Leading through conflict
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  • Roberto, p. 16ff 1996 Rob Hall and Scott Fischer – two groups, with leaders, guides, 8 paying clients Did not obey the “rule” – 5 died, others barely escaped Never engaged in an open and candid dialogue Knowledgeable member guide Neil Beidelman “quite conscious of his place in the expedition pecking order” Another - “we had been specifically indoctrinated not to question our guide’s judgments” Hall during early days – “I will tolerate no dissension up here. My word will be absolute law, beyond appeal.” p. 19 …”Fischer’s situation proved especially tragic . . .”
  • Roberto, pg. 63ff. Launched 1/16/03 Engineer Rodney Rocha “gasped audibly” p. 63 “Although the original design specifications . . .” p. 64 Rocha sent scathing email, not to be sent too far up the ladder. p. 65 Later told he was “duty bound to voice” his concerns, said it was not that easy Sociologist who studied both Challenger and Columbia quote : p 66 “At a meeting . . .”
  • April 1961 – JFK authorized assistance for 1400 Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro All killed or captured within 3 days. Kennedy said, “How could I have been so stupid to let them go ahead?” CIA forcefully advocated it JFK did not seek out any unbiased expert counsel Schlesinger later called it “a curious atmosphere of assumed consensus” Proponents had said the exiles could retreat easily to the nearby mountains – actually nearly 80 miles away over rough terrain!
  • Ted Sorenson and Bobbie Kennedy were the Devil’s Advocates President made final decision from all of this information
  • Under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, tens of millions of ordinary individuals were executed or imprisoned in labour camps that were little more than death camps. Perceived political orientation was the key variable in these mass atrocities. But gender played an important role, and in many respects the Purge period of Soviet history can be considered the worst gendercide of the twentieth century. By 1928, Stalin was entrenched as supreme Soviet leader, and he wasted little time in launching a series of national campaigns (the so-called Five-Year Plans) aimed at "collectivizing" the peasantry and turning the USSR into a powerful industrial state. Both campaigns featured murder on a massive scale. Collectivization especially targeted Ukraine, "the breadbasket of the Soviet Union," which clung stubbornly to its own national identity and preference for village-level communal landholdings. In 1932-33, Stalin engineered a famine (by massively raising the grain quota that the peasantry had to turn over to the state); this killed between six and seven million people and broke the back of Ukrainian resistance. The Ukrainian famine has only recently been recognized as one of the most destructive genocides of the twentieth century Alexander Solzhenitsyn - "Dumfounded, the world watched three plays in a row, three wide-ranging and expensive dramatic productions in which the powerful leaders of the fearless Communist Party, who had turned the entire world upside down and terrified it, now marched forth like doleful, obedient goats and bleated out everything they had been ordered to, vomited all over themselves, cringingly abased themselves and their convictions, and confessed to crimes they could not in any wise have committed." Gerzon, page 19 – our purpose in drawing a collective portrait
  • Gerzon – page 36 EU’s Food Safety Agency
  • Term is used a lot, but seldom accurately Gerzon, page 49, Mandela’s quote
  • Vision – long term needs, true collaboration, shared values, clear direction Boundaries – one kind of narrow-mindedness for another Language – avoid dualistic, either/or talk – us/them, we/you, should be all/none Balcony – take the whole playing field at a glance, cannot see the big picture from the negotiation table – an attitude of perspective, not looking down on others Mature mind – count for more than outward success – efficiency, competency and integrity See through walls – man-made, political, attitudes and ideologies, “making eye contact with the Other”
  • Simple – avoid elaborate language and complex models – be straightforward Think systematically – not just about everything else, but you as well. Everyone starts out on a “side” – even you. Outside of the box – see as others see, not accepting self-image as reality Ask – “What happened next? What do you mean by that? Okay – and when you did that, what were the consequences? How do you know? Can you verify that?” These questions help break through the boundaries of our thinking. Think twice – it can demonize others, make us inattentive to what is really a threat
