NCV 3 Business Practice Hands-On Support Slide Show - Module 4


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This slide show complements the learner guide NCV 3 Business Practice Hands-On Training by Nickey Cilliers, published by Future Managers Pty Ltd. For more information visit our website

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NCV 3 Business Practice Hands-On Support Slide Show - Module 4

  1. 1. Business Practice 3
  2. 2. Module 4: Use communication skills to handle and resolve conflict in the workplace
  3. 3. Module 4: Use communication skills to handle and resolve conflict in the workplace <ul><li>After completing this module, you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>demonstrate an understanding of the different conflict situations in the workplace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>state and explain the difference between feelings and actual problems (contents) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>handle and resolve a conflict in the workplace </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 1. DEMONSTRATE AN UNDERSTANDING OF DIFFERENT CONFLICT SITUATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE <ul><li>After completing this outcome, you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>identify different conflict situations that occur in the workplace. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>describe conflict situations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>list role-players in conflict situations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>list and discuss reasons why conflict occurs. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 1.1 Workplace conflict <ul><li>Conflict can be seen from two different points of view: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative approach to conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive approach to conflict </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Types of conflict <ul><li>The people involved: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpersonal conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Type of conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content conflict </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Activity 1 <ul><li>In groups, identify examples of the different types of conflicts that are described above. You can use the following sources to identify the conflict situations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Own experience in a temporary/permanent job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences of family or friends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict situations in the news </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict situations in TV programmes or movies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discuss the following in your groups: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are the parties involved in the conflict? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What was the reason for the conflict? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What type of conflict was it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How was the conflict resolved? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 1.2 The communication process – the ultimate source of conflict?
  9. 9. 1.2 The communication process – the ultimate source of conflict? <ul><li>The noise can be internal, for example when a person is tired and is therefore not concentrating when someone is communicating. </li></ul><ul><li>The following are examples of external noise factors which can negatively affect communication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During a speech, the noise of nearby machines or an aeroplane flying over the venue, may drown out part of the speech. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The audience may be very noisy which means that people may not hear everything. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The lights or air conditioning may be faulty or the seating arrangements may be poor. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the case of a written message, a fax that was sent may be so poor that the message can’t be read. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 1.2 The communication process – the ultimate source of conflict? <ul><li>The noise can also be psychological. The following are examples of this type of noise: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When a person receives a message that he/she does not like, he/she may become defensive and pay no attention to the message. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the sender and receiver come from different cultural backgrounds, the difference in values may cause a psychological barrier </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 1.3 Communication barriers <ul><li>Filtering </li></ul><ul><li>Selective perception </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Individual differences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jargon and technical language </li></ul><ul><li>Reference group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Values are subjective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 1.3 Communication barriers <ul><li>Non-verbal communication </li></ul><ul><li>Noise </li></ul><ul><li>Physical environment </li></ul><ul><li>Fear and threat of change </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of planning </li></ul><ul><li>Time pressures </li></ul><ul><li>Communication overload </li></ul>
  13. 13. New methods of communication <ul><li>Skype </li></ul><ul><li>MXIT </li></ul>
  14. 14. Activity 2 <ul><li>Provide examples from your own experience where communication barriers occurred as a result of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Age differences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnic differences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Past experiences </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. 1.4 Additional organisational causes of conflict <ul><li>A win-lose situation, where two groups pursue the same goal and only one group can win. </li></ul><ul><li>Where two groups disagree on the method to be used in reaching a goal. </li></ul><ul><li>Where one person uses his higher hierarchical position to prove his importance in the enterprise over an employee in a lower hierarchical position. </li></ul><ul><li>Where two groups perceive/see things differently. </li></ul><ul><li>When change is implemented and people feel threatened by it. </li></ul>
