Communication Problems with Supervisor at the Workplace

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Daniel is a hardworking person who is always respectful and is loved by everyone at the office. He likes joking about everything and is frequently unofficially responsible for lightening the mood for nearly anyone at the workplace. He makes a real difference in enhancing the amiability of the office space. Ruby, the new supervisor, is a challenging lady who feels that the workplace must be ‘all-work-no-play.’ In the short time she has been with the company, she has managed to call nearly all employees in her department for a ‘talk’ involving things she would like to change and new methods she wants adopted for efficiency. Daniel has been her center of attention for a while now for ‘wasting the company time’ in useless chats and jokes. They had a serious verbal exchange last week that resulted in Ruby threatening to recommend Daniel’s termination.

I find it fascinating when some individuals, due to their egos, feel the need to dominate others or become controlling in situations that require collaborations. I feel that the cause of this kind of behavior is inferiority complex, which drives a person to think that other people undervalue them, and they need to show their might. Ruby’s behavior at the workplace may result in the demoralization of many workers which may lower the productivity. It is unhealthy for the company. I think co-workers should be encouraged to work together and the supervisors should act like a sign of confluence from which inspiration to achieve the company’s goals comes. Her attitude, unlike his predecessor, causes disgruntlement among other employees, and has, on many occasions resulted in verbal fights. Her confrontation with many of the employees results in intimidation. However, last week’s incidence with Daniel took a new turn when he became angry and fought back. He stood his ground, saying that he is one of the best employees and hardly distracts anyone.

Burton (1969) argues that people have different perspectives and points of views when it comes to conflict resolution. Whenever conflicts occur, it is always a good idea to seek an understanding of the real issues that sparked the animosity. People should learn to manage anger, and always resort to silence and inaction whenever they are angry at someone. This approach prevents the escalation of conflicts. Another alternative of resolving communication conflict would be to accommodate views that are different from a person’s. This style implies that one has a low concern for self and high concern for others and is willing to listen to voices of reason from other parties. Listening offers an alternative path of conflict resolution in which people iron out their differences without hurting each other either physically or verbally (Burton, 1969). Sometimes it would be unwise to take in another person’s idea without giving your own idea unless one is obeying.

The compromising approach in communication would be a third best alternative to a negotiated conflict. Whenever people fail to agree on a particular decision, they should be willing to compromise for the greater good, which is the restoration of calm. The compromising style implies that one has some moderate concern for both self and others (Mohr & Spekman, 1994). This style is a good alternative of resolving conflict although it produces a temporary solution at times since one may give up on some issues in order to protect a relationship.

Comparing the knowledge I learnt in class and the information I have gotten from the referenced books, I hold a great regard of the importance of resolving communication conflicts. The different conflict resolution styles give us a different view of the ways of resolving the conflict. Various techniques may be used to arrive at a truce or permanent and conclusive resolution. However, the most effective tool in communication is the willingness to compromise in order for everyone to be partly satisfied.

Racial Tension in a Hospital

Hospitals are a part of the public utilities, meaning everyone, regardless of their racial affiliations, physical, or economic attributes should be allowed to give service, depending on qualification, or receive service. I was shocked after watching a video showing an incident in a hospital in Toronto, Canada. A mother confronted the receptionists demanding that her son be treated by a white doctor (Brockbank & Xing, 2017). Apparently, she complained about the medical facility having too many brown workers. She got into a verbal fight with one of the witnesses and caused a scene that was recorded and posted on social media. The police had to intervene to calm the situation.

The lady seeking medication for her son may be termed as a white extremist who feels that other races are less superior and, therefore, the rest of the races have no place in the society. In the world of extremists, it seems that the society is organized in a pyramid in which certain races are occupants of the apex while others support them at the base. For instance, some people refuse to be served by people belonging to particular races and even go ahead to insult them. Many videos go viral on the Internet in which white people, perceived to be powerful and more dominant, seek to control the non-white population whether at work, restaurants, or hospitals. In the video showing the confrontation at the hospital, the lady berates other workers hurling race-based insults to which some of the witnesses respond by verbal confrontation. The police were called to intervene, which, I feel was the best way to handle the situation because they are a third-party that is respected by both conflicting sides.

