Conflict Focus

For the Portfolio Project you will have the opportunity to apply what you have learned about conflict and persuasion by analyzing a personal conflict situation you have experienced. You will apply and assess the skills and theories presented in this course as they relate to your case study.

To support your application of concepts, terms, techniques, and theories, draw on and discuss 4-6 credible/academic sources other than our assigned books (the journal articles are okay). The CSU-Global Library is a good place to find credible sources.

Organize your paper per the sections below to complete your analysis of the personal conflict situation.

Section One: Introduction—Situation Overview (approximately 2 pages)
Analyze a recent (i.e., within the last 12 months) interpersonal conflict you have directly experienced (not one described to you by a family member, friend, or coworker). In this section focus on WHAT happened to the individuals involved in the conflict. Write a narrative of the conflict and communication process as if you were telling it to another person.

Here are some questions to keep in mind (no need to answer each one; they are offered as possible items for consideration):

  • What was the main issue over which the conflict occurred? What was the triggering event? What gave rise to the conflict?
  • Who was involved? What were the relationships among those involved? What power, if any, was evident in the relationship(s)?
  • How do you think the other person(s) in the conflict viewed and defined the conflict?

Besides the individuals directly involved in the conflict,

  • What others were involved?
  • How did the conflict affect them?
  • What kinds of feelings did the conflict arouse in you—anger, frustration, etc.? Can you explain these emotions in terms of what the course materials and outside sources explain about conflict?
  • Why is the conflict experience worthy of analysis? What can you and your reader expect to gain by examining and analyzing the interaction?

Please be specific in use of pronouns and names of people within the interaction. If you want to maintain anonymity of your conflict participants, you may create pseudonyms rather than referring to individuals by position or through some other naming device.

Section Two: Theoretical Connections (approximately 3-4 pages)
The application step of this Portfolio Project incorporates the theoretical perspectives covered in class. To explain your understanding of these theories, indicate which of the following theories of conflict was most useful for examining your behavior and the reaction of others in the narrative:

  • Psychodynamic Theory
  • Attribution Theory
  • Uncertainty Theory
  • Social Exchange Theory
  • Systems Theory
  • Link this analysis to theory explanations from your assigned readings and outside sources.

Section Three: Skills Assessment (approximately 3-4 pages)
Evaluate the interaction by applying techniques and skills covered in the course. Which of the following methods are applicable to the interaction that is your case study and why?

  • Communication phases and processes in conflict
  • Patterns and cycles in constructive and destructive conflict processes
  • Communication options in conflict
  • The S-T-L-C System
  • Conflict climates
  • The Negotiation Method
  • BATNA—Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement
  • Negotiation jujitsu
  • Forgiveness and reconciliation

Support your position with reference to the assigned readings and your outside sources.

Section Four: Persuasion Assessment (approximately 1 page)
How did persuasion affect the conflict and/or the conflict resolution?  Be sure to use persuasion terminology to examine the role of persuasion in the conflict/the conflict resolution.  You could use any of the following:

  • Identification
  • Ethos
  • Pathos
  • Logos
  • Cultural influences on persuasion

Section Five: Conclusion and Reflection—Your Overall Learning and Future Application (approximately 1 page)
In conclusion, briefly summarize and restate the main point of your essay. Then address your plans for future learning and application of conflict management and/or persuasion skills.

Here are some questions to keep in mind:

  • How have your perspectives changed with regard to conflict management and/or persuasion? What has changed? What hasn’t changed?
  • How do you assess your learning in the class?
  • How do you see yourself engaging in a lifetime of learning about this issue?

Your Portfolio Project paper should be 10-12 pages in length, well written and organized, and formatted according to the CSU-Global Guide to Writing and APA Requirements.

Support your analysis with references from 4-6 credible sources other than assigned readings. The CSU-Global Library is an excellent place to search for sources. Be sure to cite all sources used in your paper in-text and in a References list at the end.

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