Conflicts occur almost all the time. When they do, appropriate means of finding proper solutions ought to be implemented. For any adequate resolution to any given problem, objective and tactful approaches must be employed by whoever acts as the arbiter in such circumstances. I would like to explore the different communication styles used, suggest how Betsy would come up with an effective communication style when trying to resolve the dispute between Rebecca and Lindsey and apply the different conflict resolution paradigms in resolving the case. This is with respect to the scene at hand.
Betsy has a responsibility. She needs to find a solution to end the sour relationship between the two roommates - Lindsey and Rebecca. She has to help the girls realize their key reason of being in school is studying. Through her initiative and dutiful willingness to assist the affected individuals, she has to find a permanent remedy to the pending problem confrontations and make the girls understand that each person has a right to worship, and that they should not be coerced to abandon their faith just because of any form of religious difference between them. The two roommates are simply ignorant kids who need assistance, and Betsy is fully responsible to ensure they get back on the right track.
There are three types of communication styles: passive, assertive and aggressive. Betsy, from the very start, has expressly indicated her direction of persuading the two girls two tolerate each other. The two girls have, in their own ways, demonstrated their determination to defend their stands; they want to justify their silly decisions to maintain a hurtful relationship.
Betsy is ready to listen to the victims in her efforts to determine the real cause of that conflict. She sits with them and allows each one a chance to tell her what the matter is. Clearly, this is a sign of neutrality, and she indicates that her emotions are entirely unnecessary. She employs a passive style of communication.
Lindsey affirms her displeasure of her colleague’s practice of keeping many crosses in the room besides reading her Christian book and listening to Gregorian music. She said that she could not stand that at all. She does not care about Rebecca. She feels superior over her colleague. She talks with such an attitude, which implies that she is superior to her roommate. This is an aggressive style of communication.
Likewise, Rebecca expresses her discomfort with Lindsey’s walls and unbearable music. This is a defensive mechanism to the allegation raised against her by her colleague. It implies that they are equal and, therefore, each of them needs to be given their space. She treats her roommate as an equal. She, therefore, expects Lindsey to respect her, as well. Rebecca expressly uses an assertive style of communication.
Betsy needs to resolve the matter. As such, she has to establish facts as they are and use them appropriately. That means she must at first appear neutral and give each girl a chance to tell her side of the story. Once they convince her of the real cause, she then has to persuade them objectively to accept each other. She has to make them realize the need to appreciate each other’s values in faith and otherwise.
At each stage of her efforts to find a solution to the case, Betsy may apply a different style of communication. At first, she has to convince them that her feelings do not matter. She remains neutral and leaves the game in the hands of the people affected. That way, she applies the passive style of communication. In the middle of the whole process, she has to show them that she has considerable concern as a person who has a duty to discharge as a result of the situation at hand. She treats them equally and demands that they pay attention to what she says. At this stage, she employs the assertive style of communication. Finally, she must make a decision as an ultimate resolution to the conflict. At this point, she must employ an aggressive style of communication to remind them that she is superior of all of them.
Christopher Moore (1996) analyses conflict in the form of a circle model. This is Circle Conflict. In this model, there are five principal causes of conflict: interests, structure, value, data and relationship. In order to find an appropriate solution to the conflict, one must first establish the nature of that conflict. In this scenario, the conflict is of the type value. The two girls have different ways of life by virtue of their different faiths. Therefore, they find it quite a challenge trying to correlate. This is even unbelievable, because they are just in their first year at university. The remedy to this problem is helping the two to learn how to appreciate each other’s values and cope during their stay in school.
Another paradigm of conflict resolution thrives on the triangle of satisfaction model developed by Christopher Moore. There are conflicts of interest which arise from competition for incompatible needs. One would feel that the needs of their counterpart should be forfeited in order to suffice theirs. The needs in question may be procedural, substantive or psychological as represented by the three sides of the triangle. In this matter, each of the two roommates wants their colleagues to sacrifice their needs for their own selfish interests. Lindsey is uncomfortable with what Rebecca does; so is Rebecca. To solve the issue, Betsy has to make the children know that they have the right to what they have and do.
Finally, there is another paradigm and appreciation of the values that each one of them embraces. The issue of faith should not cause any rifts in their relationship as students will simply hamper their academic progress.
The issue of Rebecca and Lindsey is just an example of many conflicts that people face. Conflicts are everywhere. When we talk about conflicts of interest, institutions like universities, where diversity is high, face many challenges. That is why many schools have departments specially charged with the responsibility of conflict management..
In conclusion, everyone needs to appreciate efforts to end conflicts. They are inevitable in some cases. However, we are still a position to resolve such issues through appropriate means of communication, proper conflict resolution procedures and personal commitment to containing individual interests when conflicts do occur. Efficient means of conflict management anchors peaceful coexistence anywhere on this planet.