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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
contact information

Contact information

Pete Swanson