Managing Conflict Team Presentation

I got way behind on posting about the progress of the online course I’m teaching on interpersonal communication. Bummer. :-/ Anyway, for the first time of the term I am not putting most of my energy into putting out fires, but am actually able to participate constructively (at least in my own mind, ha!) with the conversation that the students themselves are actively co-creating. Yahoo!! ­čÖé
The first assigned reading chosen by this Team is Taking Responsibility Without Blaming by Jeffrey Kottler. The Team asked students to describe a recent conflict, in accordance with the notion of “conflict” presented in this reading. I responded this morning:
Hey you all,

So, I’m hoping to get a bit more evidence that the information in the assigned reading is actually being applied to your conflicts. They are so varied! I have read introspective descriptions (self-reflection) ranging from some acknowledgement of mutuality to various forms of blaming (self or other). What I would like to see is more engagement with what Kottler describes as “the reciprocal nature of interpersonal difficulties” (p. 487).

Kottler does not use the labels of “transmission model” or “social construction”, but he is writing about these mental constructs, arguing that humans do not follow linear causality (such as occurs in physics, where one action transmits (!) to another), instead,

“…human behavior is best described as being based on ‘circular casuality.’ What this means is that unlike the physical world, where it may be determined that one thing causes another, which in turn causes something else, human interactions are both causes and effects of what transpired previously” (italics in original, p. 487-488).

Doesn’t this look like the social construction model? Of course it does! It is!

As the Team moves us into the next assigned reading, please consider what it means – in terms of how you communicate – to proactively accept responsibility.

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