Saturday, August 30, 2008

Resolving Interpersonal Conflict

During lunchtimes or tea breaks, people sometimes like to immerse themselves in what some might call, gossip and what my friends and I like to call, “b*tching”. In one of the gossip sessions I had, Beng, a friend of mine, (names have been changed to protect privacy) started telling us about an interpersonal conflict story which he had experienced and I’m going to share his story here:

Since Beng was part of the executive committee (exco) of the band, he and the rest of his exco members had to play the part in deciding the new batch of student leaders for the band. Voting was the best option then so all the members of the band were asked to vote for their friends whom they thought would be ideal to sit in the exco. Now there was this particular person (lets call him A), whom Beng and a few other members of the exco felt should not be sitting in the exco position because he had a very unserious attitude. However, due to popularity among his peers, he was voted into the committee.

Upon seeing the results of the voting, Beng brought the matter up to the current exco at that time. Despite Beng’s explanation of his standpoint and how he felt that putting A into the exco will affect the running of the entire band, the Vice-president did not agree with Beng at all. He insisted that A should remain in the committee since he was technically “voted” in and rightfully “deserves” the place in the committee. They both had a long debate over the matter and most of it surrounded issues of ethics and reality.

A vote was finally taken across the entire exco and they all felt that A should not just be “taken” out of the committee and if the voting results were to be altered, the act of voting would be meaningless. So I went on to ask Beng how A performed ever since he became part of the exco and Beng said that he gradually became more serious, which was a good thing.

Conclusion: Interpersonal conflicts, more often than not, arise due to conflicting viewpoints, miscommunication or sometimes even a lack of communication. Everyone, including me, has had their fair share of interpersonal conflicts and honestly, if I were Beng, I would have sounded out to A and told him (in a tactful way of course) that he had to change his attitude should he want to continue staying as a committee member. However, I felt that the situation was well dealt with and ultimately, everyone has the band’s interest at heart.

This brings me to a quick question that I would like to raise: Is there or can there be such a thing as Intrapersonal conflict? If so, is that part of having an alter ego? Because in my opinion, I think that it is possible to have intrapersonal conflict for example, it might be in a situation where a part of you wants to do this, while the other part of you knows that there is certain consequence. Or is that another issue altogether?


weiren said...

Hi Tiffany:

Personally, I have experienced similar problems in some of the clubs I have joined in the past. The problem lies when you love your club too much and you are not willing to take potential risk that might lead to an iota of a drop of standards. I do not think it is wrong, in fact, I salute you for your passion for your club.

However, I always believe that everyone is different in their ways. Hence, every committee is different in its own rights. The most important thing is to understand the candidate and look at his or her working attitude before committing to any form of judgment. Hearsay will never be as accurate as seeing with your own eyes.

I am glad it turned out well.


Junrong said...

hello Tiffany,

wow, at least in your post Beng gets to wrap up the conflict nicely, and I am very glad that A at least took a more interested path in the committee. however, i also can understand how Beng felt when A was initially voted in. both beng and the vice-president have their own view and each of them felt that their decision is the best. it will usually be hard to resolve the matter on the personal level. However, the matter was finally resolved at the committee level, which I feel was the best way to resolve at that time. It is also very encouraging that Beng is a supportive player in that committee :)

Coming to your question, yes, i feel intrapersonal conflict is a very "real" thing. Ever watch any cartoon that portrays an angel and a devil sitting at both sides of your shoulder each whispering conflicting views into your ears? those are the "voices" in our heads, which can be interpreted, in this case, to be our intrapersonal conflict. Resolving this, will of course be drastically different from resolving interpersonal conflict.

Brad Blackstone said...

This is interesting, Tiffany, but it would have been more in line with the assignment if you had not offered what became in fact the solution until after your readers had given feedback. That way they could have utilized their EQ skills to help you.