  16. 16. 1.5 Role players in conflict situations <ul><li>Analysing the above information, it becomes clear that some of the role-players are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employer versus employee. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Producer versus supplier. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retailer versus customer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investor versus entrepreneur. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The main components of any conflict relationship are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdependence (they rely on one another). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased interaction/frequency. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differentiation (they have different values/attitudes about a subject). </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. 1.5 Role players in conflict situations <ul><li>Four major types of conflict are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A person’s struggle against nature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A person’s struggle against an antagonist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A person’s struggle against society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A person who is experiencing an internal struggles </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Activity 3 <ul><li>Watch the movie “The Simpsons” in class and discuss the different conflict situations in the movie. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Activity 4 <ul><li>Identify a conflict situation in your workplace or college or in the newspaper. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are the role-players? (Who is in conflict?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are they in conflict? </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. 2. STATE AND EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FEELINGS AND ACTUAL PROBLEMS <ul><li>After completing this outcome, you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>discuss behaviour of different people in a conflict situation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>discuss own feelings when in a conflict situation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>discuss own behaviour when in a conflict situation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>demonstrate the process of reaction in a conflict situation to solve a problem. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. 2.1 Experience of a conflict situation <ul><li>Feelings and thoughts which are negative and destructive, will manifest themselves in the behaviour of losing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People/groups regard each other as enemies and not opponents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People/group perceptions become negative and distorted and energy is diverted away from value-adding activities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hostility increases. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong and positive aspects are ignored. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction breaks down. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation lessens. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Productivity suffers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Morale is broken down. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. 2.1 Experience of a conflict situation <ul><li>Positive and/or constructive feelings or thoughts resulting from conflict can be as follows: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New values, norms and subsystems can be created, which may lead to technical improvements and better working methods. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict as a result of bureaucratic structures can lead to the abolishment of this type of structure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems can be aired and timeous solutions can be found </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It can be educational for all the participants who will become aware of and understand the other party’s functions and problems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People can change and grow personally. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It might build cohesiveness in the group. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. 2.2 Reactions in conflict situations <ul><li>Here are some guidelines on how to handle conflict situations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calm yourself immediately. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempt to reach middle ground with a “win-win” approach. This is possible with brainstorming sessions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not yield purely for the sake of peace. Use proof or humour to make the other party see your point of view. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to separate your thoughts from your feelings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempt to see the other party’s point of view and if the other party is attempting to come to a compromise, thank the other party for it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not withdraw, sidestep or postpone. Ask for a break and schedule a resumption of the discussion within 48 hours. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask a third party to become a listening and soundboarding member of the discussion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set goals for the resumption talks and describe the process to be followed. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. 2.3 Differences between feelings and actual problems / issues <ul><li>Bad reactions usually refer to affections or feelings and result from a personalized type of conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Good reactions usually refer to thoughts (cognitive issues) and result from a “substantive” type of conflict. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Case study <ul><li>An example is of a female employee who relies on public transportation. She has small children to take care of and take to caregivers before work in the morning. The result is that she is almost always late for work, since she has to take a late bus in and only arrives at work at approximately 8:30 instead of 7:30 as she is supposed to. Her supervisor approaches the problem with an eye to resolving the problem and not to blame and criticise her. The result is that it is agreed to rather extend a workday and to offer all employees the choice of starting either at 7:30, 8:00 or 8:30 since the company does not have any customers before 9:00 in the morning anyway. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Activity 5 <ul><li>Analyse two conflict situations that you have experienced during a work week, in the following way: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feelings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reaction/behaviour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. While I was driving, another motorist cut in front of me, causing me to brake sharply. