A frame refers to a method through which people perceive, interpret and respond to specific situations. Conflict-management frames or Process frames, therefore, are a set of assumptions that individuals must, therefore, make to obtain the best way, through which they can approach a dispute to be it in the process of negotiation, arbitration, protest or military action (Yang, Cheng, & Chuang, 2015). While approaches tend to pay attention to needs, rights, and power, the best method to employ in the Nikki-Michelle conflict is the interest.
Nikki as the manager is more concerned with the organization being in a position to deliver more. As a manager, she is responsible for meeting organizational objectives and increase flower sales. As such she believes that changes in the shifts will significantly help improve their firm’s performance, something that she desires. In her position as a manager, she understands, that the pressure of underperformance will directly be pushed to her managerial position from top management. Her needs, desires, concerns, and fears form her primary interest in making the shift.
Michelle’s interests in the case are guided by the need of having to take care of her children. She feels that the new options provided will see her look for other means to take care of her children when she is not available since she is more likely to be late from work. Additionally, the other option that involves working Saturday will further inconvenience her with her children’s time.
Biases are defined as prejudgment that parties have towards each other in a dispute. As such negotiators involved in organizational disputes must walk into the negotiating room with all possible cognitive biases that both parties may have against each other (Jerry, 2018).
First Michelle views Nikki as inconsiderate and as an individual who is only more worried about the success of her career, hence she decided to change shifts to increase sales and further her performance. Additionally, while Nikki made the decisions purely on seniority reasons, Michelle may hold a view that the manager’s actions were meant to make her suffer and throw her daily schedules in disarray, given that she has been a good performer over the two years
Nikki, the manager, created the new shifts with a seniority approach in mind. For her, the lower caliber employees would create a disturbance if given the authority to choose. While this would pass as prejudice, on the one hand, it is equally a documented fact; however, it is also true that not all lower level employees would cause a disturbance if given the opportunity to choose. She, therefore, reduces the options for such employees which in effect affects Michelle.
The First strategy of dealing with emotional conflict, is facing the conflict once and for all. Running away from such disputes only reinforces the other parties’ beliefs increasing their resentment. Additionally, quitting ensures that a conflict grows out of proportion than it should have (Yang, Cheng, & Chuang, 2015). Secondly, Nikki must think about the situation through to clarify issues and needs. She should seek feedback from third parties if necessary which will help increase her scope of ideas. Thirdly she must talk it out in a physical manner. This calls for a face to face approach as it helps introduce nonverbal cues such as handshakes and smile which reduce the tension. Written communication, lacks these features and may only heighten the tension.
She must then employ the use of a mediator, who will listen to queries from both sides. The mediator regulated the tempo, giving each ample time to speak while listening. Fifth, Nikki must be aware of her part in the conflict. As such, she must apologize where necessary. Sixth, Nikki must work on her communication skills, since a wrong choice of words, will only heighten the conflict. Understanding tone and mode will provide her with possible methods of responding to allegations and accusations. Finally, she must understand Michelle’s expectations. This will help sieve out unrealistic ones from the most plausible, providing her with clear answers when challenged with the same.
Jerry, R. H. (2018). Framing Campus Free Expression Conflict Through a Dispute Resolution Optic: Insights For Campus Leaders. Journal of Dispute Resolution, 2018(2), 59-70.
Yang, M.-Y., Cheng, F.-C., & Chuang, A. (2015). The role of affects in conflict frames and conflict management. International Journal of Conflict Management, 26(4), 427-449.