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Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management. Human Capital Conference. Pete Swanson Carr Swanson & Randolph, LLC March 14, 2005. Learning Objectives. Identify how style impacts behaviors, Learn approaches for dealing with divergent styles.

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dispute resolution and conflict management

Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management

Human Capital Conference

Pete Swanson

Carr Swanson & Randolph, LLC

March 14, 2005

learning objectives

Learning Objectives

Identify how style impacts behaviors,

Learn approaches for dealing with divergent styles

when dealing with difficult behaviors what is your role as a supervisor
When dealing with difficult behaviors, what is your role as a supervisor?
  • Traffic cop
  • Teacher
  • Counselor
  • Disciplinarian
  • Friend
  • Mentor
  • ??




10 classic problem types




TheThink-They-Know-It- All






10 Classic Problem Types

Adapted from Dealing With People You Can’t Stand, Dr. Rick Brinkman & Dr. Rick Kirschner

from the norm to the extreme
From the Norm to the Extreme…

Task Focus




People Focus

from conflict to cooperation
From Conflict to Cooperation

Essential Skills

  • Neutralizing
    • Any action that neutralizes negative behavior in order to meet them where they are and move to common ground
  • Redirecting
    • Any behavior that changes the direction of an interaction. Neutralizing precedes redirecting.
  • Neutralize with body and facial expressions
  • Neutralize vocally with volume and speed
  • Don’t Engage -- Probe!
  • Listen to understand -- it is not “mine or theirs”
    • Empathize
    • Backtrack
    • Clarify
    • Summarize what you’ve heard
    • Confirm to make sure you got it right
  • Identify positive intent
    • Their point is valid
    • Apply “Positive Intent” to…
      • Getting the job done
      • Getting the job done right
      • Getting along with others
      • Getting appreciation
speak to be understood
Speak to be Understood
  • Assertion vs. Aggression -- monitor your tone of voice
  • State your intention
  • Tactfully control interruptions
  • Tell your truth
    • Use “I” language
    • Be specific about the problem behavior (impact)
    • Help them understand how their behavior is self defeating
    • Suggest new behaviors or options
  • Stay flexible --explore options -- question before defending
  • Reframe instead of rebut
get what you project and expect
Get What You Project and Expect
  • Raise your expectations of people to help them raise their expectations of themselves.
  • Acknowledge their effort
  • Be tough on bad behavior
  • Expect good behavior
  • Assume the best and give the benefit of the doubt
  • Appreciate constructive criticism
    • Don’t be defensive
    • Verbally appreciate the person providing the criticism
    • Redirect if necessary - focus on activities, not persons
choices for defensive behavior
Take responsibility -- know when it happens

Tell people what is happening with you -- they will help

Slow down!

Acknowledge the negative chatter in your head -- it is not about you!

Check your, and others, assumptions

Emotionally Detach! Don’t identify with the situation or take it as an attack

Choices for Defensive Behavior