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Great advice from editor Abby Bodzick on how to handle all your conflicting situations.



Learn about different types of conflicts and how to handle them! pg. 4


Find your conflict style beverage!

Conflict Defined pg. 3



How to handle the HOT HEAD pg.11



an escalation of a disagreement.

Disagreements emerge when two parties have different beliefs and fail to see eyeto-eye. Both parties feel threatened by the different perceptions, which should the result in both sides to try and understand one another.

It’s as easy as ECBPE! E C B P E

scalating: Is the situation continually getting more tense? onnected: Are the two parties connected?

eliefs: Are there two conflicting beliefs? What are they? erceptions: Do both parties feel threatened by the different perceptions? xpress: If the previous steps apply to you, you are involved in a conflict. To solve the conflict, try to have both parties understand one another.



TIPS TO HELP IDENTIFY CONFLICT How to handle conflicts that haven’t been brought to the surface. CONFLICT DOESN’T ALWAYS CONSIST OF TWO PARTIES BEING MAD AT EACH OTHER. Often times conflict is thought of as two different parties both angry with one another, however, this is far from true. In a lot of conflicts, one party may not even know they’re doing anything to offend the other! When we look at Spongebob and Squidward, for example, conflict is blatant. However, Spongebob is unaware of the disputes. TIP: If you are angry with someone and they are unaware, tell them. It’s much better to get it out in the open, and you’ll be that much closer to finding a solution.

AVOIDANCE. When you think of conflict, what instantly comes to mind is yelling, screaming, and even your occasional hitting. However, some conflicts are never even spoke of! Often people will try to avoid the situation all together. TIP: Although you probably don’t want to hurt feelings or create an argument, if both parties admit to the conflict they can come to a sensible solution.



ASK ABBY You submitted them! Questions about conflicts and how to handle them answered by editor Abby Bodzick.

Dear Abby, I am working in a group for my COM class and “Bobby” in my group is very quiet the entire time and never has any input when we are discussing ideas. Just the other day there was a conflict when choosing an idea in our group and “Bobby” just responded with “I am busy, lets discuss this later,” then he left. What does this mean? -Hermann Hermann, Bobby is clearly showing strong signs of being an avoider when it comes to dealing with conflict. The best way to handle the situation would be for your group as a whole to set him down and tell him he needs to put forth more input and can’t run away from the conflicts you are facing as a team. The best way to put a conflict behind you is to face it and fix it. Bobby needs to be more involved even if he doesn’t like conflict. It is an inevitable part of life. When someone is avoiding a conflict they are only losing in the long run, because eventually the conflict will come up again causing your bottled

up emotions to explode. -Abby


Dear Abby, I am working in a group for a project in my Video production class and there is a girl in my group named, “Suzie” who is very controlling and always has to be right. When myself and other people in my group try to suggest ideas for our project “Suzie” always has to shut our ideas down and always make it seem like her idea is the best. I need help Abby, what does this mean? -Bertha Bertha, What you have on your hands is someone who is portraying a competitive conflict style. In her mind always being right is a sign of winning and that is what competitive conflict style people are only concerned about. In order to fix this, you or whoever else in your team needs to confront her about this pressing issue. I wouldn’t all go and confront her, because she may feel ganged up on, but one or maybe two people should. Once you talk to her about her competitive conflict style and how it is hurting the team she should begin to realize that her behavior is wrong. Competitive conflict styles are very harmful for teams that want to be successful, because as the saying goes, “there is no I in team.” -Abby

Dear Abby, I am involved in a group project in my COM 357 group and I have a problem with letting people walk all over me. I will speak up and give ideas in my group, but everyone else will have different ideas and I automatically go with their ideas over mine. I feel as though I let my team members walk all over me and I do not know how to fix this about myself. I feel as if I am the team doormat. I want to seem more assertive in my team, but not too demanding. What can I do? -Marvin Marvin, Don’t worry; this is a common problem with many people. It can be very frustrating, but there are ways to help fix your accommodating conflict style. I understand that you want to do what the group wants, but you have to let them give your ideas the same chance that everyone else’s ideas get. It may even be beneficial to sit down with your group and talk to them about how you feel like the team’s “door mat.” You need to have confidence in yourself and your ideas, because if you do not then everyone won’t be able to see how potentially awesome your ideas could be. -Abby 5

Dear Abby, I am having an issue with my COM 353 group. We have doing a project and none of us can agree on anything. We end up having to compromise with each other. For example I would put in a part of someone’s idea I didn’t really like if they would put in a part of my idea that they didn’t really like. I do not know if this is the best way to go about dealing with the issue, but it seems to work. I am just unhappy that we all have to work this way and we cannot all agree on a set idea. What should we do? -Harold Harold, I understand how you think this is the best way to go about dealing with your group. Compromising may seem like the only option sometimes, but there are ways to handle it. Your compromising conflict style is due to a lack of availability of time among your team member’s schedules. Schedules may seem difficult to align, but as a team you all need to figure out your priorities. Sometimes you do just get stuck with a group where all of you won’t agree on much and compromising is potentially the best option. If this happens, the best route you can take is to get with your group and discuss why everyone feels that each other’s ideas are not the best, and why compromising feels like the only way. -Abby

