Healthy organizations which are characterized by well developed problem -solving mechanisms and a collaborative climate are able to identify conflict and deal with it in a elaborative way that leaves the organization stronger and better developed rather than weakened and wracked with hostility (Owens, Valleys, 2011). The potential conflict in this elementary school can be approached with five possible methods namely: muscle, reconciliation, harmony, retreat, and collaboration. The muscle method is assertive, aggressive, and competitive.
This style creates win-lose situation. This is termed as ” I am the boss. Just do it! “. The reconciliation method is one of accommodating, giving in and acquiescing to preserve relationships while resolving the conflict, at least immemorially. The harmony style assumes a “middle ground,” aimed at achieving compromise in order to resolve conflict. On the other hand, retreat method avoids or withdraws in from the conflict. It is aimed at not becoming involved with conflict and the strong feelings it may generate.
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The collaborating approach attempts to reach consensus and stresses working together for a mutual solution to conflicts. (Owens, valleys,201 1). In order to manage the conflict in this elementary school and the community in question, the collaborative method seems in my opinion the most attractive approach in order to lessen the destructive hostility among the staff and all parties t and to pave the way for opportunities of growth and development of the school and the community as a whole.
The first step I will take as a new principal is to get to the source of the imminent conflict sweeping across the school environment. I will have a private meeting with the librarian, the physical education teacher, and each of the other parties involved to be able to get to the root of the conflict. With eye contacts, open heartiness and impartial attitude, I will listen actively and discuss the issues tit these individuals privately. After that, I will form a committee comprising of teachers, staff members, parents, community members, administrators, board of directors, and all stakeholders.
I will have a meeting with the committee to discuss the issue at hand while the director Of schools and myself serve as facilitators. Each party will present its view of the problem while the other parties listen attentively without interruption. We as facilitators will ensure that each party states its case clearly and calmly without personally attacking the other parties. Secondly, I will ask each party to state two or three specific suggestions on how it thinks the conflict could be solved. An example might be,” I will like the administration to handle all field trip approvals”.
Another clear suggestion might be, “I will like all teachers and staff to select a representative from their respective department to handle curriculum and standards issues”. It is of paramount importance for the facilitators to encourage and prompt each party to identify the root cause of the problem and then come up with specific ways that will resolve the issue Seafarer, 2007). Through the lens of impartiality, active listening skills and compassion, I will ensure that the suggestions presented are thoroughly discussed and agreed upon to make the necessary changes.
At this point, all parties will be encouraged to engage each other in a reasonable and professional manner to come to an agreement on the suggestions made and are satisfied with the implementation Of the resolutions. For instance, the veteran librarian will be satisfied with the resolution that bus duties will be assigned to any teacher who volunteers for that opportunity. Parents will be satisfied with the opportunity to lead and provide interesting programs for parent -teacher association.
Also they will be excited to be given the golden chance to be part of the decision making body of the school improvement ventures. The final step for the facilitators, especially me is to set up a date for the resolutions to be enacted and follow up on its progress. It is of cardinal importance for me to fearlessly look into the conflict in detail, if necessary. If new policies or procedures need to be put in place to avoid the same conflict arising in the true, will have that discussion with the staff and all parties involved.