The May 4 Task Force sponsored a conflict management workshop on Saturday to discuss what conflict really is.  

“Wherever there are human beings, there is going to be conflict,” said Jacquelyn Bleak, program manager at Student Mediation Services.

Bleak discussed the negative connotations of conflict and how a lot of people don’t want to handle it. When in a conflict, the brain reacts as if it is being faced with physical danger, she said.

“I definitely don’t handle conflict well,” Courtney Proctor, a freshman accounting major, said. “This workshop really made me realize all the ways I could work on myself and the way I manage conflict.”

Workshop participants took a quiz consisting of 30 questions that allowed them to choose which way they would react in a given situation in order to see how they handle conflict.

When the audience completed the quiz, participants found out if they were more competitive, compromising, collaborating, avoiding or accommodating in the way they handled conflicts.

Out of the 19 people present, the majority found they have accommodating conflict management style. An accommodating conflict style means the other person’s needs are considered more important to the individual.

Although everyone has a specific way of handling conflict, Bleak said there are situations where each way could work.

Contact Katie Chilson at kchilso1@kent.edu.

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