  • Find path – a do-it-yourself activity, belongs to no one else – Jess Lair’s “I Ain’t Much Baby, But I’m All I Got” – If there’s a problem here, I caused it. Practice – pay full attention at all times Reliable witness – better able to observe life and events, more aware of ourselves – hold back feelings, rush to judgment, hide our mistakes, only appear to listen? Pay attention to energy – loud people may want change but have little to say. Look to what is energizing. There may be more power in quietness. What kind of energy is needed? Clarify motivation – Whose interests are you really serving? Promote presence at meetings – What are your expectations? Why do you want them to come? How will you get them engaged? Cultivate quiet presence – rigid people are likely threatened
  • Make questions count – Is it genuine? What do I want the question to do? Will it cause fresh thinking? Inquire to learn. Ask open-ended questions. Not interrogation – intrusive, invasive Lean questions toward the light – illuminate, create motion. Not, “Why do you mistrust them so much?” but “What would it take to trust them more?” Don’t blame, listen more deeply – what are they really saying? Practice inquiry, hate/love – emotions can derail inquiry in a heartbeat Listening test – Find a good space. Take the time. Respond, don’t react. Show interest. Be patient. Listen for content, emotion. Learn. Follow their lead. Be kind. Master Mediators – read, interview, learn Listen to those with no voice – passively silent or actively silenced, still have much to tell us. Often have the best insights, perspective.
  • Robert’s Rules – use them when they work, when not, converse Set ground rules – collectively determined before directly addressing the conflict Rules owned by all – need to be part of the fabric of the group, then introduce, enforce and use them to advance real work Let go of “winning” – pay less attention to what is “right” and more to understanding. Acknowledge your contribution to the conflict Replace abstractions – avoid theories, and ideologies. Don’t try to “fix” the other side, seek a “friend” there Leave your comfort zone – seek out diverse people who will challenge your assumptions
  • Ripple effect – where it will yield the highest results? Uncover assumptions – not to change them, but to learn and understand them Hidden agendas visible – don’t have to give up agendas, just reveal them – turn their story and our story into a larger story (sometimes called the “third story”) Equalize power – effective dialogue should empower all, equal footing (Gerzon p. 185) Dialogue with action – combine them Rebuild trust – treat with respect, dignity, a “safe container” with rules of conduct Challenge arrogance – about vulnerability and opening sharing what we do and don’t know. Be sincere, humble, persistent Use respect with stereotypes – we are all “special cases,” with composite identities. Respect literally means “to look again”
  • One step at a time – confidence-building measures, bringing obstacles into the open to deal with Idealism and practicality – both are necessary – profit/altruism, etc. Build from the middle – mid-level may be more flexible, better allies, perhaps even closer to the issues Think like a minority – don’t act as if you are in charge and don’t need to bridge. You aren’t and you do! Raise the level – not annihilating your opponent, focus on the level of the competition, seeking resolution, not shutting down your antagonists Bridge by doing it – move from theory to behavior. Just do it. Until you see it in action, it’s not real. Webs, not walls – we are all interconnected
  • Don’t seek limelight – Mediators are behind the scenes Practice collaboration – build on shared values, be creative and courageous Emphasize coleaders and teams – pair diverse individuals. Combined leadership can be meaningful to everyone Fix the process – what is causing the conflict is probably more important than the conflict itself Ensure fair rules – don’t take for granted that they are. Learn to dance – South African poem (Gerzon, page 223) If you see two sides, Create a third. If you see many sides, Form a circle. If you see many circles, Begin to dance.
