Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 2, Lesson 5
Go to the Conflict Management Style document in the Resource Bank.
- Read each question carefully and respond to 'A' or 'B.
- Tally each column. For ease of doing this, you may want to print out this material in hard copy.
- Review your results. The column with the highest score represents your preferred conflict management style.
After reading the rest of the information on the website, reflect on the following questions:
- What is your conflict management style? Did the results surprise you in any way?
- What are the advantages of your approach to conflict?
- What are the disadvantages?
- How might knowing your conflict management style help you work better in your early intervention team?
- How does your conflict management style relate to your style of communicating in general?
- How did your family of origin handle conflict? Is your current conflict management style similar to or different from that of your family of origin?
As you near the end of this module, we will switch gears a bit. Our next activity involves watching a video on Conflict Resolution. The video is streamed for you to watch through your computer. Thanks to our friends at Western Illinois University, with a grant to fund the making of educational videos such as this and many others, you will see listed on their site.
In this video, you will see a narrator interviewing Topper Steinman, Consultant for the National Center for Conflict Resolution Education. The interview uses clips of infants, toddlers and preschoolers in a child care setting with references to provider interactions with children and adults. Your job is to relate this to your role as an ITDS in your work with infants/toddlers, child care providers, families and other members on your team as you seek to find viable strategies in conflict resolution. This video will also help prepare you for application work which will come next in Modules 3 and 4.
Instructions: To play (stream) the video on your computer, you must install or already have Quick time or Real time player or Windows Real Player. You can download this software for free at Quick Time. Note that since this video is streamed, it does not seem possible to successfully fast-forward as doing that separates the voice from the actions a little. You CAN PAUSE though, if you want to get up and stretch, take a break, or get a snack.
- Note: The video is approximately 45 minutes long. You may want to locate the stop button in case you need to take a break or want to take notes on important information.
As you watch the video consider the following:
- Do you believe growth has "seed" in conflict?
- How could your team have fun as described in the orientation phase of the Conflict Resolution Abilities?
- As a member of your team, can you relate to the message in the video regarding how children perceive things from one point of view; another point of view?
- Does your team have trouble putting words to feelings? How can you help with this?
- How does relationship development on your team set the stage for discussion of more challenging topics?
- How could creative thinking, as described in the Conflict Resolution Abilities, impact your teamwork?
Lesson 5 Highlights
The final lesson of this module discussed two related processes - conflict resolution and consensus building. The process of conflict resolution is complicated by the fact that there are different types of conflict and different conflict management styles. Research studies show that one size does not fit all; that is, different types of conflict are probably best handled by different management strategies. Prescribed step-by-step methods exist for resolving conflicts and building consensus. These procedures work in most but not all instances. Teams should be open to taking breaks, re-visiting problem areas, and soliciting outside assistance when needed. Problems should be viewed as opportunities for team building and approached with the goal of arriving at a win-win solution. The overall mission or purpose of the team should always be considered when solving problems and making decisions.
Amason, A. C., Hochwarter, W. A., Thompson, K. R., & Harrison, A. W. (1995). Conflict: An important dimension in successful management teams. Organizational Dynamics (24) 2, 20-35.
Briggs, M. H. (1997). Building early intervention teams: Working together for children and families. Gaithersberg, MD: Aspen Publishers, Inc.
DeDreu, C. K. W. & VanVianen, A. E. M. (2001). Managing relationship conflict and the effectiveness of organizational teams. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22, 309-328.
Janis, I. (1972). Victims of groupthink. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Wisinski, J. (1993). Resolving conflicts on the job. New York: American Management Association.
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