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Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
Conflict awareness, management and prevention.
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Conflict awareness, management and prevention.

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Linda Laurance at the Wales Charity Law and Governance Conference 2014.

Linda Laurance at the Wales Charity Law and Governance Conference 2014.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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  • 1. Linda Laurance Linda Laurance & Associates Conflict Awareness, Management and Prevention
  • 2.  Governance specialist  Accredited mediator  Independent consultant and trainer since 1993  Established LL&A in 2002  Formerly Chair and CEO  Chaired steering groups for original VCS Code of Governance and for the NOS for trustees/management committees
  • 3.  First we need to look at disharmony – let’s face it and not be afraid of it  The origins of conflict  Understanding anger  Working relationships  ‘Elephant traps’ – unintended consequences  Knowing when to ask for help  and then………
  • 4.  Techniques for avoiding disagreements  Maintaining trust  Moving on
  • 5.  Conflict can be defined as:  people holding opposing views and aiming at different goals  a competitive win/lose situation  incompatible activities and behaviours  the outcome of perceptions and unfulfilled expectations
  • 6.  Disputes need not be destructive or unproductive  Conflict does not essentially mean that we have to win our position at another’s expense: there are many different ways to handle given situations – we do have choice  Many disputes have a positive outcome, with long term benefits not only for those directly involved
  • 7. Factors present in people:  Language/jargon  Body language  Written words – emails/Twitter!  Rumour  Misrepresentation  Hidden agendas
  • 8. Factors present in people:  Lack of compatibility  Gender and age differences  Diversity  Differences in values  Spill over of stress or anger from unrelated issues  Harassment
  • 9. Factors present in Boards/Committees:  Lack of leadership  Lack of decision making  Poor internal communication  Poor external communication  Lack of resources  Lack of motivation/training opportunities
  • 10. Factors present in Boards/Committees:  High levels of pressure and lack of time  Interpretation of organisational policy/implementation  Prioritisation  Organisational change  Delegation
  • 11. Factors present in perceptions of the situation:  Expectations and beliefs  Differences in opinions  Misunderstandings  Misplaced assumptions
  • 12. Understanding anger……….
  • 13. Once anger is aroused it has several effects that reduce an individual’s ability to deal with conflict successfully:  A desire to retaliate against the person perceived as causing the harm or frustration  A reduced ability to make rational plans of action and to evaluate the potential outcomes of behaviour
  • 14.  Together these can lead to a shift away from collaboration towards more competitive tactics for dealing with the conflict and/or a counter-attack on the other party, escalating into a destructive exchange where the parties become more concerned with hurting each other than with solving the problems.
  • 15.  As a general rule, therefore, anger in conflict needs to be dealt with before the concrete issues are addressed
  • 16. Factors present in groups and teams:  Pressure to conform to the group  Formation of cliques  Assumptions about others  Misuse of authority  Perceived favouritism  Manipulation
  • 17.  The competitive ‘marketplace’ results in continual change and uncertainty  Electronic communication means that individuals may have to deal with conflicts with people they cannot even see  Mergers may require people to work with others who have different values and ways of working from those that they are used to
  • 18.  The governing document – the what?  Appointing good people but not thinking about skills and experience  Lack of clarity between governance and operational responsibilities  The ‘corporate mind’ v the ‘user’s angle’  Meeting agendas!
  • 19.  The Strategic Plan  Conflicts of interest  Values  The relationship between the Chair and the Chief Officer (if there are paid employees)
  • 20. The role of the Chair:  Managing  Engaging  Focusing  Balancing calculated risk and risk aversion  Decision making  Supporting and monitoring the CEO  Who is supporting the Chair??
  • 21. Board decisions are collective – the minutes should record anyone who is opposed to a proposal or who abstains, but that person must comply with the majority agreement and not take their personal view outside the committee – and certainly not to the media!
  • 22. It is not a sign of failure if you need to ask:  A neutral third party  A facilitator to help reach a consensus  A mediator where parties are unable to find their way forward
  • 23. For the Board/committee:  A Code of Conduct  Clarify role boundaries/areas of responsibility  Set down delegated powers in writing  Regularly review priorities  Respect and nourish diversity
  • 24. For the Board/committee:  Communication –  Who needs to know what, how and by when?
  • 25.  Time in which to get to know each other – social time  Time for the chair to talk one-to-one with each Board/committee member to find out if they have any problems/concerns about their role  Time to let the Chair know if you plan to raise an issue at the next meeting
  • 26.  Performance – how is the Board/committee doing? - use the Good Governance Code for the Third Sector in Wales  Skills check – do you have the skills and knowledge you need to be an effective Board?  What can you learn from other similar sized organisations?
  • 27.  Listen with your full attention  Be clear about your own responsibilities but flexible in helping others  Ask questions when a situation is unclear  Look for the common ground when discussing opposing views  Avoid making judgments/assumptions  Be aware of personal prejudices
  • 28.  Respect confidentiality  Resist the temptation to share details of a disagreement with people not directly involved: it encourages factions, and can lead to escalation of what may be a minor localised difficulty  When a dispute arises deal with it  Separate the person from the problem
  • 29.  Resolve  Record  Reconcile  Regroup  Rejoice!

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