Learn to manage and resolve conflict within your organization without stress and dread. Put into place processes that will lead your organization to become a learning organization with trusting employees.
When and where are you having conflict in the org?Take a good look at what’s really going onGet input from the stakeholders to solve OR manage the conflictSome tools to use to mitigate conflict to begin with
Do an interactive poll on WebEx to see who the audience consists of so I can direct my remarks and examples more specifically.
How many of you know ppl who avoid conflict at all cost?Destructive: there’s venting—telling a story to get it off your chest. Tell it once, and it’s over. There’s destructive complaining—repeating the same story over and over, to the same or different ppl. Interrupts their work, brings them down, gets them involved in a conflict or they take sides, or they feel uncomfortable. Then there’s problem solving—that’s what we’re going to concentrate on.Constructive: If you only have one person telling the story, it becomes he-said, she-said. Most ppl don’t like to get in a room to discuss conflict, but it’s imperative. Exceptions : sexual harassment, someone is afraid for their safety, a person is “whistleblowing” and you are trying to preserve evidence. But that’s not really what we’re talking about here today.
So, you’re already pretty astute at recognizing when conflict is occurring.The next step is the hard part, knowing when to intervene. If you have parties that are not experienced at working out conflicts, you’ll want to step in. If you are already seeing signs of destructive behavior, it’s time. Sometimes, you have folks you just trust to work things out.If you don’t include all interested parties, what’s going to happen? You may have a conflict start on another front.
1. Each person should be given a chance to tell their version of what happened or what’s going on without interruption from others.Some people just don’t share feelings very well, so you may have to ask direct questions. When “Sara” said you don’t do your share of the work, how does that make you feel. Be careful not to put words into people’s mouths by suggesting: “Did it make you feel angry when Sara said blah, blah, blah?”Every person brings an identity to the meeting. This is the hardest part to remember. Each person has a persona, a group or groups they identify with, and this plays heavily into the conflict discussions. Ex: Veterinarian working for a CEO/ED.
Use participant story if time allows.Ian Dunbar Open Paw story
Guide: QUESTIONS SUGGESTIONSPeter DruckerOffice wall example: no account, deadlines
Grievance policies and conflict management in general:
So why go to all this trouble? It takes a lot of time to go through the conflict management process, and more time to teach an organization to be a problem-solving organization.
Pet Smart Charities Webinar Template
Conflict Management in Your Organization Kelley Y. Durham, MNA, CAWA June 2012PetSmartCharities.org
About the Presenter Recent Notre Dame Master of Nonprofit Administration graduate ED (former) Second Chance Center for Animals— Flagstaff, AZ ED (former) Brazos Animal Shelter—Bryan, TX Certified Animal Welfare Administrator Master’s project on coalitions to reduce conflictPetSmartCharities.org
Our goals Recognize conflict Analyze the conflict Develop a strategy to handle conflict Use tools to mitigate conflictPetSmartCharities.org
What is your role? Are you a: Board member CEO or Executive Director Manager or Supervisor Service-level employeePetSmartCharities.org
Not all conflict is bad Constructive vs. Destructive conflict ◦ Destructive: Is the conflict: Interrupting productivity? Diminishing morale? Involving customers, volunteers, donors, or other external groups? ◦ Constructive: Is the conflict Including all interested parties? Providing a chance for all parties to tell their story, share their feelings, and account for the individuality of all the parties?PetSmartCharities.org
Recognizing conflict Identifying the signs of conflict ◦ Type in some of the signs you see in your organization. ◦ When to intervene If the conflict has already become destructive. Before the conflict becomes destructive. If the people involved aren’t experienced at conflict management. ◦ Parties to involve in the problem solving Anyone who has a stake in the outcomePetSmartCharities.org
Analyze the conflict Face to face meetings of all stakeholders Think about what’s at stake ◦ Before problem-solving or brainstorming: Each person needs to tell their story Each person needs to express their feelings on the subject Each person needs to think about their own identity and the identity of others in the conflict: “saving face” Difficult Conversations, Stone, Patton, and Heen, 1999PetSmartCharities.org
Develop a problem definition Formal or informal depending on the level of the conflict ◦ Between 2 people ◦ Between 2 departments ◦ Organization-wide Techniques ◦ Brainstorming ◦ Small group work ◦ 5 most important words Need a consensus of all the stakeholdersPetSmartCharities.org
Resolution vs. Management Not all conflicts can be solved ◦ Some people don’t make an honest effort ◦ Some people are afraid to trust ◦ Dynamics change such as new employees joining the organization ◦ Other Brief participant story of a conflict that might not be resolved but only managed.PetSmartCharities.org
At the problem-solving table The role of the facilitator. Ensure that: ◦ expectations and rules are set at the beginning all parties have a chance to tell their story. all parties are respectful. all parties are encouraged to speak up. ◦ she guides possible ways to defines the problem. ◦ she brings up possible input to the problem definition. ◦ she guides what is possible/allowable for the solution developed by the parties. ◦ accountability is established. ◦ deadlines are set. ◦ progress/follow-up meetings are planned.PetSmartCharities.org
Conflict management tools 1. Expectations. a) Specific b) Clear c) Uniformly communicated 2. Training—management and staff a) Job training b) Conflict resolution training c) Stress relief training d) Coaching and counseling (management) 3. Realistic, not overinflated, employee evaluations 4. Grievance policiesPetSmartCharities.org
Developing trust and fairness “By behaving in ways that building trust, you make deposits. By behaving in ways that destroy trust, you make withdrawals.” ◦ The Speed of Trust: The one Thing that changes Everything, Covey, Steven M. R., 2006. “Only 1% of ex-employees who felt that they were treated with a high degree of process fairness filed a wrongful termination lawsuit versus 17% of those who believed they were treated with a low degree of process fairness.” ◦ Why It’s So Hard to Be Fair,” Brockner, Joel, Harvard Business Review, March 2006.PetSmartCharities.org
Resource list Brinkman, Rick, and Kirschner, Rick. 2002. Dealing with People You Can’t Stand. New York: McGraw-Hill. Davenport, Noa; Schwartz, Ruth Distler; and Elliott, Gail Pursell. 2005. Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace. Collins, Iowa: Civil Society Publishing. DelPo, Amy, and Guerin, Lisa. 2003. Dealing with Problem Employees: A Legal Guide. 2d ed. Berkeley, California: Nolo. Eichinger, Robert W.; Lombardo, Michael M.; and Ulrich, Dave. 2007. 100 Things You Need to Know: Best People Practices for Managers & HR. Vol. 1. Minneapolis: Lominger International. Furlong, Gary T. 2005. The Conflict Resolution Toolbox: Models & Maps for Analyzing, Diagnosing, and Resolving Conflict. Mississauga, Ontario: John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. Stone, Douglas; Patton, Bruce; and Heen, Sheila. 1999. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. London: Viking Penguin. Stone, Florence M. 2007. Coaching, Counseling, & Mentoring: How to Choose & Use the Right Technique to Boost Employee Performance. 2d ed. New York: AMACOM. Patterson, Kerry; Grenny, Joseph; McMillan, Ron; and Switzler, Al. 2005. Crucial Confrontations. New York: McGraw-Hill. Scott, Susan. 2002. Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time. New York: Viking Penguin.PetSmartCharities.org
Yours CAN become a model organization for conflict resolution. Be willing to take the first step and never turn back. Keep practicing and learning.PetSmartCharities.org
Kelley Y Durham, MNA, CAWA email@example.com 979.574.4456PetSmartCharities.org