Although conflicts can happen anywhere, in a romantic, family, or workplace setting, the concepts of relational theory can be used to best deal with the conflict. According to a relational power theory, influence over another person equals that individual’s dependence on them, and vice versa. This view asserts that power is a feature of social relationships instead of a quality of the individual (Hadzibegovic, 2016). When each depends on the resources the other individual may supply, this power is not set but moves. Hence, I will give an example of a workplace conflict and how I would use the concepts of the relational theory of power to deal with the bases of power constructively.
A workplace conflict may arise when an employee feels that they are not being allowed to use their skills and expertise. In this case, the employee may feel that they are not being given the opportunity to contribute to the company and may feel undervalued. I would constructively use the relational theory of power to deal with this type of conflict.
In this way, the employee can attempt to gain more power and control over their own life at work. If this is not possible, they may still be able to gain a sense of satisfaction from working in an environment that values their skills and expertise (Ahlqvist & Uotila, 2020). Ultimately, the relational theory of power can help to deal with workplace conflicts constructively. However, it is important for both parties to be aware of their power and to use it constructively (Jiang & Shen, 2020). Hence, this would help to avoid any negative feelings or conflicts.
When interviewing the parties involved in the conflict, I would ensure that I know a few things. Firstly, I would ensure that I know their goals and objectives. Secondly, I would ensure that I know their perceptions of the situation. Thirdly, I would make sure that I am aware of their goals and objectives for resolving the conflict. I would also ensure that I know the possible outcomes of continuing to fight or resolve the conflict. Lastly, I would investigate to know what can be done to help achieve these outcomes.
Once these questions have been answered, I would develop a strategy to help move the conflict resolution process forward. Firstly, I would make sure that there is a timeline for the conflict resolution process. Secondly, I would ensure I discuss options and solutions with the parties involved while mediating or arbitrating the dispute if necessary. Thirdly, I would ensure that I keep track of progress and communicate any changes or updates to all involved parties. Lastly, if the worst comes to worst, I would make sure that I encourage compromise and mutual understanding between the parties involved.
If conflict resolution is unsuccessful, I would seek outside assistance. Firstly, I would do this by contacting a professional mediator or arbitrator. Secondly, this can take place by hiring a consultant to help with the dispute resolution process. Thirdly, I would opt to contact the media for help in spreading awareness about the conflict. Lastly, I would make sure I file a complaint with the authorities if necessary.
It is evident that by being aware of the goals and objectives of both parties involved in a conflict, it will be easier for me to create a resolution that meets everyone’s needs. With careful planning and communication, conflict can be resolved positively and efficiently. However, I would need outside assistance if things don’t go as planned. By being proactive and taking precautions along the way, everyone can come out as a winner. Thus, that is how I can use the concepts of the relational theory of power to deal with bases of power.
Ahlqvist, T., & Uotila, T. (2020). Contextualising weak signals: Towards a relational theory of futures knowledge. Futures, 119, 102543. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2020.102543
Hadzibegovic, A. (2016). Can we in post-conflict societies read through the power structure of conflict? Retrieved September 13, 2022, from https://www.seeyn.org/index.php/seeyn-topics/expert-s-opinion/77-worker-lorem-ipsum-dolor-sitamenete-2
Jiang, H., & Shen, H. (2020). Toward a relational theory of employee engagement: Understanding authenticity, transparency, and employee behaviors. International Journal of Business Communication, 232948842095423. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488420954236