By: Katherine Seeley
As a Communication major, I get to take a diverse stream of classes that not many people would think of taking. One in particular that I am enjoying this fall semester is Conflict Management. It is taught by the wonderful Dr. Julie Morgan, who is head of the Communication department. Conflict Management teaches students how to handle conflict between two or more people.
We go over different concepts, like emotions, positions of power, bullying, interpersonal relationships and many more. This is a class that any major should take because it will help people in their future endeavors such as friendships, workplace relationships, intimate relationships and family relationships. We dive in depth about what causes conflict, how each party perceives what is being said in conflict and apply each concept to conflict we have in our lives.
Jayme Fisher, a senior Communication major, said, “Conflict management is therapeutic because we talk about our problems in a safe environment. When we do that, Dr. Morgan gives us constructive criticism on what we should do, how we should handle it, or if it has already happened, what we did well and what we could have done better.” She also explains that she likes hearing her classmates’ input on some of her conflict issues. It gives a better understanding because of the different perspectives each person has on an issue.
I enjoy taking the class because I hate conflict. Part of the reason that this class piqued my interest is because I wanted to learn how to manage the conflict I have going on in my life. I try to handle conflict constructively but that can be hard if the other person is not as open to constructive conflict. In this class, we talk about the difference between destructive and constructive conflict, which is extremely helpful. As humans, we are not perfect but if we learn how to handle conflict better, we can salvage interpersonal relationships we care about. It has given me a better understanding of why I hate conflict, how I can get better at it and how we can communicate constructively.
Saige McKenzie, a junior Communication major, said, “The things we learn in class are applicable to everyday life. In other classes, there is a waiting period to use what we learn. We get to use our own experiences in class. There were times I had been going through conflict and was able to talk about it while in class. It gives us an opportunity to use our own issues.” She goes on to say that in the class we get to know our peers better, especially in the Communication major.
We handle hard topics too, like abuse and manipulative behavior. We handle smaller conflicts as well as intrapersonal conflicts, which are conflicts with oneself. If you do not know Dr. Morgan, she is a great professor to be teaching this class. She breaks it down in understandable ways, uses her own examples and helps us explore our close relationships in three papers we write.
I highly recommend taking this class if you want to better understand conflict. We take a conflict styles test and analyze what our results mean. We support each other in this class and are a listening ear to everyone who shares their conflict with us. We try our best and help others with any conflict they may face. This is one of the classes that is most beneficial and I am glad I am taking it. It is the type of class that you could take over and over again and come out with something new each time.