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Human beings are social creatures and as such, their interaction with others plays a very pivotal role in personal growth and development. Man cannot wholesomely exist in solitude and as a result of this, our encounters with others are of great importance. For this reason, we are all part of various networks that are made up of other members of society. These networks are very important for our personal growth. As an individual, I am part of various networks wherein I play various roles. In this essay, I shall consider one of the networks that I am a part of, my family. I shall explain my role in the network and the relationship with the various other entities in the network. I shall then consider an experience in the network that resulted in some conflict and how I went about resolving the conflict.
My Family Network
My family is one of the major networks that I am a member of. This network is made up of my parents, my siblings, and me. Being the first network that I gained membership in my life, my family has a huge influence on me. This network is characterized by the formation of relationships between the various family members. These links that have been formed through the years result in stability, intimacy, and companionship and are central to my core personal values. The relationship amongst us as members of the network can best be described as stable and very cordial. This is mostly because of the mutual respect that we have for each other and the companionship amongst us.
While my role in this network has been shifting through the years as I acquire more competencies, I can rightfully state that my major role in the network is that of a dispute resolver. The reason why this role has been informally delegated to me is that I am good at negotiation, a process that is defined as “communication for persuasion” (Shamir, 2003; Goldberg, Sander & Rogers, 1992). My family network appreciates the fact that the use of negotiation is the most productive means through which disputes can be resolved. As such, the family in most cases elicits my help when there arise disputes since they know that I am apt at ensuring that the disputes are successfully resolved.
Situations in my Network
Despite the good relationship that exists in my family, there have been instances where I have experienced some conflicts. A situation that I experienced recently was from my siblings who felt that I was bossy and always keen on getting my way in everything. In retrospect, I realized that this was not an overstatement since I was competitive and strived to be right in all things. As a result of this situation, my siblings started to alienate themselves from me. This created strained relationships between them and me since we no longer had the cordial relationship that I was accustomed to.
To resolve these issues, our parents insisted that we sit down and have honest communication on the issue. Through our discussions, I realized that my problem arose from my assertive communication style. Ames & Flynn (2007) declare that competitiveness is one of the aspects that play a key role in assertiveness since this style is characterized by people’s tendency to speak up for and act in the interest of themselves and their own goals. In addition to this, highly assertive people often get their way making them less likable and friendly. Having these facts brought to my attention, I realized that I had to stop being too assertive since this was hurting my relationship in the family network. I realized that to offset this, I would have to work on getting along with my siblings and striving to be agreeable. This would call for me having to modify my interests and conform to my sibling’s wants in some instants.
There are various communication channels that one can use and the relevance of each channel may be determined by the particular situation or nature of the message that one intends to pass. Sending a message using an appropriate channel is very important since if an inappropriate channel is used, the message might fail to reach the receiver, or if it does, the receiver might fail to understand it. In my scenario, I selected verbal communication as my channel of choice. I choose this means of communication since it afforded my siblings and I the means through which to express our feelings and opinion both through words and nonverbal cues that would be lost in other means such as writing. My choice was based on my understanding that verbal and nonverbal behaviors are important in interpersonal communication and balanced use of the two can greatly boost communication.
In this paper, I set out to explain my role in my family network and articulate a situation that I have been faced with and how I resolved it. I have demonstrated that the main role that I play in my family is that of conflict resolver. However, I have also been involved in a conflict and from my situation, I realized that the communication style that one adopts can have both positive and negative effects on his/her relationship. The most important reason that I have learned from analyzing my network is good communication is the cornerstone of all successful relationships; be their business or personal.
Ames, D. & Flynn, J. (2007). “What Breaks a Leader: The Curvilinear Relation Between Assertiveness and Leadership.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2007, Vol. 92, No. 2, 307–324.
Shamir, Y. (2003). Alternative Dispute Resolution Approaches and their Application. PCCP Publications.