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Interpersonal Communication Article (Essay Sample)

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The author suggests negotiation practices that should be embraced in conflict management. She is interested in the way communicative development of negotiation shifts the direction of a conflict commonly known as conflict transformation.

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Interpersonal Communication Article
 
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The author suggests negotiation practices that should be embraced in conflict management. She is interested in the way communicative development of negotiation shifts the direction of a conflict commonly known as conflict transformation.
She proposes some negotiation practices for handling conflicts. These practices include conflict differentiation, prevention of premature conflict resolution, conflict framing and reframing as well as new understanding of complex situations. Putnam suggests that negotiators should change the name of the problem by exploration of alternative actions. Negotiators should redefine problems, reframe them and make sense out of them collectively to enhance conflict transformation (Putnam 2010).
Her suggestions are assumptive and believe that negotiation is not only about emerging as a winner but also obtaining rational needs for both disputants.
In as much as most negotiation scholars endorse persuasion and mutual exchange processes to obtain mutually accepted solutions to conflicts, there approach does not embrace communicative means that promotes new understanding of situations. Putnam’s proposals are based on the beliefs that negotiation constitutes cooperation and competition, and has mixed motives. In as much as parties compete to attain their own goals, they still cooperate to obtain mutual agreements (Putnam 2010).
Putnam has classified her suggestions into three broad categories of advice namely: conflict differentiation; conflict framing and reframing; and joining together.
Differentiation
It is a model of interaction that clearly differentiates contrasting positions and involves identification and understanding of contrasting points as well as legitimizing them. Differentiation allows negotiators to engage in issue development, which involves monitoring issue evolution, issue fragmentation and combination as well as issue reshaping. Negotiators should confront issues directly without increasing conflicts. Here, negotiation is a learning process where parties settle on new understandings and jointly redefine their problems. Disputants should prevent premature settlements to avoid unsatisfactory agreements. Ideally, negotiators should track issue evolution through interactions and establish equilibrium between resonance and dissonance by cushioning contentious tactics (Putnam 2010).
Framing
Language is utilized to bracket off components of a conflict for either inclusion or exclusion in a given scene. Negotiation endorses framing and reframing by sorting out the significant features that exhibit a particular problem situation. Reframing, changes the ways parties decipher problems and more so, changes participants views of a conflict. Framing involves use of labels to name and make a conflict sensible. The new labels recast conflicts in ways agreeable by both parties. This practice helps in shifting components of a conflict, changing blaming pattern as well as explaining a problem differently.
Shifting abstraction levels generates alternative definitions of a conflict. The shift help in identifying problem change and makes it easy to rename a dispute.
Systematic question may be utilized to widen the scope of a problem. It entails asking questions in alternative patterns during th...
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