Power, Negotiation, and Communication

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When thinking negatively of conflict one usually thinks of who may have the most power. Power struggles are not new when it comes to trying to straighten out a disagreement between two parties. It is natural for a structural society to have those who have authority over others. However, this power does not have to be debilitating. If both parties can work together, a power struggle can become collaboration. According to our text power falls into three categories; designated, distributive and integrative.(Wilmot and Hocker, 2007). Designated and distributed power could be called “singular” powers. This means power that focuses on the strength and authority of one person. For example, a father can tell their son what to do and has power over him, because fatherhood is a designated position’ therefore only the father holds the power. In distributive power, it just may be that one person chooses to acknowledge that they dominant the other. (p. 95) Out of all three categories of power the only one that works interdependently is integrative power that focuses on “both parties achieving something in the relationship (p. 95). It is this view of power that is constructive and that leads to successful resolution of conflicts. In the earlier reference to singular power, or power held by one individual, it is not that individual in themselves who is powerful, but it is the” dependence on resources and currencies that another person controls or seem to possess”(p. 104). This type of currency helps to distinguish who has power in a relationship and who doesn’t. This is determined by how much value one person is to another, thus deeming it currency. Power currency is made of up RICE or Resource control, interpersonal linkages, communications skills, and expertise. (p.107). this shows one persons power in relations to another. For example, if a teacher knows how to

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