Dear Abby, My COM 353 group is having many issues when working together and coming up and agreeing on ideas. We are not seeing eye to eye on anything and I do not know how to handle this situation. Our conflicts are getting out of control and I am just asking you for advice regarding what the best way to handle conflicts are? -Mary

Mary, I am sorry that you are having so many issues in your group. The best way to handle conflict is to have a collaborating conflict style. This produces the best results when working with conflicts and everyone gets a “win win.” When collaborating everyone in your group is working toward a common goal and everyone needs to have assertive communication. You need to sit down with your group and discuss what you all need to change in order to achieve a collaborating conflict style. You all need to come together and progress as a unit in order to be successful in whatever you want to achieve. -Abby

Get your questions answered by Abby! Submit all question to today!



Ryan Gosling Q&A: The Source of Conflict Stereotypes in Men and Women in Hollywood

Q: So, Ryan Gosling, you’re a hot young actor who’s been around the Hollywood block more than once. Do you think conflict styles can be influenced by movies? A: First of all, thank you, I know I’m hot. And yes, I can say conflict is certainly portrayed in movies, and it can have an impact on viewers. I’ve seen it first hand. I especially think it influences stereotypes of men and women in conflict. Q: How are conflicts between men and women portrayed on screen? A: Well, you’ll often see men duking it out, fighting, and then getting over it right after the fight is done. But when women are portrayed having a conflict, you’ll often see them being sneakier about it, talking about them behind their back, or using words. There’s a reason we have Mean Girls, and not Mean Guys. Q: How do you think movies contribute to these stereotypes of gender conflict? A: I think it all comes down to reinforcing so-called norms that people are taught to accept as the truth. Movies aimed towards a younger demographic will show these conflicts in this way, and young people seeing it will naturally accept it as the truth. Q: Would you say movies do this for other types of conflict, not just gender? A: I think we can definitely see evidence of things like that. One of the most common known conflicts is the love triangle, and we see this all the time in movies. And not always, but usually, it’s between two guys and a girl. And what it all comes down to is a fight between the two guys. It really reinforces this old animalistic type of stereotype in conflict that whichever guy wins the fight gets the girl. People pick up on these messages, and interpret them as real life. I think a lot of people see these movies and think what they’re seeing is what really happens. Q: Have you participated in movies that portray stereotypical conflicts? A: Me? Of course not. I’m an Oscar nominated actor. I may portray a tough-guy image from time to time, but I avoid those types of movies. Q: What about The Notebook? You know, that movie you were in? That had conflict between you and Rachel McAdams based on stereotype, and promoted the love triangle between her and two guys, the subliminal messaging you just described? A: ………no comment.

Your Conflict Style Beverage

Escape the Fate (Avoiding) ¼ shot of avoidance 2 shots of passive aggression 3 ounces of ignorance 2 splashes of escalation over time Serve chilled

The Hello Goodbye (Compromising) 4 shots of trade offs 1/3 ounce of satisfaction ½ shot of perception 1 shot of trust Mix well

The Opposing Force (Competitive) ½ ounce of aggression 1 cup of power 2 shots of threat Shake don’t stir

The Side Dish (Accommodating) 2 shots of diplomacy ¼ ounce of yielding 1/3 ounce of preservation of relationships Place over ice

The Collaboration Station (Collaborating) 2 cups of common goals 3 shots of winning solutions ¼ shot of assertive communication 1 tbsp of integration Keep refrigerated


APRIL 2014

See what type of conflict is in store for you in the month of April and how to handle it.



March 21- April 20 Freedom is a word that you crave, and when it comes to conflict, this will mean you need the freedom to express exactly what is going on inside. You are what’s known as a competitive conflict style. At the same time however, this Fire Sign has a spark that can lead to explosion during conflict. Sometimes, you just need to get it out, and you’ll begin to feel better by doing so before others have even started responding.

July 23-August 24 You know you’re the star, no matter the scenario. Confidence is great, but sometimes it can do more harm than good! We all know you’re fabulous, but remember that there are many sides to a conflict! As long as you get the compliments you know you deserve, then your star can shine even brighter than before.

TAURUS April 21- May 21 You, my love, are the definition of competitive. Not that it’s bad ALL the time, but when it comes to conflict it’s hard for you to see eye to eye. My best solution? Take time to cool down when things get heated. Once you have time to understand the situation, you’re more susceptible to find a more plausible solution. Try to remember that there are always multiple ways to fix a problem! But if you choose to run for President, you’ll actually have people tune into the Presidential Debate!

