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Creative Approaches to Conflict Resolution: Mediating, as well as Your Own Conflicts Eldon J. Braun, Ph. D. Department of Physiology University of Arizona. What are conflicts?. Simply stated: Disagreements among individuals . How you manage conflicts depends on your

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Creative Approaches to Conflict Resolution:

Mediating, as well as Your Own Conflicts

Eldon J. Braun, Ph. D.

Department of Physiology

University of Arizona


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What are conflicts?

Simply stated: Disagreements among individuals

How you manage conflicts depends on your

role – moderator or participant


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Role as moderator

In the beginning, assume all participants have

legitimate positions

Only one person speaks – no over speaking

Listen quietly – and listen carefully;do not judge

whether a person is saying one thing but

meaning another

“Size up” situation – real or imagined conflict

Observe body language

Do not take sides


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Role as moderator

Do not become emotionally involved

At all costs, do not involved personalities –

“just the facts”

– focus on the problem not the person

Repeat ideas

Listen so people will talk

– talk so people will listen

Create options for resolution


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Perception of conflicts

Background of individuals

Experiences of individuals

Cultural expectations


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Factors or circumstances that can

create conflicts

Dissention among individuals

Irritations

Small problems can escalate to serious issues

Stress


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Elements of stress

Change

Emotional problems

Harassment

Inability to state needs

Inability to say “no”

Acting in self interest

Over reaching

Undefined goals

Unequal treatment

Unfair treatment


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Cost of unresolved conflicts

Lost time

Increased stress in the work environment

Reduced motivation due to increased tension

and stress


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Potential out-comes of conflict resolution

Better understanding among individuals

Clearer commitment by people

Improved relationships


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Personal involvement in conflict

Look at problem as an outsider would

Stay on subject

Keep a sense of humor – take your job seriously

not yourself

Do not make character attacks

Ask for feedback

Admit when you are wrong

Be willing to compromise – principle vs. stubborn

Know thyself, but do not try to win at all costs


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Components of conflict resolution session

Procedural rules

Substantive issues raised

Psychological needs – “safe” environment

Discuss in confidence

Speak directly with people

Support expression of dissent

Attack issues – not people

Clarify – restate positions - reflect

Validate


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Approach to problem solving

Be flexible

Fair considerations

Generate several solutions if conditions warrant

Be realistic

Manage impasses calmly

Be specific and clear on issues

Build agreements that will work

Agreements must be enforceable


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Summary

Moderator of conflict:

- Be a good listener

- Stick to the facts

- Understand individuals

- Stress

- Cost

- Outcome


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Summary

Participant in conflict:

  • Step back

  • Facts

  • Compromise