Lesson 6: Managing Conflict
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Goal from IEP connected to lesson:
Objective from IEP connected to lesson:
Purpose of lesson: To introduce methods for assertively handling conflict.
“Suppose you’ve addressed an issue or stated your preference and you are met with resistance. How can you assertively and respectfully handle conflict, confrontation, or opposition? Today, we’ll discuss compromise, agreeing to disagree, and removing oneself from a situation.”
“Managing disagreements assertively and effectively is dependent on each specific scenario—there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ set of rules to follow. Throughout your life you will encounter countless differences of opinions and clashes of thoughts. Additionally, various relationships call for various ways to manage disagreements. For instance, in effort to maintain a positive relationship with your boss, who you are paid to support, you may choose to limit discord to very important matters. You would not suggest to your boss, “I don’t like this task. Can you take responsibility for this task, and I take responsibility for one of your tasks?” You may more freely bring up differences within friendships and familial relationships, and also compromise more frequently. Do you agree or disagree? Why?”
“Seeking compromises that respect both individuals in a disagreement is a positive goal. If two friends decide on dinner and each friend has a different food preference, the two can think creatively and consider several compromises. They can decide to eat at a restaurant offering both preferences, eat at restaurant A tonight and B tomorrow evening, or they could think of an entirely different meal that sounds desirable to both.”
Discussion: Agreeing to Disagree
“Sometimes the best response is to agree to disagree. In potentially heated differences, you can choose to respect the individual and recognize their right to feel or think differently than you do about something. Agreeing to disagree is also beneficial in trivial situations such as remembering details of a past event. Sometimes bringing up discord is simply not worth a disagreement.
“It is helpful to seek whatever commonality you can find, even when agreeing to disagree. Stating how you agree demonstrates unity and respect.”
Discussion: Removing Yourself
“There are times that call for removing yourself from a discussion, situation, or relationship. If you feel threatened, unsafe, or bullied, firmly say, “Please stop.” If your request is ignored, remove yourself from the situation.”
With the student, brainstorm additional scenarios that are grounds for ending a discussion or leaving a situation.
For example, if you are told your guide dog is not welcome, you can attempt to inform the individual of your rights. If the individual is unwilling to acknowledge your rights, you can end the discussion and bring it up to his or her supervisor.
Review the options of compromise, agreeing to disagree, and removing oneself from a situation. Provide an example of each option from your own life. Ask the students to share an example from each of their lives.
“As you speak up for yourself, you will find that others occasionally disagree with you. You choose how to respond to the disagreement. Assertive conflict management options include compromising, agreeing to disagree, and removing yourself from the situation or relationship.”
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