Participants: John, Jim (the Director), Laura, Karl, Keith, and Celeste Setting: A mental health center Situation: An opening for a full-time therapist has been created because one of the staff therap

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Participants: John, Jim (the Director), Laura, Karl, Keith, and Celeste

Setting: A mental health center

Situation: An opening for a full-time therapist has been created because one of the staff therapists is leaving the organization.

Jim: We need to fill this position since Lee is leaving. I suggest we hire Nikki full-time. She has done a great job as an intern, and the kids seem to really like her. What do you think?

Keith: I agree. We should hire her.

Jim: Anyone else?

(Long silence)

John: Yeah, that’s okay with me.

Jim: Is there any discussion on this matter?

Laura: Yes. I don’t think we should hire Nikki without doing a search. She does a good job, but we might be able to get someone even better.

Karl: I sort of feel that way, too.

Keith: I don’t think we could find anyone better. Besides, it could take months to find someone, and we need the help right away—especially on the weekends.

Karl: Yeah, but that doesn’t mean we should hire just anyone.

Jim: Nikki’s not just anyone. Plus, we could lose the funding if we don’t hire right away. I’ve talked to Nikki about it—I’m sure she’d take the position.

Keith: And if we don’t offer it to her, I think she’ll quit.

Laura: Sounds like you guys have already figured it out. Why are you even asking us if you’ve made up your mind already?

Jim: There’s no “we” here, and I didn’t already make up my mind.

Celeste: I don’t think we should act so quickly. I’m not sure Nikki is all that committed to her work. You say the kids like her, but personally, I think she just likes having them do what she wants. She seems like a control freak to me. She likes having the kids like her.

Jim: What is it with you, Celeste? You always disagree with what this group wants to do. Everyone wants this but you. I’m tired of your constant opposition. You should listen to what we’re saying.

Celeste: What is it with me? Why do you act like we’re making a group decision when you have already made a decision and obviously got Keith and John to agree before talking to the rest of us?

Jim: If you can’t be a team player, then maybe it’s you who needs to start looking for a new job.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the topics (T) of this conflict?
  2. What are the relational (R) issues in this conflict?
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