Conflict Management Candyce Reynolds, Ph.D.. University Studies
Conflict What is it?
Conflict Why do we do it?
Conflict Why do we care?
Goals for Today • Understand the nature of conflict in human relationships • Identify ways that conflict can be positive or negative • Examine a framework for analyzing conflict situations • Analyze a personal conflict
What we know…. • Conflict is a naturally occurring phenomenon for human beings • People do not get involved in conflict situations unless they have some stake in the relationship or outcome or both
What we know…. • One can never truly resolve conflict, one can only manage conflict • The costs of unmanaged conflict can be high, but the gains from using differences creatively can also be great • Conflict can either be productive or dysfunctional
Anger Frustration Fear Excitement Common Feelings Associated with Conflict
Fight Flight Common Actions Associated with Conflict
Your History with Conflict • How was conflict perceived in your family/community? • How did your family/community deal with conflict?
You can decide... • Understanding the impact of your family and community on your ideas about conflict can allow you to make decisions about how you deal with conflict now • We are our history • We make our history
Conflict Styles R E L A T I O N S H I P High Importance 3 5 4 2 1 High Importance Low Importance GOALS
Conflict Styles R E L A T I O N S H I P High Importance 3 5 4 2 1--Turtle High Importance Low Importance GOALS
Turtle--Withdrawing • Avoid conflict as all costs • Give up their personal goals & relationships • Believe it is hopeless to try to resolve conflict • Feel helpless • Easier to withdraw than face conflict
Conflict Styles R E L A T I O N S H I P High Importance 3 5 4 2--Shark 1 High Importance Low Importance GOALS
Shark--Forcing • Try to overpower opponents by forcing them to accept their solutions • Not concerned with needs of others • Do not care about how others perceive them • Believe in winning and losing • Winning gives them a sense of pride • Try to win by attacking, overwhelming, & intimidating others
Conflict Styles R E L A T I O N S H I P High Importance 3--Teddy Bear 5 4 2 1 High Importance Low Importance GOALS
Teddy Bear--Smoothing • Relationships most important, goals of little importance • Want to be accepted and liked by other people • Believe conflict should be avoided in favor of harmony • Fearful that conflict will hurt someone
Conflict Styles R E L A T I O N S H I P High Importance 3 5 4--Fox 2 1 High Importance Low Importance GOALS
Fox--Compromising • Moderately concerned with relationships and goals • Willing to sacrifice part of their goals and relationships in order to find agreement for the common good
Conflict Styles R E L A T I O N S H I P High Importance 3 5--Owl 4 2 1 High Importance Low Importance GOALS
Owl--Confronting • Value their own goals and relationships • View conflicts as problems to be solved • See conflicts as improving relationships by reducing tension • Seek solutions that satisfy both parties • Not satisfied until solution is found and tension is reduced
Uses of the “Turtle” • When issue is trivial • When potential damage of confrontation outweighs the benefits • To let people cool down & reduce tension • When gathering information • When others can resolve the conflict more effectively
Uses of the “Shark” • When quick, decisive action is vital • On important issues where unpopular actions need to be implemented • To protect yourself against people who take advantage of noncompetitive behavior
Uses of “Teddy Bear” • When you realize you are wrong • To learn from others • When issue is more important to the other person than to yourself • As a goodwill gesture to maintain cooperative relationship • To allow others to experiment
Uses of “Fox” • When goals are important, but not worth the effort or disruption • When opponents with equal power are strongly committed • To achieve temporary settlements to complex issues
Uses of “Owl” • To find an integrative solution when both sides are too important to compromise • When your objective is to learn • To work through hard feelings which have been interfering with a relationship
Understand Process of Conflict intervene Expectations (explicit) Anticipation (implicit) Unfulfilled Expectations Experience Gather evidence for a case Resentments Build Give up
The issues • The facts: present situation, problems • The goals: how things ought to be, the future conditions sought • The methods: the best, the easiest, the quickest, the most ethical • The values: the beliefs about priorities that should be observed in choosing goals & methods • The history: what has gone on before
Components of a Conflict Situation • Frustration--when you feel blocked. • Conceptualization of problem-- “What’s going on?” • Conceptualization of behaviors & intentions-- “What does that mean?” • Outcome--emotional, cognitive, behavioral
What can we do???How do we intervene??? • Accept that you will have conflict • Work toward having positive vs. dysfunctional conflict • Use conflict management skills • De-escalation • “I”- Messages
Competition Righteousness Not Listening Spreading to new issues Dealing in personalities Threats Intentional Hurt Violating Social Rules Indicators of Escalation
Listening. Trying to understand. Showing Tact. Concern for other’s feelings. Goodwill gestures. Appeals to De-escalate. Airing feelings. Finding alternatives. Indicators of De-escalation
“I”-Messages Describe: • Behavior • Feelings • Consequence Beware of war words!!
Analyzing a Conflict Situation • Conflict was between________ • It centered around_________ • I wanted___________ • and felt frustrated because __________ • In my view, the key issue was _______ • The other person probably thought the key issue was ___________
Analyzing a Conflict Situation • Predominant conflict style I used_____ • Escalation behaviors I used________ • De-escalation behaviors I used______ • Major outcomes_____________ • Differences over: facts, goals, methods, values, history___________ • What would I do differently next time?
Small Group • Break into small groups • Take 7 minutes to fill out sheet. Write about problem that you are willing to share with group. (Could be something that has happened in your group!) • Share worksheet with group • Get feedback about possible alternative ways of viewing and/or handling conflict • Discuss common themes
Large Class • Each group share their common themes • Questions, comments