HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Managing Conflict and Power

  1. Identify a time when conflict improved a relationship. What ideas from the chapter best explain this outcome?
  2. Complete the Self-Quiz “How Do You Approach Conflict?” on page 256. What is your reaction to the results? Do you agree that, in general, this is how you approach conflict?
  3. Use the types of conflict to compare your conflict experiences in three different interpersonal relationships: with a family member, with a friend, and with a work or school relationship.
  4. According to the Dyadic Power Theory, people with only moderate power are most likely to use controlling communication. Do you agree or disagree with this theory? Provide an example to support your response.
  5. Five power currencies are common in interpersonal relationships: resource, expertise, social-network, personal, and intimacy. Which of these power currencies do you currently possess? Which one do you feel is the most important?
  6. Complete the Self-Quiz “Are You a High- or a Low Power-Distance Person?” on page 253. What does your score suggest about your view of power and how you manage your own and others’ power interpersonally?
  7. Think of a relational partner with whom you repeatedly have the same conflict. What effect does this have on your relationship? In what ways do you contribute to the cycle? How might you change your communication to end this pattern? (Based on the Self-
    Reflection question on p. 248.)
  8. Identify a time when you avoided a conflict. Why did you make this choice? What were the results? What, if anything, would you do differently? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 255.)
  9. Discuss a conflict situation that resulted in a competitive approach and the exchange of negative communication. How were defensive communication, serial arguing, suddendeath statements, or dirty secrets used? What was the impact of these tactics on the conflict and the relationship?
  10. Provide an example of a situation in which you used technology incorrectly to handle a conflict. How did you handle the situation?