Group dynamics and_conflict_management_for_student_advisors


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Group dynamics and_conflict_management_for_student_advisors

  1. 1. “Group Dynamics andConflict Management”Workshop for StudentOrganization Advisors Harry Webne-Behrman, Office of Human Resource Development 608-262-9934
  2. 2. Welcome!So, what does this description mean to you? …this workshop is designed to help student organization advisors work with their students in healthy and productive ways.  Specifically, participants will review what are common group dynamics and strategies for maintaining healthy group dynamics. In addition, participants will learn how to deal with inevitable conflict within their student organizations. Where should we focus our time and energy this evening?
  3. 3. What do we know?What works?Quick Interview: Describe an experience in which you were the student (or mentee) and had a highly constructive relationship with your advisor (mentor).What stands out about that experience?What were some of the strengths of that advising relationship?
  4. 4. Group Development True Community Emptying FactionsPseudo-community Scott Peck, The Different Drummer, 1987
  5. 5. Four Quadrants of Group Facilitation(Davis, Harris, and Webne-Behrman)
  6. 6. What does this mean for you?Connect back to issues raised earlier Groups (and relationships) go through stages of development Interactions among participants are often complex (as discerned from simple or complicated) and emergent Advisors need to find effective ways to help manage both interior (beliefs, values, capacity, culture) and exterior (tasks, plans, outcomes, production) in the group’s process
  7. 7. Apply What You’ve Just Learned… Reflect upon what you’ve just learned. Consider:  Goal – What are you trying to accomplish with your student group?  Reality – What is happening now? Where are you in relation to your goal?  Options – What opportunities are available to you? What obstacles (interior, exterior) appear to exist?  What Next? – What can you apply from your insights thus far? What else do you need to know in order to answer this question? GROW Coaching Model adapted from the work of Graham Alexander and Sir John Whitmore, and others.
  8. 8. Addressing Challenging Issues: Conflict Resolution Strategies Facilitating the resolution of conflicts within groups is critical at all phases Integrate skills:  Communication (Listening/ Asserting)  Interest-based Negotiation  Problem-Solving and Analysis  Consensus-building
  9. 9. Needs in Negotiationsubstantive psychological procedural
  10. 10. Needs in Negotiation Substantive needs = the “stuff” of the conflict… typical definition of problem Procedural needs = how we foster a fair and well understood process… “Ground Rules” Psychological needs = concerning trust, honesty, safety, security, integrity
  11. 11. Conflict Resolution Process Overview (Inside the Paradox) Focus on each stage as an opportunity to exercise leadership:  What are my personal strengths as I look at the elements of this process? Where do I need assistance in order to improve?  How might I facilitate such behaviors in my groups?  How might I model such approaches?  Where are there ‘teachable moments’ from which all of us may learn together?  How might we support one another in improving our capacity to manage conflicts effectively?
  12. 12. Addressing Conflictive Issueswithin Groups Pre-Negotiation Understanding and Clarifying Issues Exploring Options with Respect and Flexibility Managing Impasse… Hanging out in the “Groan Zone” of Ambiguity and Uncertainty Convergence – Building Effective Agreements Implementation, Assessment and Feedback
  13. 13. Pre-Negotiation Clarify needs of various participants Understand individual ‘agendas’ Negotiate for the process and the role of the facilitator Build an initial meeting agenda that emerges from participants’ needs and interests, dovetailing with group goals
  14. 14. Understanding & ClarifyingIssues Be Present – Know your Biases and Hot Buttons Actively Listen – seek deeper meaning Persistently focus and convey emerging understandings Assert for the process of the group
  15. 15. Explore Options with Flexibilityand Respect Focus on Underlying Needs, Interests and Concerns Generate Options Clarify Criteria Encourage Flexibility and Model itLeadership Questions: How flexibly do we approach challenging issues… are we open to new approaches and innovative solutions?
  16. 16. Facilitating Through the “GroanZone” (from Sam Kaner,
  17. 17. Managing Impasse… Hanging out inthe “Groan Zone” of Ambiguity andUncertainty Set aside the issue and “name the impasse” Review definition of the problem Shift from substantive to procedural needs Reiterate “ground rules” Look at BATNA… Consider a structured break Treat the impasse with respect Leadership Question: Do we treat impasse with respect or do we try to minimize it or abandon the process when confronting it? This is one of the core challenges of leadership…
  18. 18. Convergence – Building EffectiveAgreements Patiently address all key issues Review the agreement for clarity Look for “Hallmarks” of a good agreement Leadership Question: Can we make the time available to our students to really work through the meaningful issues that get us bogged down?
  19. 19. Hallmarks of a GoodAgreement Fair Balanced Realistic Responds to Needs of the Conflict Specific Enough As self-enforcing as possible Future-oriented
  20. 20. Implementation, Assessmentand Feedback Do all you can to implement the Agreement Arrange a time to meet together and review the Agreement:  Did we follow through with the agreement?  Is it working? How can it be improved?  Are there any additional areas of concern?
  21. 21. ScenarioScenario (built from survey information)  De-brief  What did you learn? How might you apply it to your work with students?
  22. 22. Keys to Success: Communicating with Integrity  Identify Key stakeholders  involve them in framing the issues to be addressed  Provide easy access to relevant information  Establish clear channels of communication that are appropriate to the decision-making style  Utilize multiple modes of ongoing reports to stakeholders, as well as relevant ‘public’
  23. 23. Facilitative Leadership  Focus on the process – “If you build it, they will come.”  Monitor underlying needs and concerns of all staff – Create channels for open, honest & routine communication  Provide information  reduce anxiety  Manage the transitions… help people mark the ‘endings’ and navigate the ‘neutral zone’ towards a new beginning  Attend to coordinating resources that support a ‘healthy organization’
  24. 24. Additional Resources Effective Meetings site: Conflict Resolution Skills site:
  25. 25. Questions? Please feel free to follow-up at or 608-262-9934***Please provide feedback, as well***