In the current world, there are a lot of civil wars between different races or ethnic groups that neighbor with each other. Racial intolerance has costed millions of lives in the Holocaust and enslavement of black people among many others. It has caused animosity between different groups of people who may be ready to fight at any moment. People should develop beyond racial views and embrace diversity instead of killing each other due to physical attributes. Jalali & Lipset (1992) argue that conflicts can be resolved through principled negotiation. I tend to agree with this idea because negotiations brings about understanding between the conflicting parties. The police, in the racial altercation at the hospital in Toronto, was the mediator between the hospital staff and the sick child’s mother where medical services were offered to him at the same institution, thus signify a sense of tolerance.

An alternative method of conflict resolution would have been avoidance, in which either parties would resist the confrontation (Williams, 1994). If the mother needed a service from a white doctor, she should have sought for another hospital. Likewise, the hospital staff and witnesses should have asked her politely to register her complaints in calmness to avoid causing a scene.

From the research on the different opinions of different authors, I hold an opinion that racial and ethnic conflicts are common and normal in every society. In order to reduce its impact, various communities and races should find ways of coexistence in a way that avoids or prevents conflicts. In the event of any incidents, mediation should be used to bring peace and resolution.

Fight with a Best Friend

Friends are usually categorized into different classes depending on the level of closeness, best friends who share strong bonds, those who are close but without strong connections, and acquaintances. While growing up, at about 10 years of age, I got into a serious fight with my best friend, Zachary, because he took side of other friends that I did not consider being close to me. We ended up tearing each other’s school uniforms and stopped talking for a few weeks. This fight was unnecessary because it was caused by a very simple issue, which if I chose to ignore, would have prevented the fight.

I wanted to go home with Zachary so that we could play a new game I had bought on PlayStation. However, since he was popular in school, our classmates had selected him to be on one side of a football team for a game they were to play. I became jealous because I had not been picked which, at the time, seemed to me that I was not good enough. I do not like football to this date. However, I chose to confront my friend instead of supporting him. He became angry because he thought that I was trying to control him and the fight began. The best alternative would have been to compromise, in which I would have postponed our PlayStation game and cheered for Zachary, after which we would have enjoyed our time. Instead, we ended up fighting and crying.

According to Heitler (2012) conflicts among friends are usual. However, the outcome is dependent on whether the people in contention recognize the problem and choose to resolve it. It is only after recognition of the problem that appropriate methods of resolution can be sought. When children fight, mediation by an older party is necessary in order to avoid further fights. Friends should always be encouraged to repair their relationship, a trend that may become important in adulthood (Kennedy-Moore, 2015).

It is normal for people to have a sense of possession over their close friends; it is almost an entitlement to their support (Heitler, 2012). It is, however, the responsibility of friends to understand that everyone is their own individual and, regardless of their relationships, they have the liberty to make their own decisions without influence or judgment. Adults may understand the liberties that people have over their time and with whom they choose to spend their time. However, children have no knowledge of the limits. It is, however, the responsibility of adults to show the children that the power of socialization is being able to flexibly fit within any groups or scenarios. This means that compromising should be done to achieve common goals.

Misunderstanding due to Miscommunication

My ex-girlfriend had a habit of holding onto issues and always jumped into conclusions without waiting for an explanation. One of her male friend’s birthday was coming and she wanted me to go around with her to help get him a present. I was not comfortable doing that but I knew that I could not openly decline because it would anger her. I promised that I would help her and we picked a Saturday prior to the birthday, although I informed her that I could not guarantee that I could come along with her.