  • Leadership and self-deception Subtitled “Getting Out of the Box”, uses the parable of a fictional company, Zagrum, and a new employee, Tom Callum, to learn how to think and act “outside of the box”, avoiding the pitfalls of self-deception. Bud Jefferson, the EVP at Zagrum, tells the true story of a doctor in mid 1800’s Europe, Ignaz Semmelweis, who was trying to find out why the Vienna General Hospital had a mortality rate of 1 in 10. His studies included diet, laundry, most everything he could think of with no real resolution of the problem! Finally he determined that the physicians were carrying some unnamed organisms (germs, as we now know) from cadavers to living patients. In essence, they were the problem as they were trying to provide solutions. After instituting some rudimentary application of a lime and chlorine solution cleansing between patient contacts, the mortality rate plummeted to 1 in 100. This book makes the parallel between this experience and the self-deception inherent in most interpersonal relationships, notably at the leadership level. Pretty powerful stuff, with some excellent diagrams to aid in understanding, applying the information. in the appendix, Arbinger tells of their passion in dealing with the three issues of self-deception (formerly called resistance). How can people simultaneously 1) create their own problems, 2) be unable to see this, and yet 3) resist any attempts to help them stop.

Leading through conflict Leading through conflict Presentation Transcript

  • LeadingthroughConflict Presented by: Barry L. Davis, MS, CTC, MCDP Director of Career Services, LMA Consulting
  • Conflict is unavoidable. . . actually necessary, even critical to success. . . a commitment to avoid conflict can be catastrophic
  • Conflict is necessaryEverest – the “2 o’clock rule” View slide
  • Conflict is critical Columbia Mission View slide
  • Conflict is unavoidable Bay of Pigs Invasion
  • Conflict is unavoidable. . . actually necessary, even critical to successBay of Pigs vs. Missiles of October vs .
  • Conflict is unavoidable . . . actually necessary, even critical to success Bay of Pigs vs. Missiles of October Role of PresidentPresent at all meetings Deliberately absent at times Role of ParticipantsAdvocates for particular depts. Skeptical generalists Group Norms Defer to experts, protocol Minimize status/rank
  • Conflict is unavoidable. . . actually necessary, even critical to success Bay of Pigs vs. Missiles of October Involvement of ParticipantsExtreme secrecy, top level Direct contact, various levels Use of SubgroupsOne small group, autonomous Two subgroups, debating Consideration of Alternatives No competing plans Alternatives discussed Institutionalized Dissent No “Devil’s Advocates” Two assigned this “role”
  • Leading through Conflict . . .3 Basic ApproachesThe Demagogue The Manager The Mediator
  • Leading through Conflict The Demagogue•Leads through fear, threats, intimidation•Turns opponents into scapegoats•Uses lies and propaganda to dehumanize theOther•Resorts to violence to dominate or destroy theOther
  • Leading through Conflict The Manager•Operates on an exclusive, limited definition of “us”•Defines purpose in terms of the self-interest of owngroup•Cannot/will not deal with the issues, decisions orconflicts that cross boundaries•Is productive and effective only on home turf
  • Leading through Conflict The Mediator•Strives to act on behalf of the whole, not just apart•Thinks systematically, committed to ongoinglearning•Builds trust through bridges across dividing lines•Seeks innovation and opportunity to transformconflict
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 1. Integral VisionCommitting ourselves to holding all sides of the conflict, in all their complexity, in our minds and hearts When you go around the earth in an hour and a half, you begin to recognize that your identity is with the whole thing. – Russell Schweickart, U.S. astronaut
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 1. Integral VisionCommitting ourselves to holding all sides of the conflict, in all their complexity, in our minds and hearts •Check your vision •Don’t swap boundaries •Watch your language •Visit the Balcony •Develop a mature mind •Learn to see through walls
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 2. Systems ThinkingIdentifying all (or as many as possible) of the significant elementsrelated to the conflict and understanding the relationship between themWhere do you define the boundaries of the system of which you are a part? This is one of the most critical leadership questions today. – Ronald Heifetz, JFK School of Government, Harvard University
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 2. Systems ThinkingIdentifying all (or as many as possible) of the significant elementsrelated to the conflict and understanding the relationship between them •Keep it simple •Think systematically about your role •View from “outside of the box” •Ask, “And then what?” •Think twice before naming enemies
