The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Counselors advise students on conflict

By Amanda Gomez/reporter

Conflicts can occur from one event or a series of events that build up, but people need to know how to solve them, a South Campus academic advisor believes.

Carl Scherrieb and other members of the counseling/advising departments help students deal with such issues.

“Sometimes it is harder to avoid a problem than to address it,” he said.

People see conflict differently from one another, and the problems can occur from misunderstandings, misinterpretations or misperceptions of what is really going on, Scherrieb said. With electronic forms of communication, conflict can result depending how a person perceives the words on a screen.

“That’s why people have to be careful with the text,” he said. “When they use all caps or certain abbreviations, it can convey a whole different message than what you intended to say.”

Communication comes in many forms and with all kinds of people. Learning how to balance that among different people is important, Scherrieb said.

“How you would handle something with one of your friends vs. a boss or supervisor, it’s different in the verbal and body language we use,” he said.

When conflict occurs, Scherrieb said it is good to analyze the situation and be conscious of the way people receive what is being said.

“I think you have to look at your surroundings and where you are and who you are trying to deal with,” he said. “Sometimes, it is a good idea to address it but let yourself and the situation cool down. That way the person does not feel attacked and gives us time to reflect on it.”

Scherrieb said listening is important.

“If you can mutually agree that both of you are going to listen to each other, a lot of times they resolve on their own,” he said.

But sometimes conflicts do not resolve so easily, and both parties may not come to an agreement even after they let each other know how they feel.

“If each side has had a chance to let them know how they feel and still can’t come to an agreement, get a neutral third party to determine how each person can give a little bit,” he said.

People respond differently in each situation, and both parties need to give and take, Scherrieb said.

“Sometimes when you resolve a conflict, it’s not about fairness,” he said. “It’s about what is going to be best for both parties, and sometimes it doesn’t equal fairness.”

The way people respond affects the outcome, Scherrieb said.

“It is not always ideal, but it depends how you look at it,” he said. “It can be just as effective.”

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