On Saturday morning, my mother asked me to run an errand, which I could not decline. I went and it began raining. As I was running for shelter I dropped my phone and the screen cracked to the extent that I could hardly use it. I thought the rain would take a shorter time but it went on until it was late in the night. I took a cab back home. I called my girlfriend to explain but her phone was off. When I went to her place the next day, her sister told me that she did not want to talk to me. I became busy with school for the rest of the week and only replaced my phone after four days. I left her several messages asking her to meet me but she never replied. I attended her friend’s birthday party and met her there. At first, she ignored me but after the celebrations I went straight to her and asked her to sit and talk. I explained the situation and she told me that she was angry because she thought I switched off my phone on purpose. We talked for a while and were able to resolve our problem.

The issue between us was that she felt insecure about me granting her request based on the fact that I told her I could not guarantee coming along to help her buy a present. When she could not reach me on phone, she concluded that I had made a conscious decision to avoid her altogether and decided to respond in a flight mechanism in which she became busy with other things to avoid me. Brandt (2014) argues that such a reaction to issues is responsible for the destruction of many relationships. I feel that the best alternative would have been for her to come to my home and seek an explanation of what had caused my unavailability or wait for my communication. Passive reaction by conflict avoidance sometimes prevents unwarranted fights in relationships (Seltzer, 2016).

Conflict with Teacher on Phone Usage

Mu friend Jared had a teacher in his first year of undergraduate that was strict and hardly ever let anyone into class after he had come in. He would quarrel and sometimes stop the lesson if he discovered anyone using a phone. Hared has a special beep indicating messages from all of his family members, and usually, no one would use a text message unless it was unavoidable. He received a message and since his mother was sick he was worried and had to read it. She asked him to take her to the hospital. Even before he could finish reading the teacher came and snatched his phone and began quarrelling. My friend became angry and packed his books in a hurry and left without the phone. This action embarrassed the teacher because other students laughed.

On the next day, Jared went to explain the situation to the teacher but he had reported the issue to the head of the department and told me that he needed no explanations because my friend was rude to him. Jared went to the head of department and explained that his mother had been sick and needed him urgently to help get her to the hospital. The teacher was summoned and they were able to resolve the issue. He was sorry for having given Jared no time to explain himself. After the incident, the teacher reduced his extra vigilance on phone usage and only asked the students to concentrate in class.

I feel that Jared’s incident may have helped the teacher to understand that every situation should be treated uniquely. Conflicts can only arise whenever there is a lack of understanding from one or all parties involved (Ramsay, 2001). Listening is a crucial approach in avoiding conflicts (Mayer, 2010).

References

Brandt, A. (2014). Is your reaction to conflict destroying your relationship? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mindful-anger/201410/is-your-reaction-conflict-destroying-your-relationship

Brockbank, N., & Xing, L. (2017). Video shows woman demand a ‘white doctor’ treat son at Mississauga, Ont., clinic. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/white-doctor-video-mississauga-1.4168199

Burton, J. W. (1969). Conflict & communication: the use of controlled communication in international relations. New York: Free Press.

Heitler, S. (2012). What makes conflict? How are conflicts resolved? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201211/what-makes-conflict-how-are-conflicts-resolved

Jalali, R., & Lipset, S. M. (1992). Racial and ethnic conflicts: A global perspective. Political Science Quarterly, 107(4), pp. 585-606.

Kennedy-Moore, E. (2015, December 21). Fights with friends: Help your child learn to resolve conflicts. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2015/12/fights-friends-help-child-learn-resolve-conflicts/

Mayer, B. (2010). The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Mohr, J., & Spekman, R. (1994). Characteristics of partnership success: partnership attributes, communication behavior, and conflict resolution techniques. Strategic management journal, 15(2), pp. 135-152.

Ramsay, M. A. (2001). Conflict in the health care workplace. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent), 14(2), pp. 138-139.

Seltzer, L. F. (2016). 6 steps to resolve relationship conflicts, once and for all. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201610/6-steps-resolve-relationship-conflicts-once-and-all

Williams, R. M. (1994). The sociology of ethnic conflicts: comparative international perspectives. Annual review of sociology, 20(1), pp. 49-79.

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