NAFAAS – is an acronym for the National Association of Fine and Applied Arts Students. It is a body that oversees the welfare of its members – the fine and applied arts students. It presents intricate issues as violation of student’s right to the department, organize social activities and exhibitions, and engage in educational tours and visits. It is also vested with the responsibility of raising and nurturing capable leaders to promote the “art” culture. The body is organized and governed by the following elected officers: The President, the Vice-President, Secretary General, Financial Secretary, the Treasurer, Director of Socials, Director of Sports and the Curator.
The members are all duly matriculated students of the University. They pay an annual registration fee to the body and attend general meetings when they are summoned.
A misunderstanding ensured when it was time to utilize some money from the body’s account. The financial secretary has issued about a thousand receipts and handed over five hundred payments to the treasurer. The treasurer recorded the given amount and the receipts. Unknown to the treasurer, the financial secretary went to change the figures to reflect a collection of a thousand payment and receipt. The president was to organize a welcome party for the association’s freshers only to discover that the money reflecting in the account differ greatly from the one recorded. An executive meeting was immediately summoned and the figures were laid based on the records. After much deliberation, the financial secretary and the treasurer were asked to account and pay for the loss otherwise they be sanctioned with expulsion.
For precisely two weeks, they could not see eye-to-eye. This called for another meeting.
With compliance to the terms of this essay, I have decided to take sides with the financial secretary – being in line and party with him.
Conflict Management Strategy
The financial secretary when I approached him decided that he was ready to call the argument and misunderstanding “quit”. In actual fact, he was fully ready and willing to discuss “collaboratively”[Dr. Mickey: 2002] with the treasurer in order to clarify issues and regain the friendship. He was to choose which conflict management strategy he would use or rather that best suits him and his case. His main point of concern was to regain friendship so itemized other factors in order of preference: (i) Plead for forgiveness and consequently regain friendship (ii) Tell the truth about what actually happened. (iii) Refund the money.
He pondered over all of these factors before finally considering that a collaboration or principled negotiation [bilateral approach] [Dr. Mickey: 2002] would best suit his plight. In his research, Dr. Mickey categorically states that in the collaborative or principled negotiation – “the two sides are not searching to optimize their personal gains, but to optimize mutual gains. The sides are partners in negotiations and not adversaries. This method is most beneficial when the relations between the parties are of importance and should be retained”. [Dr. Mickey: 2002]
The financial secretary scheduled a meeting to deal with the case promptly. The treasurer was immediately notified and the negotiation began as planned. The financial secretary made a run down of what really happened, what prompted him to do what he did and its grave consequences afterwards. He sincerely pleaded for forgiveness. The treasurer also pleaded for acting immaturely. They both agreed to put aside their differences and continue with their friendship on the basis that the ‘world is a very small place, we could meet tomorrow’.
This conflict management strategy, Dr. Mickey has told us, is the best and probably the most preferred option considering the underlying factor that prompted the resolution – continued friendship. This method was successful and effective to this case highly because it was collaborative. It took the willingness of both parties to make it work.
On my part, as a principal representative for the financial secretary, I am left with no other option that to support, and adopt the “wise” decision my party has chosen. Dr. Mickey has advised based on extensive research that if relations between the parties are of paramount importance, principled negotiation would work best. It is in fact a factual statement in this case. The financial secretary has applied and it did work, so the possibility of making extreme success if strategies be changed are bleak. Now, this is not to assume that I would behave the same way the financial secretary has done just because it worked for him – I would because – I want to make peace, – I have read and studied similar cases, how it was resolved and the aftermath, – and for the single prominent reason of continued friendship. The reasons for resolution has been made plane – first on the list is ‘continued friendship’. I believe I would play the fool and allow things to cool off so as to get my desired goal.
After all, it would be a total waste of time, energy and effort if the process fails and I do not actualize the desired target.
In essence, my position would be thus: I would get to meet with the treasurer just as the financial secretary has done. I would try as much as possible to keep cool and let things work to the long run of possible settlement while also staying within the confines of the collaborative strategy.
In summation, with the experience of the financial secretary being able to resolve the situation, I believe that applying the chosen conflict management strategy [collaboration] would not be out of place for the goal essence of resolution. In other words, it would be highly effective.