Sources N.B for internal use not for printing, reproduction, publishing or distribution • Learning Tools – Mastering HR Organizational Effectiveness, University Alliance • Communicate Effectively, Lani Arredondo • Resolving Conflicts on the Job, Bill Withers & Jerry Wisinski
Learning Objectives • Accept conflict as natural • Discover your own perceptions and attitudes about conflict • Understand how conflict develops in relationships • Determine your style and the different styles of conflict management • Learn how to prepare for a difficult conversation
What is Conflict? • A competitive or opposing action of incompatibilities • Antagonistic state or action • Mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes or external or internal demands • Hostile encounter
Myths • Conflict at work always means that there is something seriously wrong with the organization. • Conflict means communication has come to a halt. • If avoided, conflict will eventually go away. • All conflicts can be resolved. • Conflict always results in a winner and a loser.
Truths • Conflict will occur. • Most conflicts can be managed. • Conflict can help build relationships. • Conflict can be a tool for personal development
Some Positive Outcomes from Conflict • Creates change • Brings issues to surface • Can help reduce tension • Helps get the work done • Gets new ideas on the table • Makes change happen
Some Negative Outcomes from Conflict • People continue to avoid conflict • Hurt feelings • Things said in anger can have a lasting impact • Lack of respect • Lack of teamwork • Change not occurring or happening • Potential violence
Overview • Conflict is natural in almost every relationship. • It is a matter of time. • The key is to understand where the conflict comes from. • Conflict can be a positive thing in organizations. • It can spark change and creativity if successfully addressed. • It can be negative if not addressed or recognized.
Potential Areas of Disagreement • Scarce resources • Jurisdictional ambiguities • Communication breakdowns • Personality clashes • Power and status differences • Goal differences • Cultural differences • values
Effects of Disagreement • Communication misfires • Conflict among team members and among teams within the organization • Lack of clarity in priorities • Lack of trust in each other • Lack of trust in management • Reduction in productivity • Reduction in creativity and innovation
Conflict Management styles There are five conflict management styles: • Competing • Accommodating • Avoiding • Collaborating • Compromising
Conflict Management styles Competing Assertive and uncooperative, an individual pursues his/her own concerns at the other person’s expense.
Conflict Management styles Accommodating Unassertive and cooperative – this is the opposite of competing. When accommodating, an individual neglects his/her own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person.
Conflict Management styles Avoiding Unassertive and uncooperative – this individual does not immediately pursue his/her own concerns or those of the other person.
Conflict Management styles Collaborating Both assertive and cooperative – this is the opposite of avoiding. Collaborating involves an attempt to work with the other person to find some solution which fully satisfies the concerns of both persons.
Conflict Management styles Compromising This style is an intermediate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective is to find some expedient, mutually acceptable solution which partially satisfies both parties.
In preparing for a difficult conversation, it takes strength, emotional intelligence and maturity to look at the other person’s perspective, point-of-view, and side in the conflict.
Why Have Difficult Conversations? • You’ll reduce your anxiety and get better results • You’ll identify barriers to effective communication • You’ll understand and express complex thoughts and feelings productively • You’ll simply solve problems – amicably
Steps to prepare for a Difficult Conversation 1. Stop arguing about who is right. Explore each other’s stories.
Steps to prepare for a Difficult Conversation 2. Abandon blame. Sort out and map the contribution system.
Steps to prepare for a Difficult Conversation 3. Do not assume, act based on facts.
Steps to prepare for a Difficult Conversation 4. Ground your pride. Ask yourself what is at stake?
Steps to prepare for a Difficult Conversation 5. Create a Learning Conversation
Wrong Reflexes What to avoid? • Writing memos instead of talking • Withholding needed information • Not returning messages • Delaying giving required support Continue/…next page
Wrong Reflexes What to avoid? • Getting others to take sides • Shouting • Threatening • Undermining the opponent’s reputation • Nervous gestures • Closed body posture • Tense facial expressions
Importance of Sense of Humor in the work place – basic “fun”damentals • Laugh with people, not at them • Lighten up. Don’t take yourself too seriously • Think with a sense of humor • Adopt a fun and playful attitude • Plan to have a good time every single day • Help others see the lighter side of things
Conflict Resolution Skills There are three ways to resolve any conflict: • Power contests • Rights contests • Interest reconciliation
Leadership & Conflict Resolution Autocratic Democratic Degree of authority used by the leader Degree of authority allowed followers TELL SELL PARTICIPATE DELEGATE Leader makes the decision; announces it. Leader presents the decision; invites questions Leader presents the problem, gets input and makes the decision Leader defines limit, permits followers to make the decision
Valuable Tips • Seek to understand the other person’s • point of view before you explain yours. • Try to arrive at a common goal • Build on areas of agreement • Clearly state your desire to find a solution that will work for all involved • Depersonalize the conflict • Avoid blaming, accusatory and inflammatory comments • Ask yourself if this is the time and place to pursue an issue of conflict • See conflict as a disagreement about goals, ideas, and methods, rather than a personality or style conflict.
Valuable Tips • Use a third-party negotiator when you are unable to practice cooperative problem solving • Listen to other people’s concerns. • Before meeting about a conflict, visualize the • conflict resolved in the best way for all parties. • Provide motivation for people involved in on-going or recurring conflicts to resolve their differences. • Always focus on reaching win/win solution.
The end on Conflict Resolution • Again, conflict is natural • It occurs in all relationships • The key is how to recognize it, deal with it, and harness it for change and success • It starts with recognizing your own reactions to conflict and how you can better deal with others and their reactions to conflict for resolution
People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.