Facework: refers to specific communication strategies we use to “save” our own or another person’s face and is a universal conceptHow we do facework varies from culture to culture and influences conflict styles.
Five Specific Styles of Managing Conflict:1) Dominating2) Integrating3) Compromising 4) Obliging5) Avoiding
Dominating Style:High concern for self and low concern for othersWin/lose orientationLoud and forceful verbalization (possibly counterproductive)Possibly Eurocentric bias
2) Integrating Style:High concern for both self and otherOpen and direct exchange of information, in hopes of reaching a mutually acceptable solutionEffective in most conflicts (as is fair and equitable)Assumes: collaboration, empathy, objectivity, creativity, and recognition of feelingsrequires a lot of time/energy
3) Compromising Style:Moderate degree of concern for both self and other personInvolves sharing and and exchanging information so that both give up something to find a mutually acceptable solutionLess effective than the integrating approach as people feel forced to give up something, so they have less commitment to the solution
4) Obliging Style:One person in conflict plays down the differences and incompatibilities and emphasizes commonalities that satisfy the concerns of the other personMost appropriate when one is more concerned with the relationship than the issuesOften true of hierarchical relationships Pattern of obliging can result in psuedosolutions - so strategy can backfire
5) Avoiding Style:Low concern for both self and other personIn dominant U.S. culture this is often viewed negatively - as sidestepping conflictHowever, is some cultures this can be the appropriate strategy to use (I.e. allowing time for each person to consider alternative solutions)May be a good strategy if the issue is trivial, if the relationship is unimportant to the person, or if others can better manage the conflict
Importance of Recognizing Communication Styles:“By being aware of your communication preference, you will have a better understanding of how others perceive you. The ability to recognize and adapt to your listeners' communication styles will make them feel that you have taken the time to listen and focus on their needs. This results in a positive experience and strengthens the relationship.”Hanke, Stacey. "Communication Styles: What Is Your Impact on Others?." Professional Safety 54.5 (2009): 22-25. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO. Web. 6 Oct. 2010.
Importance of Understanding Communication Styles- Real Life Applications: • Such skills are very important • in all sorts of business situations • especially when dealing with • international business practices, • as many cultures have different • dominant communication styles. It is also important to recognize when there are different communication style types involved in a particular interaction, so as not to offend anyone, and to better facilitate productive communication.
Gender, Ethnicity, and Conflict: The relationship between gender and conflictmanagement style is not clear Typically males seem to value directness, and females empathy and understandingThe relationship between ethnicity, gender, and conflict management style is even more complexOverall, it’s inappropriate (and inaccurate) to assume that any one person will act a certain way based on his/her ethnicity or gender
Value Differences and Conflict Style:Cultural values differ between societies (individualistic vs.. collectivistic) I.E. those from individualistic societies tend to be more concerned with saving their own face, while those from collectivistic societies tend to want to preserve group harmony and the other person’s face.Such values may be related to what nation one comes from and/or other groups