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Managing Workplace Conflict Manager’s Training California State Training Center. “Can’t We All Just Get Along ” Rodney King. Objectives. Introduction and Housekeeping Learning Objectives Learning Skills Discussion and Application Wrap Up and Feedback.

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managing workplace conflict manager s training california state training center

Managing Workplace ConflictManager’s TrainingCalifornia State Training Center

“Can’t We All Just Get Along”

Rodney King

  • Introduction and Housekeeping
  • Learning Objectives
  • Learning Skills
  • Discussion and Application
  • Wrap Up and Feedback

Kimberley Garth-James, PhD., believes in Getting Along At Work

My education and experience include doctorate and masters’ degrees in public administration (management); and, 20 years in public service.

Skills: Trainer and Educator, Project Manager and Public Relations Expert

Hobbies: Reading and Jogging

  • A Collaborative Approach to Learning
    • Expectations of Trainer
    • Cell Phones
    • Sidebar Conversations
    • Breaks
    • Questions and Answers
      • Post-Notes
learning objectives
Learning Objectives

Based on a review of the conflict

management literature and feedback from

government workers, we developed the

following course objectives:

  • To define conflict and identify its sources
  • To understand workplace conflict and how it prevents “getting along” at work.
learning objectives continued
Learning Objectives (continued)
  • Learn the conflicts that challenge you as a manager in your workplace.
  • Learn from the your mistakes and how to better manager difficult employees.
  • Learn approaches to help you successfully manage the workplace and “getting along” at work.

After taking this course you should learn

these skills:

  • How to identify conflict factors at work.
  • Apply approaches to impact conflict at work.
skills continued
Skills (continued)
  • To help you demonstrate that “getting along” in the workplace is tied to improving job satisfaction and worker productivity.
  • Effectively comply with your responsibility as a public manager, which includes managing conflict.
conflict at work
Conflict At Work
  • Hundreds of people are victims of workplace violence. Would you agree?
        • What stories have you heard?
  • Labor organizations say that workplace violence is the biggest problem facing employees and managers.
conflict is
Conflict Is…?

Some people think of conflict as it is defined

in Government Code 87300, which requires

state agencies adopt a Conflict-of-Interest


  • Refers to economic interests and politics
definition of conflict
Definition of Conflict

Conflict is defined as workplace violence; a full range of behaviors:

  • disruptive, aggressive, or hostile behavior.
  • emotional abuse
definition of conflict continued
Definition of Conflict (continued)

Results in:

  • personal injury, property damage
  • impedes the normal course of work
  • causes fear among workers, managers, and clients for their safety
state definition and policy
State Definition and Policy

Zero Tolerance Policy

  • Government Code Sections 12940-60. Managers must ensure:
    • All individuals have the right to be safe from harassment, abuse and threats.
    • They execute their responsibility to safeguard the health, welfare, and rights of their employees, and visitors.
state policy continued
State Policy (continued)
  • “In fact, it is the employer\'s legal responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees.”

(California Labor Code section 6400.)  

  • Must attend trainings
conflict factors challenge managers
Conflict Factors Challenge Managers

Conflict challenges supervisors and managers

who spend 30% to 40% of their time on


  • Workplace anxiety
  • Worker distrust
  • Low morale that adversely affects productivity
  • Dysfunctional work teams
  • Job stress and home life problems
  • SOMETIMES physical injury or death.
    • CASE Example
  • State Worker Exacts Revenge
  • On a bright summer afternoon a middle-aged man state worker rode up the
  • elevator to his job as he routinely did for 10 years. Today, he was toting a black
  • satchel on a dolly similar to the kind lawyers use except that his contained two
  • pistols, a handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. This was the day
  • he planned to get even with a co-worker that had formerly said something to
  • anger him. No one took notice of the man as he strode down the hall to the co-
  • worker’s cubicle carrying the black bag. The people inside received no warning
  • before the man suddenly fired upon them. Managers didn’t know what to do.
  • He continued his rampage, shooting those who attempted to warn their
  • colleagues. He sought out and shot employees who tried to hide and others who
  • were trapped in their offices. As SWAT teams surrounded the floor his two pistols jammed, and the desperate gunman took his own life with the remaining weapon. The
  • unsuspecting state agency’s management learned a hard lesson: that even the
  • most seemingly sheltered environments are not immune to violent crime.
  • They have since instituted an emergency plan and better access control
  • procedures as well as added training on how to use the new internal warning
  • systems among other precautions.
  • Think about this scenario. What would you do to prevent and manage this situation?
successfully impact workplace conflict violence
Successfully Impact Workplace Conflict/Violence
  • Pre-hire Screening
    • Check References
  • Human Resource Trainings
    • Skills trainings to handle difficult employees, and manage stress
successful conflict management skills continued
Successful Conflict Management Skills (continued)

3. Attend the supervisor’s training on how to manage conflict

4. Access Resources

  • Know your resources on how to impact workplace conflict (violence)

Use Workplace Violence Forms

  • Osha Fact Sheet On Workplace Violence
  • Use Workplace Violence Forms
  • Osha Fact Sheet On Workplace Violence

Read Books
      • Conflict Resolution, Morton Deutsch, New Haven Press
  • Invite law enforcement to the workplace
    • Discuss violence and prevention
successful conflict management skills continued1
Successful Conflict Management Skills (continued)

7. Use Commonsense and Risk Management

  • Use your agency’s emergency management plan on how to handle dangerous situations (people, behaviors)
  • Be good listener
  • Use a Mediator and Facilitator

8. Impact (reduce) domestic violence in the workplace

managers must comply with state law
Managers Must Comply With State Law
  • Document threats of violence, violence in the workplace.
  • Report domestic violence to executives and comply with agency rules, including contacting law enforcement.
  • Discuss the Zero Tolerance of no violence in the workplace with staff at regularly meetings
  • Offer stress sessions after traumatic incidents

(Source: California Labor Department and Office of Safety and Health Act (OHSA))

wrap up
Wrap Up
  • Review Course Objectives
  • Feedback
    • Comments from Post-Its
    • Evaluations
  • Government Code 87300, requires state agencies adopt a Conflict-of-Interest
  • "Assets and income of public officials which may be materially affected by their official actions should be disclosed and in appropriate circumstances the officials should be disqualified from acting in order that conflicts of interest may be avoided."Gov. Code section 81002(c)"No public official at any level of state or local government shall make, participate in making or in any way attempt to use his official position to influence a governmental decision in which he knows or has reason to know he has a financial interest."Gov. Code Section 87100