GEMINI May 22-June 21 Well hey there, good communicator! You, my friend, are the definition of an excellent introvert! You like to take everything into consideration before you make your decision. This is a GREAT asset when it comes to assessing conflict. Talking out your thoughts is a great solution towards solving any type of conflict! So rock what you got, collaborator!

CANCER June 22-July 23 You’re very maternal when it comes to assessing conflict. That’s not bad! I’m like that too!! You’re very defensive about your point of view and can be easily wounded if someone tries to disregard your point of view. You’re what we like to call an avoiding conflict style because you prefer to not have any conflict at all. Remember that there is conflict everywhere you go. The best way to deal with it is facing it head on! Make sure to evaluate everyone’s point of view and respect them!

VIRGO August 24-September 23 Way to roll with the punches, good friend. For you, conflict doesn’t affect you too much, and that’s great! You’re flexible in terms of finding a solution, and that’s why you’re labeled as accommodating because you learn to deal and go. Just remember that every thing should be taken into consideration!! Keep on being the good ray of sunshine!




September 24-October 23 You believe in black and white and no shade of grey. It’s good to be a logical thinker sometimes, especially when it comes to the harder conflicts. Being a competing conflict style does have its benefits sometimes. Drama rolls off your back because you hate it. It takes way too much energy and therefore, isn’t high on your priority list. A lot of the time, it’s your way or the high way. Being a confident leader is great, but remember to listen to everyone else. But rock that logic when it’s most needed!

November 23-December 22 Well hey there, freedom writer! You love letting people know that you have an opinion about something, and, as long as it’s heard, you’re just fine and dandy. Remember that your freedoms need to be reciprocated. You’re all about being respected and loved. When that is returned to you, you’re ready to tackle any type of conflict!!

January 21- February 19 Hey there, thinker! Way to work your high level of intellect! You’re certainly not the ‘warm and fuzzy’ type, but you don’t lack emotion either! You’re just a very logical thinker. You’re down for any compromise that have a very thought out solution but you’ll make sure that your voice gets heard. I have the feeling you’re going to be a college professor one day. Handle your conflicts with compromise! Stay excellent, Aquarius!

SCORPIO October 24-November 22 We’re all 100% sure you must be psychic or something! Your intuition is on point! When it comes to conflict, you always want to make sure that you have someone on your side to back you up, so listen closely to what everyone has to say! You’re very adamant about your feelings when you consider all solutions, so don’t be afraid to voice your opinion! Being an collaborating conflict style actually the most preferred conflict style! Rock on down Harmony Avenue for a while!

CAPRICORN December 23-January 20 I’m putting $100 on you running for Senate or Oval Office! You, my love, are a natural born leader!! Your conflict style is dominant, but prevailing in your eyes. You’re down for any conflict, as long as it’s scheduled and planned out accordingly. You’re not down for any type of bull and won’t take it. Remember that not everyone has the same schedule as you. Learn to be accommodating. Your conflict style can be a little more to handle, so take that into consideration. But you’re going to be a great Senator one day!

PISCES February 20-March 20 Don’t run away, Pieces!!! You’re certainly an avoidant when it comes to your conflict style! You’d rather have everyone get along than fight! I’m all about the peace and rainbows dear, but conflict is always going to happen! It’s alright to be left alone for a while, but don’t fall of the face of the Earth! People love you! Don’t hide in your cave, forever! Deal with your conflicts with your friends by your side! Stay strong! 


Conflict is a normal part of any process, good group members take this conflict and use it

to better the output of the team. Every so often you’ll run into a member of a group who does not want to end these conflicts, but instead perpetuate them. These “hot heads” are prone to yelling and getting verbally loud, they typically have trouble controlling their anger. They can often be hard to handle, but no fear! Here are five tips on how to handle your local HOT HEAD!

5 TIPS TO HANDLE HOT HEADS 1. Stop, breath, and think. Remember to always

keep your cool, and talk in a mild tone. You will help keep the situation from escalation. Don’t join in on the battle. Decide: do you want to let it go, or do you need to deal with it?

2. Acknowledge the conflict; name the issue.

Say something like: “I’m sensing some tension between us and I the two of us need to talk about this (name the issue)”. Try to put a name on the issue and stick with that.

3. Focus on the issue and not the person. Don’t make it personal. Keep it about the actions and behaviors, not the person: Tell them how you feel and what you want to happen. DO NOT bring up personal problems, it will only make matter worse.

4. Pause and check for understanding. Rephrase what you heard and say, “Did I understand you correctly?” If they try to make it personal, back up and revisit the issue. 

5. Make a plan. Agree on a specific action to have happen by a specific date to help work towards resolving the issue/conflict, then follow-up.

Dealing with hot heads is never fun, but if you can follow these 5 tips, you can fix the problems with ease!

Conflict Leadership Monthly