In the finance department of Apple Inc. Corporation, Jane had a conflict with a colleague; I interviewed her to understand what was the cause of the problem. Jane was in charge of the finance department while John was in charge of price analysis and paying suppliers. Jane had worked in the company for ten years while John was in his first year. Jane felt that John slowed her down because he felt uncomfortable at work.
John was a Hispanic who migrated to the United States two years earlier; he had difficulties in communication and felt depressed, as there was no family around. Jane lived a comfortable life, studied at a good school, and always had family support. Jane spoke fluently and quickly, and John was afraid to ask her to talk slowly, which made him miss some crucial information. The conflict occurred when John failed to order the materials from the suppliers as instructed. The event made Jane furious and told him that he was slowing her down. There was increased tension at work since he was not following instructions; John tried to avoid her because he felt discriminated and dissatisfied at work.
Co-workers volunteered to help them deal with the conflict. The account team organized two members who approached them and discussed the problem and the solution. John said he felt intimidated and discriminated, while Jane said she respected him but did not understand why he had omitted some critical information. They were encouraged to solve the problem without being defensive. Jane realized that John had issues with communication because of his background and decided to talk gently to make sure he understood all the information. This allowed other co-workers to connect with other staff with diverse backgrounds.
Diversity and inclusion is an important trend in today's corporate world, and it builds an excellent reputation for the company (Yasmin, 2017). Workers gain cultural sensitivity, acceptance, and respect for all the colleagues despite differences in race, background, religion, gender, and sex. Diversity is important since different ideas are incorporated in decision-making.
My Workplace Conflict Experience
After completing my bachelor's degree in accounting and finance, I applied and managed to get a job at the world's best technology company, Apple Inc. Corporation. I was a retail promotion consultant. My work role included working as a consumer spokesperson and ensuring that products meet the client's expectations and suggestions. My work involved contact with customers, sales and marketing personnel, technical and finance staff. One year after I joined the company, I had a conflict with my boss. The conflict caused uncertainty and discouragement at work.
Kennedy was my boss, and we had a conflict a year after I joined the company. I had a good relationship with Kennedy, and we treated each other with respect. The disagreement arose because of a disparity in working style. Kennedy was my manager, so we needed to work together as a team at a trade show. We shared conflicting ideas on whether our customers should contest for gifts to promote our products. I suggested that we should have a contest for the winners, whereas he believed we should only arbitrarily select clients to receive the prizes. I was too egocentric, and I never considered Kennedy's takes and view. At the same time, I was under pressure from my family.
After the trade show, the dispute intensified, I had a pessimistic outlook towards Ken and thought he would never agree to any contrary view. I always tried to avoid him, but I had to consult him since he was my boss. Sometimes I held back when he was around; I would not give any suggestions to improve our products. When it was a pressing issue, I used other coworkers to express my thoughts. The second month after the accident, Ken asked me to give insights into whether the latest edition of the phone will be acceptable in the markets. I was so outraged, and I did not provide positive feedback because I felt he never appreciated my ideas. It took three months for us to accept and settle our disagreements.
The conflict had a detrimental impact on my workplace and at home. I felt that the meeting organized by my colleagues was supportive and changed my perspective on disputes. My colleagues engaged me in a conversation to identifying the problem. At the meeting, the boss stated he was not aware of the conflict and would respect and incorporate my views. The meeting built awareness and eased the tension I had.
The experience helped me realize that emotions, miscommunication, and unresolved differences affect morale and workforce engagement. My colleagues were supportive in managing the dispute. The situation helped me to develop conflict resolution skills for noncritical conflicts before involving managers. I felt confident that I should convey to my coworkers relevant and personal disagreement, and I should value other people's views.
The best working environment is where workers treat each other with respect and understand each other's differences (Yasmin, 2017). Conflicts can lead to low productivity, demotivation, high turnover, absenteeism, workers compensation claims, and litigations. Unsolved conflicts can cause tension leading to stress and diversion of attention from the company vision.
Yasmin, K. (2017). Workplace conflicts: Classifications, causes and management strategies. International Journal Of Academic Research And Development, 2(4), 213-215. academia.edu/39226883/Workplace_conflicts_Classifications_causes_and_management_strategies.
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