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Anger and frustration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I swore and yelled obscenities out the window. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Activity 6 <ul><li>Critically analyse each of the above situations by asking yourself the following questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I dislike the other person or am I frustrated by him/her? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I see the other person as undeserving of my respect? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is my emotional reaction appropriate to the seriousness thereof? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I want to win at all costs? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are my feelings so negative? (previous conflict, jealousy, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can I react in a more positive way? </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. 3. HANDLE AND RESOLVE CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE <ul><li>After completing this outcome, you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>identify and explain methods to resolve conflict. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>demonstrate a conflict situation and possible methods of resolving the conflict. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. 3.1 Techniques to improve communication effectiveness and reduce conflict <ul><li>Choose the correct communication channel </li></ul><ul><li>Management must be committed to the importance of communication </li></ul><ul><li>Actions and instructions of managers must match </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment is two-way communication </li></ul><ul><li>Personal communication </li></ul><ul><li>Communication by an immediate supervisor </li></ul><ul><li>Deal positively with bad news </li></ul><ul><li>Shape the message for the audience </li></ul><ul><li>Communication must be ongoing </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback and reinforcement </li></ul><ul><li>Direct, simple language </li></ul><ul><li>Building trust </li></ul><ul><li>Allow employees to voice grievances </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open door policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitude questionnaires </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participative methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The use of an ombudsman </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. 3.2 Additional methods to resolve conflict <ul><li>Reduce intergroup conflict by determining a common goal. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase communication to correct misunderstandings and develop positive intergroup feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Organise intergroup problem-solving sessions which are not confrontational. </li></ul><ul><li>An effort must be made by each member to be committed and involved to work through the problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiate and bargain in order to reach an agreement or a compromise. </li></ul><ul><li>Both parties must realise that an exchange of something valuable needs to be made in order for both parties to be satisfied. </li></ul><ul><li>Spread the resources of the enterprise evenly amongst all members of the group. </li></ul>
  31. 31. 3.2 Additional methods to resolve conflict <ul><li>Have a unbiased third-party to mediate between the conflicting parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Change the organisational structure if scarce resources, status differences and power imbalances are the causes of the conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Smooth the situation as a temporary measure. This involves the stating of incentives to drop the conflict and to avoid open confrontation. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid the conflict by not paying it any attention and negating that it exists. </li></ul><ul><li>Physically separate the conflicting parties by transfers, or limit the interaction between them. </li></ul>
  32. 32. 3.2 Additional methods to resolve conflict <ul><li>Authoritative command where a formal leader takes command of the situation and manages it by means of discipline. </li></ul><ul><li>Change the person by means of counselling - be it by in-house personnel or external persons e.g. psychiatrists, etc. This type of method is very slow and expensive but the results are not only a reduction in conflict in the workplace, but also a reduction of conflict in the personal life of the individual. This is the only method which seeks to address the source of the conflict rather than the conflict situation. </li></ul><ul><li>It is clear therefore that all group actions and reactions need to be managed for a harmonious and productive workplace to exist. </li></ul>
  33. 33. 3.2 Additional methods to resolve conflict <ul><li>Management could follow these guidelines: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observe subordinates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take note of patterns of behaviour. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish suggestion boxes to identify and resolve problems before they grow out of proportion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish the open-door policy which allows all workers to discuss problems with higher-level managers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accept that conflict will happen. </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. 3.3 Preventative strategies to manage conflict <ul><li>Have a team launch where the team members are introduced to one another and where goals and processes are developed in a participative manner. Practice sessions can be workshopped. </li></ul><ul><li>Train team members in the new skills that they require. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop team norms or rules so that individuals can identify poor behaviour in themselves and others, and address it calmly and openly. </li></ul><ul><li>Educate team members about the process of team development so that they are aware of the dynamics of the team. </li></ul><ul><li>As a manager, identify the communication blocks and interpersonal problems early. Address these barriers as soon as identified. </li></ul><ul><li>Give regular feedback to the team members regarding interpersonal behaviour in the team. </li></ul><ul><li>Have up-down feedback for the management team. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor continuously. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Activity 7 <ul><li>Observe and list conflict situations at your college or workplace during the day and debate on what should be done from an organisational point of view to solve the conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the conflict situations in the current news (newspapers, TV news) and try to find alternative ways to solve the situations. </li></ul>