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 3. Presence Applying all our mental, emotional, and spiritual resources to witnessing ourselves and the conflict of which we are now a partTrue self-interest teaches selflessness . . . Heaven and earth endurebecause they are not simply selfish but exist in behalf of all creation. The wise leader, knowing this, keeps selfishness in check and, by doing so, becomes even more effective. – Lao Tzu, 6th century Chinese sage
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 3. Presence Applying all our mental, emotional, and spiritual resources towitnessing ourselves and the conflict of which we are now a part •Find your own path •Practice presence, even in the face of fear •Become a reliable witness •Pay attention to energy •Clarify your motivation •Promote presence at meetings •Cultivate quiet presence
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 4. InquiryAsking questions that unlock essential information about the conflict that is vital to understanding how to transform it “Why do you pray?” the young man asked his teacher. “I pray to the God within me,” the old teacher replied, “that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.” – Elie Wiesel, Night
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 4. InquiryAsking questions that unlock essential information about the conflict that is vital to understanding how to transform it •Make questions count •Interrogation is NOT inquiry •Lean questions toward the light •Don’t blame, listen more deeply •Practice especially with those you hate – and love •Take listening tests •Learn from Master Mediators •Listen especially to those who have no voice
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 5. Conscious Conversation Developing our awareness of the full range of choices about how we speak and listenDemocracy needs a place to sit down. – Hannah Arendt, philosopher
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 5. Conscious ConversationDeveloping our awareness of the full range of choices about how we speak and listen •Go beyond Robert’s Rules •Set ground rules beforehand •Make rules owned by all •Let go of “winning” arguments •Replace abstractions with relationships •Leave your comfort zone
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 6. Dialogue Communicating in order to catalyze the human capacity for bridging and innovationIn most conflicts, the main part of the problem . . . consists in getting people to talk and to listen to one another. – Howard Raiffa, The Art and Science of Negotiation
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 6. Dialogue Communicating in order to catalyze the human capacity for bridging and innovation •Seek the Ripple Effect •Uncover assumptions •Make hidden agendas visible •Equalize power relationships •When necessary, add action to dialogue •Rebuild trust when it runs low •Challenge arrogance with dialogue •Use respect to dissolve stereotypes
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 7. BridgingBuilding actual partnerships and alliances that cross the borders that divide an organization or community The world that we have made, as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems that we cannot solve at the same level at which we created them. – Albert Einstein
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 7. BridgingBuilding actual partnerships and alliances that cross the borders that divide an organization or community •Build bridges one step at a time •Bridge idealism and practicality •Build from the middle, not just from the top •Think like a minority •Raise the level of the game •Learn to bridge by doing it •Think webs, not walls
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 8. InnovationCatalyze social or entrepreneurial breakthroughs that foster new options for moving through conflicts A good design is not a compromise. – Amory Lovins, inventor
  • Mediating through Conflict – the 8 tools 8. InnovationCatalyze social or entrepreneurial breakthroughs that foster new options for moving through conflicts •Don’t seek the limelight •Practice collaboration, don’t just preach it •Emphasis coleaders and teams, not individuals •Fix the process as well as the problem •Ensure fair rules •Learn to dance
  • Conflict – Affective vs. ConstructiveBefore During AfterRules Reframe Reflectestablished in recast in a evaluateadvance different light process, learnRoles Redescribeclarified for present ideas, Repaireach data in novel damagedindividual ways relationshipsinvolved and hurt Revisit feelingsRespect basic factsbuild and Remembermutually, assumptions and celebrateconsidering at impasses successescognitivestyles
  • Leading through Conflict Some excellent resources on the subject . . . Leadership and Self-Deception The Arbinger Institute, 2002Leading Through Conflict: How Successful Leaders Transform Differences into Opportunities Gerzon, Mark, Harvard Business School Press, 2006 Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes For An Answer Roberto, Michael, A., Wharton School Publishing, 2005 The Wisdom of Crowds Surowiecki, James, Doubleday, 2004
  • 1848 Charter Lane Lancaster, PA 17601-5896 717.509.8889 877.562.2888 www.LMAconsulting.cc Barry L. Davis, MS, CTC, MCDP bdavis@LMAconsulting.cc http://www.linkedin.com/in/barrydavismcdphttp://www.facebook.com/CareerServicesLMA http://twitter.com/bl_davis