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Power affects each of us in every part of our lives. We often find ourselves wrapped in conflicts with little or no idea how to resolve them (Fisher & Sharp, 2004). The most challenging phase of conflict would be learning how to resolve them and manage them. Conflict can be defined by just having differences among two people. Although we as people differ about a lot of things which doesn’t necessary, lead to conflict (Wood, 2007). Throughout life we go through conflicts in school as an adolescent, at work with co-workers, in our families with siblings, and also conflicts amongst different cultures and beliefs.

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Now, we will journey through the different types of conflicts on how to resolve and manage them in our lives. Conficts on the Job Conflicts on the job is said to be normal, natural, and sometimes even necessary for continued growth and development (Withers& Wisinski, 2007). However resolving conflict focuses on managing conflict with in your own professional life. People I work with feel it is best to avoid conflict. Which it maybe best at times, it is not always recommended. The main issue with conflict is not so much that it occurs, but how you manage it when it does (Withers& Wisinski, 2007).

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Most often at work, conflicts seem to be about resources, turf boundaries, or conflicting goals (Withers& Wisinski, 2007). Many of the work conflicts I have encountered have been about conflicting goals and what I feel is right seem to be wrong in another co-workers opinion. When dealing with a work related conflict it is necessary to identify the core of the problem, determine the size and scope of the problem, and the easiest way to resolve the problem (Withers& Wisinski, 2007).

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By identifying the core problem of the conflict, it would exclude any other factors contributing to the conflict and just focus on the main one. Determining the scope of the problem would lead to the severity of the problem and if the problem is worth tackling (Withers& Wisinski, 2007). Sizing the problem looks into how many times the problem occur and is a factor that leads to the scope of the problem. When finding the easiest way to resolve a problem it is best to keep it simple. As workplace conflicts vary in nature, no one approach may inevitably work for every ituation encountered. But, whenever possible always, start with the easiest approach first. Legal action, if necessary, should be used only as a last resort after all other attempts to solve the problem have been tried first (Withers& Wisinski, 2007). When dealing with a work related conflict it is always important to follow the chain of commands, when bringing a situation to a superior. Bringing a problem to the superior’s attention will definitely help resolve the problem in a professional manner (Withers& Wisinski, 2007).

Given the opportunity, most companies will work to address the problem definitely if it involves the company legally. Many people are afraid they will loose their job if the “tattle tail”, on another co-worker, but they shouldn’t look at it in the perspective. Every co-worker should feel comfortable to communicate their concerns with their superior if they are being harassed or bullied in the work place. By keeping a peaceful work environment and communicating with the employee’s it would be easy to prevent conflicts from arising and to resolve them when they do evolve (Withers& Wisinski, 2007).

Cultural Conflicts Throughout life we as human-beings go through many cultural advantages and disadvantages that lead to conflicts among other cultures. Me being and African American female I have been through many cultural conflicts at work, school, and even in my family. Growing up I was never raised to refer to another person by there skin color, only by what was in the inside not outside. However, many people of my race face cultural conflicts all the time pertaining to the color of their skin, what they wear, the slang they speak, or the neighborhood they live in.

It is hard living in a society that already looks down at you when you go apply for a job, buy a car, got to college, or just even take a walk down the street. Conflicts between African Americans and Caucasians only leads to the issues being taken back to the slavery days and gets cultures wound up for debate about what is right and what is wrong (Moseley, 2007). There is a series that comes on BET (Black Entertainment Television) called “BET on Blast”, and it deals with real life conflicts and issues in the African American communities.

They have African American activist, preachers, artist, producers, and authors come together and talk about issues in the African American society that we deal with on a day to day basis; whether you are an average person in the street, a rapper, NBA player, or an actor/actress. Putting those issues and conflicts out there for the world to hear is very important because it lets other cultures know that the slavery days are over and it is time for us as African Americans to be accepted fully in society.

I feel we as African Americans have came a long way dealing with conflicts with other cultures in society, but I feel we still have a long way to go. With all of these different types of conflicts that we encounter at work, school, home, and in our own culture; the most important thing to be able to resolve and manage the conflicts is to communicate with one another and never hold things in. By communicating our difference with one another it can minimize the conflicts that may occur and it will also help manage the ones that have been resolved.

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Kylie Garcia

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