Why Assessment Matters

Many times in conflict, parties will rush towards solutions in order to keep the conflict from escalating further. While many times this is a noble endeavor, it has the effect of a strong wind hitting a fire. As mentioned, one of the most important concepts to remember in conflict is that high emotion and reason do not function in the brain simultaneously. Whenever we are scared, angry, or stressed we do and say things that our rational mind would never do. High emotional conflict makes rational decision making extremely difficult, which is why all of us can remember times when we have done or said things in conflict that we know we didn’t mean. What is often not discussed is the type of conflict that emotionally triggers us. As discussed above, conflict is broken down into task, process, and relational conflict. For some of us task conflict is what we face constantly in our profession due to the role we have. We find ourselves constantly in conflict over how task should be appropriated, completed, and the timeline in which they should be completed by. For example, a superintendent of a school district that is preparing for state testing has an inordinate amount of tasks for their district to complete before they are prepared for the testing. Conflict with their staff over the logistics of the teacher-to-student ratio would be an example of task conflict. For some people, task conflict triggers a high emotional response. For those that are triggered by task conflict, one hour spent in task conflict can feel like an eternity. For others, your main job is resolving tasks conflict in your organization and for some individuals it doesn't feel draining or trigger a highly emotional response. People that do not struggle from task conflict can sustain positions with a high degree of task conflict for long periods of time.

Dr. Jim Guinn

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Dr. Matt Walker

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