Sam. Listening to belittling; hostile blame; ridicule; demeaning or untrue accusations, sarcastic name-calling; contempt; or actual physical threats is not good conflict management (Hocker, 2014, pg. 217). The other person should be told, firmly and consistently, “I won’t listen to this kind of talk. I can’t hear anything important you’re trying to say when you’re demeaning me” (Hocker, 2014, pg. 217). Then you can leave or hang up the phone, giving the other person a chance to cool off (Hocker, 2014, pg. 217). This is especially true when feeling overpowered.

Balancing Power. Since Aurora is in a low power position, she needs to find a way to balance the power. Equalizing power is not always possible, sometimes you must decide whether to “leave the table” (Hocker, 2014, pg. 262). Aurora could take drastic steps like, for example, finding a new job. Before for now she still has a change to resolve the conflict. If you know that you do not have the skills, the support, the power, and the opportunity to negotiate equally, you may decide to disengage, avoid, or get help from someone who can balance the power (Hocker, 2014, pg. 262). Aurora could also have found a different employee that noticed what Sam is doing. Help might come from an attorney, mediator, supervisor, parent, friend, or co-worker (Hocker, 2014, pg. 262). Aurora could also talk to Eric’s manager to help in de-escalation if all else was tried. Negotiation depends on at least temporarily balanced power (Hocker, 2014, pg. 262).

X-Y-Z Formula and Bridging with Sam. To get over the conflict with Sam, Aurora needs to use the X-Y-Z formula. The X-Y-Z formula will help one express any difficult emotion (Hocker, 2014, pg. 216). Componants of X-Y-Z formula are (1) When you do X in this specific situation, (2) I feel Y, (3) What I want instead is Z (Hocker, 2014, pg. 216). Aurora can start out with, when you ship out shipment the night before that is supposed to go out for delivery the next morning, I feel angry, what I want instead is that everything is shipped out correctly. The X-Y-Z skill has the advantage of clarifying the issue of concern for the recipient of strong emotion and urging the sender to take responsibility for his or her emotional reaction (Hocker, 2014, pg. 216). Aurora could have also figured out some way to bridge the issue. Bridging invents new options to meet the other side’s needs (Hocker, 2014, pg. 266). This way both Aurora’s and Sam’s number look good.

Begin from the Third Story with Eric. Since Eric and Sam have a coalition, Aurora should spend less time complaining to Eric about Sam. Aurora should describe the situation with Eric in a third story instead of from our or her perspective. Our story sends up flares, warning them to defend themselves or to counterattack (Stone, 2010, pg. 148). Our story invariably (though often unintentionally) communicates a judgment about them – the kind of person they are – and the fact that inside our version of the events, they are the problem (Stone, 2010, pg. 148). By using our story Eric’s identity was damaged. We trigger the other person’s Identity Conversation from the outset, and there’s no room in our agenda for their story (Stone, 2010, pg. 149). This is especially damaging since Eric and Sam are a coalition. Attacking Sam is attacking Eric. By leaving their story out, we implicitly set up a trade-off between their version of events and our version, between our feelings and theirs (Stone, 2010, pg. 149). Aurora can avoid this by using the Third Story. The Third Story is the one a keen observer would tell, someone with no stake in our particular problem (Stone, 2010, pg. 150). Using the Third Story means describing the problem between the parties in a way that rings true for both sides simultaneously (Stone, 2010, pg. 150). The Third Story removes the judgment from the description, and instead describes the problem as a difference between Eric and Aurora (Stone, 2010, pg. 151). Your purpose in opening the conversation is to invite the other person into a joint exploration (Stone, 2010, pg. 153). Just like a mediator would do except that this would need to be done by Aurora. After the last conversation with Eric, Aurora can return the next day to start over with the Third Story. You take whatever the other person says and use it as their half of a description from the Third Story (Stone, 2010, pg. 150). Aurora can start the conversation in Third Person as, “It sounds like you’re pretty unhappy with how I treated Sam. I have a problem in how you deal with Sam also, so I think we each have different opinions and assumptions about this. It seems like that would be a good thing for us to talk about.” Aurora would have acknowledged Eric’s side of the conflict as an important part of the conversation, but also included her part in the process of understanding the problem. This way there is a shift from arguing toward understanding.

Aurora’s current situation is not good; to start enjoying her employment at Plastic Thingamajigs Inc. again she needs to resolve this conflict. Aurora’s personal and workplace history affected the choices that she used to resolve the conflict. Personal and workplace history has taught you either to jump right into conflict or to strenuously attempt to reduce or avoid it (Hocker, 2014, pg. 38). The methods that have been listed can help Aurora resolve this conflict. Aurora is dependent upon Eric and Sam. A person who is not dependent upon another – that is, who has no special interest in what the other does – has no conflict with that other person (Hocker, 2014, pg. 15). There is no was out of this situation other than getting the conflict resolved. Conflict is natural, it will always occur. This is just one area that it occurred for Aurora; she will have many more conflicts in the future. Resolving this conflict will teach her new skills in order to tackle the next conflict.


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