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Conflict management in the workplace

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Facts about conflict,Four Basic Elements of Conflict,Conflict Indicators,Resolving Conflict,Common ways of Dealing with Conflicts among others are highligthed.

Facts about conflict,Four Basic Elements of Conflict,Conflict Indicators,Resolving Conflict,Common ways of Dealing with Conflicts among others are highligthed.

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  • 1. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN THE WORKPLACE By Obasemola Stephen HR Learning Session International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 2. What is conflict?• An open clash between two opposing groups or individuals.• Opposition between two simultaneous but incompatible feelings.• A hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of war.• A state of discord caused by the actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests. This can be internal (within oneself) or external (between two or more individuals). No matter how hard we try to avoid it, conflict periodically enters our lives. In the workplace, a simple disagreement between team members, if unresolved may escalate into avoidance, inability to work together, verbal assaults, and resentment. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 3. Facts about conflict• Conflict is inevitable;• Conflict develops because we are dealing with people’s lives, jobs, children, pride, self-concept, ego and sense of mission or purpose;• Early indicators of conflict can be recognized;• There are strategies for resolution of conflicts.• Although inevitable, conflict can be minimized, diverted and/or resolved.• It can be constructive or destructive. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 4. Four Basic Elements of Conflict• The involvement of two or more parties.• A perception of incompatible goals.• Differing values or perceptions.• A continuation of the conflict until both sides feel satisfied with the results. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 5. Beginnings of conflict• Communication failure.• Personality conflict.• Value differences• Skill deficiencies in managing relationships.• Methodological differences.• Ineffective organizational systems.• Ineffective conflict management systems.• Lack of cooperation.• Competition over resources.• Differences regarding authority or responsibility• Dissatisfaction with management style.• Weak leadership.• Lack of openness.• Non-compliance with rules International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 6. Conflict Indicators• Body language.• Disagreements, regardless of issue.• Withholding bad news.• Surprises.• Strong public statements.• Airing disagreements through media.• Desire for power.• Increasing lack of respect.• Open disagreement.• Lack of candor (openness) on sensitive issues.• Lack of clear goals.• Lack of interest in the common tasks. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 7. Conflict is destructive when it:• Takes attention away from other important activities.• Undermines morale or self-concept.• Polarizes people and groups, reducing cooperation.• Increases or sharpens difference.• Leads to irresponsible and harmful behavior, such as fighting, name calling etc. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 8. Conflict is constructive when it:• Results in clarification of important problems and issues.• Results in solution to problems.• Involves people in resolving issues important to them.• Causes authentic communication.• Helps release emotion, anxiety, and stress.• Builds cooperation among people through learning more about each other.• Helps individuals develop understanding skills. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 9. Cognitive Vs AfflictiveCognitive Conflict: Disagreements that focus on substantive, issue-related differences of opinion. They tend to improve team effectiveness. They are usually borne out of different ideas, opinions and perspectives offered by members of the group.Affective Conflict: Disagreements over personalized, individually oriented matters. Such lowers team effectiveness by provoking hostility, distrust, cynicism and aparthy among team members. They are usually focused on personalized anger or resentment, usually directed at specific individuals rather than specific ideas.International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 10. Resolving Conflict Conflict Resolution: This is a range of processes aimed at alleviating or eliminating source of conflict.Identifying the causes of conflict is essential to conflict resolution.Possible causes of Conflict include:• Needs or wants are not being met.• Values are being tested.• Perceptions are being questioned.• Assumptions are being made.• Knowledge is minimal.• Expectations are too high/too low.• Personality, race, or gender differences are present. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 11. Common ways of Dealing with Conflicts• Deny the conflict; wait until it goes away.• Change the subject.• React emotionally; become aggressive, abusive, hysterical, or frightening.• Find someone to blame.• Make excuses.• Delegate the situation to someone else International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 12. Common ways of dealing with conflict (contd.)• Avoid the conflict.• Accommodating: This will rarely lead to the resolution of conflict. Although it can help solve the immediate problem, the basic issue remains.• Force your opinion on the other party.• Compromise: Is often seen as the best way to deal with conflict. Although it can often leave both sides feeling like they have lost. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 13. Conflict Management TechniquesSHARK – Competing – is assertive and uncooperative. An individual pursues his or her own concerns at the other person’s expense. This is power oriented mode in which one uses whatever power seems appropriate to win ones own position.When to use competition:• When you know you are right.• When you need a quick decision.• When you meet a steamroller type of person and you need to stand up for your own right. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 14. Conflict Management Techniques Cont’d• TEDDY BEAR – Accommodating – is unassertive and uncooperative. This is the opposite of competing. When accommodating, an individual neglects his/her own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person. There is an element of self-sacrifice in this mode.When to use accommodating:• When the issue is not so important to you but it is to other person.• When you discover that you are wrong.• When continued competition would be detrimental - :”you know you can’t win.”• When preserving harmony without disruption is the most important – “It’s not the right time”. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 15. Conflict Management Techniques Cont’d• TURTLE – Avoiding – is unassertive and cooperative. When a person does not pursue her/his own concerns or those of the other person. He/she does not address the conflict, but rather sidesteps, postpones or simply withdraw.When to use avoiding:• When the stakes are not that high and you don’t have anything to lose – “when the issue is trivial”.• When you do not have time to deal with it.• When the context isn’t suitable – “it is not the right time or place.”• When more important issues are pressing.• When you see no chance of getting your concerns met.• When you would have to deal with an angry, hot headed person.• When you are totally unprepared, taken by surprise, and you need time to think and collect information.• When you are too emotionally involved and the others around you can solve the conflict more successfully. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 16. Conflict Management Techniques Cont’d• OWL – Collaborating – is both assertive and cooperative. This is the opposite of avoiding. Collaboration involves an attempt to work with other person to find some solution which fully satisfies the concerns of both persons. It includes identifying the underlying concerns of the two individuals and finding an alternative which meets both sets of concerns.When to use collaboration:• When other’s lives are involved.• When you don’t want to have full responsibility.• When there is a high level of trust.• When you want to gain commitment from others.• When you need to work through hard feelings, animosity etc.The best decisions are made by collaboration. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 17. Conflict Management Techniques Cont’d• FOX – Compromising – is intermediate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective of compromise is to find some expedient, mutually acceptable solution which partially satisfies both parties. It falls in the middle group between competing and accommodating. Compromise gives up more than competing, but is less than accommodating.When to use compromise:• When the goals are moderately important and not worth the use of more assertive modes.• When people of equal status are equally committed.• To reach temporary settlement on complex issues.• To reach expedient solutions on important issues.• As a back-up mode when competition or collaboration do not work. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 18. Conflict Resolution SkillsConflict Resolution is a set of skills that anyone can learn.Two important skills: Active Listening and Conflict de-escalationskills.Active listening: Active listening enables you to demonstrate that you understand what another person is saying and how he or she is feeling about it. It means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said. It is a way of checking whether your understanding is correct. It also demonstrates that you are listening and that you are interested and concerned. These help to resolve a situation when there are conflicting points.Two components:• naming the feeling that the other person is conveying• stating the reason for the feeling. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 19. Examples:• “Sounds like you’re upset about what happened at work”• “You’re annoyed by the lateness, aren’t you?• “You sound really confused about how to solve this problem”• “It makes you angry when you find errors on Vicky’s paperwork”• “Sounds like you’re really worried about Samuel”• “I get the feeling you’re awfully busy right now.”Active listening is not the same as agreement. It is a way ofdemonstrating that you intend to hear and understand another’spoint of view. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 20. Benefits:• It feels good when another person makes an effort to understand what you are thinking and feeling. It creates good feelings about the other person and makes you feel better about yourself.• Restating what you’ve heard, and checking for understanding promotes better communication and produces fewer misunderstandings.• Responding with active listening has a calming effect in an emotional situation. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 21. Conflict De-EscalationThese actions aimed at preventing a conflict to escalate. Take thefollowing steps:• Stick with “I” statements; avoid “you” statements.• Avoid name-calling and put downs (“A reasonable person could see that ………”• Soften your tone.• Take a time out (“Let’s take a break and cool down”).• Acknowledge the other person’s point of view (agreement is not necessary).• Avoid defensive or hostile body language (rolling eyes, crossing arms in front of body, tapping foot, hissing).• Be specific and factual; avoid generalities. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 22. Conflict Prevention Skills• Bring issues out in the open before they become problems.• Be aware of triggers and respond to them when you notice them. Have a process of resolving conflicts. Bring it up at a meeting and get agreement on what people should do in cases of differing viewpoints. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 23. • HOW TO MEDIATE AND RESOLVE CONFLICT1. Meet with the antagonists together.2. Ask each participant to describe specific actions they’d like to see the other party take that would resolve the differences.3. Sometimes, as in the second example, you as the supervisor, must own some of the responsibilities for helping the employee resolve their conflict. Always ask “What about the work situation is causing these staff members to fail?”4. If the situation needs further exploration, ask each participant to additionally identify what the other employee can do more of, less of, stop and start.5. All participants discuss and commit to making the changes necessary to resolve the conflict.6. Let the antagonists know that you will not choose sides, that it is impossible for a person external to the to know the truth of the matter. You expect the individuals to resolve the conflicts proactively as adults.7. Finally, assure both parties that you have every faith in their ability to resolve their differences and get on with their successful contributions within your unit. Set a time to review progress.International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org
  • 24. THANK YOUHAVE A CONFLICT-FREE INTERACTION International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – Institut international d’agriculture tropicale – www.iita.org