Communication Culture: Resolving Conflict and Leveraging Feedback


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Presenting 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Tuesday May 22 at STC Summit 2012. Ann Grove and Barrie Byron are veteran presenters who are passionate about lifelong learning and experienced in embracing change.

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Communication Culture: Resolving Conflict and Leveraging Feedback

  1. 1. 2012 STC Summit Professional Development TrackCommunication Culture: Resolving Conflict and Leveraging Feedback Ann Grove and Barrie Byron Veteran presenters who are passionate about lifelong learning and experienced in embracing change 1
  2. 2. Barrie Byron20+ years– Technical writer, happy team member16 years– Active STC member and leader11 years– Active Toastmaster member and leaderLifelong learner– Minimal conflict 2
  3. 3. Ann Grove11 years – Business owner, technical communication consultant11 years – Active STC member and leaderLifelong learner – Embracing change 3
  4. 4. Learning objectives• Evaluate team culture• Understand the four root causes for conflict• Know the six methods for resolving conflict• Select appropriate method and take specific actions to resolve conflict in a mature and respectful manner 4
  5. 5. Agenda• Chat about us• Talk about what we’re going to achieve• Interactive workshop scenarios• Questions and Answers 5
  6. 6. Negotiation is an ongoing, evolving social experiment“The gem cannot bepolished withoutfriction, nor manperfected withouttrial.”~Confucius 6
  7. 7. Get started• Passion is good; obsession is bad• Put assumptions aside and listen to all parties• Develop strategies to remain focused, caring respectful, empathetic• Avoid blame, accusations• Avoid “right” and “wrong” 7
  8. 8. Communication Culture• Learn to adapt your communication style for your current team culture – High tech versus low tech – Direct conversation versus advance agendas – Phone versus email, or even instant message chats “Of all things, communication is the most wonderful.” ~John Dewey, 1939 8
  9. 9. 4 root causes for conflict1. Personalities2. Misunderstandings3. Issues4. Leadership styles “There are two ways of meeting difficulties. You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them.” ~Phyllis Bottome 9
  10. 10. The cause behind the causeSometimes theobvious cause isactually a symptomExamples of hiddencauses: powerstruggles,need to take credit
  11. 11. Cause 1 Contentious personalities• Dispositions and personalities are complex and complicated: • Parenting • Culture • Community • Experiences • Outside influences • Professional history (success, failures, habits) 11
  12. 12. 5 personality types1. Know-it-all2. Argumentative3. People pleaser4. Narcissist ego-maniac5. Self-loather 12
  13. 13. Cause 2 Misunderstanding• Miscommunication is primary cause of conflict• Perceptions vary• Facts, relevant information not clearly communicated 13
  14. 14. Cause 3 Issues• Social atmospheres change when team members have different: – Opinions – Objectives – Preferences – Communication styles• Virtual work – New challenges 14
  15. 15. Cause 4 Leadership stylesPreferential responses to the four primaryleadership styles: 1. Authoritarian 2. Democratic 3. Charismatic 4. Passive 15
  16. 16. Leverage feedback• Listen objectively• Understand• Act“Seek first to understand Graphic shared by permission from Don Moyerand then to be understood.”~Steven Covey, in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 16
  17. 17. 6 methods for resolving conflict1. Ignore it2. Smooth it over3. Force4. Compromise5. Collaborate6. Involve a third party 17
  18. 18. Prepare to negotiate• Identify and assess your options• Rough out a game plan“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I‘d spend six sharpening my axe.”~Abraham Lincoln
  19. 19. Above all, stay positive“Enthusiasts arefighters. They havefortitude. They havestaying qualities.Enthusiasm is at thebottom of all progress!With it, there isaccomplishment.Without it, there are only” is-trippin%E2%80%99%E2%80%A6-through-the-tech-revolution/~ Henry Ford
  20. 20. Are you ready?Investigated the issueUnderstand team culture & personalitiesIdentified root causes, visible & hiddenIdentified and assessed optionsHave a game planStay positiveReady to negotiate!
  21. 21. Be ready to use your pause button“You ask a coworker to do something,and she responds,‘That’s not my job.’Feeling your blood pressure rise, youmay be tempted to blurt out,‘well, it’snot my job either, blockhead!’”~Negotiating for DummiesExamples:Sleep on it, go to the restroom, consult with a peer
  22. 22. Body Language• Voice control• Eye contact: 30 to 60 percent of the time• Facial expressions: Smile!• Arms and hands open• Body tilted toward the speaker• Subtly mirror your adversary• Google: “Forbes How to Win an Argument Without Words”
  23. 23. Know when to move on• Swim with dolphins• Be wary of tunas and sharks~Chellie Campbell, inThe Wealthy Spirit:Daily Affirmations forFinancial StressReduction
  24. 24. Scenario 1: Face to Face Writer is asking developer to provide feedback under deadline1. Ignore it2. Smooth it over3. Force4. Compromise5. Collaborate6. Involve a third party 24
  25. 25. Scenario 2: On the Phone Writer is asking boss for help setting priorities1. Ignore it2. Smooth it over3. Force4. Compromise5. Collaborate6. Involve a third party
  26. 26. Practice negotiating• Negotiate in a volunteer position• Negotiate with your kids or a spouse• Shop for a car• Shop for expensive jewelry• Negotiate at an antique store
  27. 27. Keep in touch• Barrie Byron – – – – twitter @barriebyron• Ann Grove – – – – twitter @AnnGrove 27