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Core Concerns: Status

Core Concerns: Status

Author: marlene johnson

At the end of this tutorial, the learner will understand the importance of feelings of status in a conflict resolution process and the role of perceived threat to status in creating conflict.

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Core Concerns: Status

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When you work hard and you do a good job, it feels good. You probably feel good about yourself. And you'd like others to recognize and respect the work you've done. This need for recognition and respect is called status. I'm Marlene, and in the tutorial today, I'd like to talk with you about status as a core concern, a core need, we all have and when we perceive that we don't have status, it can lead to conflict.

So let's start by defining status. Status is a rate of rank or ascription of value and importance in a given situation. Add status is a core concern in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Now a core concern here is within these two levels on the hierarchy, the esteem level or the love and belonging level. So let's define core concern. According to the Harvard Negotiation Project it's one of five emotional or relational needs all humans feel within relationships or in negotiation.

As I said, the core concerns, all five of them, fit under esteem or love and belonging. And status fits right here under esteem, how good we feel about ourselves, the esteem we get from others. So when we feel that we are not getting esteem from others, we don't have our status, the status recognized, it can lead to conflict. Here are a couple of examples of how that could happen in a given context.

Within a family, say you've grown up in a family where you're the youngest. You've got older brothers and sisters, but you're the baby of the family. Growing up, you know, the baby of the family, now you're an adult. And you feel that when you go to family gatherings, you're still being treated like the baby of the family, that old family structure is still there. And you don't feel as though your listened to or heard in the same way as your older siblings.

So in a given context that could lead to conflict. Perhaps you need to help the family make some decisions about aging parents. They want to move out of the home. They're looking for another place to move. You've done some research. You want to share it with your siblings. You feel that your opinion, your knowledge here is valuable. And you don't feel like you're being listened to. You don't feel like what you have to say has the same status as your older brothers and sisters.

This could certainly lead to conflict with your siblings. This need for status we can also see in a work relationship. Perhaps you've been working at a company for some time. You and your colleagues have collected a wealth of knowledge, sort of collected wisdom about the way things work. It's irreplaceable as far as you're concerned. And you know it has been recognized and respected in the past. But you feel that you are now being overlooked, bypassed for promotions.

And some of those promotions, some of the recognition is going to younger people who are coming in who do not have the experience, the knowledge, the skill that you have, that perhaps some of your colleagues have. And you feel that this is not being respected. It's not being recognized in the way that it should be. It can lead to conflict with these younger workers, conflict over status, over skill, over recognition.

So those are a couple of examples how a lack of status, or a perceived lack of status, can lead to conflict in a couple of different situations. Now within a conflict resolution process, it is important to recognize the role of status. When two parties sit down together to work out an agreement, a recognition of the skills, the knowledge, the input that each party is bringing to the process can be very helpful in resolving the conflict, in getting together as a team to work together to come up with a solution.

So in summary, status is the need for recognition, for respect, for being given value in a particular context and a particular situation. We all need to feel that. When we feel that it's missing from our life, it can lead to conflict. I've enjoyed being part of this tutorial. And I look forward to next time.

Terms to Know
Core Concern

Per Harvard Negotiation Project, one of 5 emotional or relational needs all humans feel within relationships or in negotiation.


A state of "rank" or ascription of value and importance in a given situation.