Conflict Resolution


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Steps in dealing with conflict.

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  • Introduce MyselfIntroduce Participants
  • Therefore, we cannot move forward and grow without some conflict.The challenge is to manage conflict so that outcomes are positive.
  • Inaction: Avoidance, decision by one party only. Win-Lose by defaultNegotiation: Private, informal decision making – only parties involved participate. Goal is “consensus” & “win-win”Facilitation: Private, informal decision making by only parties involved. Neutral 3rd party “facilitates discussion – tries to maximize communication & minimize conflict. Goal is “consensus” & “win-win”Mediation: Private, informal decision making by parties involved, but “mediator” helps create settlement. 3rd party actively works to resolve the conflict – may not be neutral on all issues. May still be “win-win”Arbitration: Private, but formal – 3rd party makes decision. Conflicting parties usually agree in advance to be bound by the decision.Administrative Decision: Private, but formal – 3rd party makes decision. Person(s) in authority make final decision – with or without input or agreement of conflicting parties.Judicial Decision: Public, formal, 3rd party decision making. Judge or jury makes binding decision based on law, evidence, precedent, etc.Legislative Decision: Public, formal, 3rd party decision making. Elected officials enact law to formalize societal policy, behavior, etc.Non-violent direct action: coerced decision making – public gathering to influence policy, action, etc.Violence: coercion through force or threat of force. Often a “lose-lose” result.
  • Happiness – Fulfillment, Excitement & Contentment: All are positive emotions to foster, but… …they are all defined by individual standards……they may or may not result in positive action……hurt or resentment can follow if these emotions are not accepted or respectedF E A RCauses fight or flight responses…… lots of adrenalin… defensiveness… verbal or physical reactionWork to remove fear, if possible !Sadness – Emotional LossSome adults refuse to allow full expression of sadness because they think it may hamper work and/or make them appear unable to cope.Sadness can strongly influence conflict and problem solving.Anger - An Emotion of OffenseThis most volatile emotion is usually present in conflicts……can result when another moves too close to personal “tender spots,” pulls back too soon or doesn’t honor our vulnerability … …often results in insults, assaults or flight…Recognize,diminish,defuseOverly protective or defensive emotions tend to: …escalate more rapidly……become more intense……last longer……with each occurrence
  • Power exists in the social relationship between peoplePower is not constant and finite. It is relational, fluid and difficult to measureIndividuals internalize societal patterns of domination, but have power to act in their own interests A domination-free order is best
  • Exploitive – “power upon”Manipulative - “Power Over”Competitive – “power against”Nutritive – “power for”Collaborative, coalescent or coalitional – “power with”
  • Formal AuthorityExpert or Informational PowerAssociational PowerResource PowerProcedural PowerSanction PowerNuisance PowerMoral PowerHabitual PowerPersonal Power
  • Stakeholders are any parties who view themselves as deeply affected by this negotiation, project or decisionBlockers: Any person or group that can block implementation if they are unhappy with the decisionApprovers: Anyone whose approval will enable the project to proceedExperts: Anyone whose advice or assistance is valuable. Ex. Technical expertise
  • Explain the need to satisfy interests…not protect positionsEngage in discussion/exercises to help parties understand other’s perceptionsIf needed, find ways for people to “vent”Reframe the conversation to accurately reflect the issueTry to put the conversation in neutral terms – use examplesAvoid labeling people and groups with characterizations or as issuesForming –Getting group organized & startedStorming – Working through personalities, leadership-control issues, alliances & factionsPerforming -Developing synergy & accomplishing goalsAdorning –Synergy, celebrating successes & accomplishmentsTransforming – Ending, transition to next process, good-byes
  • Planning the MeetingWill the meeting be an open exploration of alternatives? Or, is the outcome predetermined?If the former … define the scope of issue, problem or needDecide on a meeting typeSelect a facilitatorDevelop an agenda (facilitator may help)Planning the Meeting - LogisticsSelect date, time & location of meeting – Convenient to most stakeholdersEstablish meeting time limits Agree on protocol, including decision-making process –(Plurality? Majority? Consensus? Unanimity?) Provide pertinent information Location easily accessible – neutral locationRoom large enough to seat everyone Adequate acoustics, ventilation, lighting, tables/chairs,A-V equipment, flip-charts & markers, wall space, breakout rooms, restrooms,Seating arrangement – circular is goodPlanning the Meeting Notify potential audience well in advance Clarify meeting purposeGather supporting materials, including experts Agenda preparationa. Solicit group input b. Including opening, body, closingConducting the MeetingAdhere to process sequence: a. Establish ground rules b. Clarify need – situation - problem c. Identify options and alternativese. Evaluate and choose alternativesPlan implementationEvaluate & summarize meeting achievements
  • AnalysisGather informationOrganize the informationThink about the informationConsider:PerceptionsEmotionsUnclear communicationsOthers’ interestsAny criteria which can be agreed upon or form a basis of agreementPlanningGenerate ideas, propose solutions for:People problemsInterestsRealistic objectivesGenerate additional options and criteriaDiscussionParties communicate, looking for agreementDiscussDifferences in perceptionFeelings of frustration and angerDifficulties in communicationEach side strives to understand feelings/needs of otherSeek agreement on objective standards for resolutionJointly generate options that are mutually advantageous
  • Road Blocks to CommunicationTheir positionThey feel they will lose entirely if they give up anything.They have often learned sandbox fighting and feel their position must be maintained at all costs.Road Blocks to Communication (cont.)Their dissatisfactionMay have no interest or see benefit in reaching agreementMay fear losing faceMay reject agreement because it was your ideaYou will need to provide them with a reason to reach agreement without losing face. Must show a benefit beyond their BATNA.Road Blocks to Communication (cont.)Their powerIf they have power to refuse and not be affected – difficult to get them to an agreementYou will have to offer them something they want
  • Five StepsGo to the balconyStep backDon’t try to control them, control yourselfReflect on the alternativesDon’t reactStep to their sideDefuse their anger, fear, hostility, suspicionDon’t attack, listenTry to take their side in as many ways as possibleReframeDon’t reject – take them back to meeting each other’s challengesTake what they say and say it back to see if you have the same perspectiveAsk problem solving questionsWhat would you do if…?What if we were to…?Don’t reject, reframeBuild them a Golden BridgeTry to identify and satisfy their unmet interests, particularly human needs.Help them save face and have some victoryDon’t push, make it easy for them to move your directionUse power to educateEducate them to costs of not agreeing (without threats)Ask reality testing questions, warn but don’t threatenExplain your BATNA
  • Conflict Resolution

    1. 1. Wyoming Association of Municipalities<br />Annual Convention<br />June 12th, 2009<br />Conflict Resolution<br />Presented by:<br />Juliet Daniels & