Conflicts and Effective Communication
Conflict is everywhere and is very hard to avoid. It exists in schools, hospitals, church, prison and major businesses. It could happen between employer-to-employer, employer-to-employee, and even employee-to-employee. When we hear the word conflict, we automatically think that something really bad is going on. In Managing Conflict in Organizations, M. Afzalur Rahim (200) explains that conflict has the potential for both positive and negative consequences. The main reason that conflict exists in the workplace is because we fail to actively listening and communicate properly. With that being said, some conflict in the workplace is better than no conflict at all because it allows communication in the workplace.
In this article, conflict is viewed as inevitable and learning how to manage it effectively is crucial (Slaughter, 2016). It is very important to know how to effectively handle conflict because it could lead to someone getting hurt or killed. One type of conflict discussed in this article is communication with inmates. The lack of proper communication is detrimental in this environment. It is very important to have the right communication technique. Throughout this article, the main focus is the Correctional Officer communication techniques and how the lack of it can cause conflict among the inmates.
How it works
There are several types of communication techniques in this article that can be used to manage the functional conflicts and resolve dysfunctional conflicts. Being an active listener is can be hard very hard at times, because sometimes we try to prepare an answer before the individual is finished talking. You must also “listen” to the entire body language of the inmate. By paying undivided attention to the inmate, you take away the inmate’s reason for escalating the situation (p. 28). Another communication technique that could be used is problem solving. This is between the managers and officers of the facility. They also need to have an open line of communication to keep the conflict down between them. This will allow them to focus on what is important and what is at stake. In this article, you would think that problem solving is not necessary, but it is very important. Mr. Slaughter also talks about how to resolve the dysfunctional conflicts with the inmates. Even though they are inmates, they still need their personal space when communicating with them. This requires the officers to not stand too far away because the inmates may think they don’t want to connect with them. Standing too close is not a good idea either, so the officer will have to get an idea of what is good for each inmate they have an encounter with.
In conclusion, the responsibility of the Correctional Officer or Supervisor is more than just giving out directions and orders and waiting for an outcome to happen. They have to deal with dysfunctional conflicts also. As the article explains, the role of the Correctional Officers is very important when dealing with conflicts and effective communication is very vital. It is important for everyone to recognize conflicts and be able to reveal the cause of the conflict and handle it quickly before serious problems arise or someone’s well-being is jeopardized. As Rahim (2000) notes, it is impossible to eliminate all conflict from an organization. He believes that a moderate amount of conflict is beneficial for an organization and is even necessary for maintaining effectiveness.