Communication Skills and Resolving Conflict

‘Communication skills’ (n.d) defines communication skills, “as the capability to make use of a language and articulate information” (2). The writer views communication skills to be the art of passing a message so that the recipient can understand it better. Communication is very crucial to everyone and without proper skills, people might be in conflict with one another.

It is inevitable to denounce conflict in a world full of people’s interaction, but it is possible to prevent and, or solve the conflict. Therefore, effective communication skills ought to be applied in such a situation. This implies that communication skills have an important role(s) in preventing or solving conflicts. The major role of effective communication is to have a joint understanding of the problem at hand. Scott (2009) states that ‘conflict in itself is not a problem but how it is handled may bond or draw the parties away from each other’ (1). Thus, ineffective communication skills might worsen the existing conflict and a focal point of anger and hatred is created. On the other hand, effective communication enables parties in conflict to focus on the other’s point of view. This helps the parties involved, to feel understood. Further, effective communication involves admitting the truth. If a conflict is shared, parties will boldly admit what they did wrong and it signifies closure to the conflict. Finally, effective communication brings forth a solution to a conflict realized.

It might not always be the case for people to admit to the truth; rather some resistance may be exhibited. The first reaction of a person implicated in a conflict is to become defensive. Consequently, the depth of a conflict can never be uncovered if resistance is rampant. Therefore, a skill that focuses on reducing resistance is the best tool to use. The reason for this according to ‘RCRA’ (n.d) is that ‘it generates a bridge for mutual understanding and an area of union is created’ (6). This can be done better if listening, acknowledgment, and flexibility skills are incorporated. For example, if A and B are in disagreement, they will at first resist each other’s change. Therefore, for the mediator to solve their conflict, he will need to listen and acknowledge views from both parties. This will make the parties reduce their resistance and understand one another. As a result, a solution will be attained.

In addition, skills-focused in reducing resistance are important as they enhance consistency (Scott, 2009, 7). If parties involved in a conflict are faced and poor communication skills are applied, then there is a tendency to become inconsistent. This may make the listener to be confused. Inconsistency may also build up mistrust and weaken the opportunity of reaching a point of agreement.

To conclude, effective communication is of utmost importance in society. Its absence might lead to detrimental results. An example can be that of Kenya’s 2007 General election. Conflict arose on whom to be the president but effective communication skills were adopted and a fair and just resolution was reached. Choosing which skill to use to reach a solution is also an important aspect. If a skill is used to heighten resistance, then it is very possible a solution will not be presented.

References

‘Communication skills’ (n.d). Definition of communication skills. 2009. Web.

Scott, E. (2009). How to communicate: improve your relationships with effective communication skills. Web.

‘RCRA’ (n.d). Working with resistance. 2009. Web.

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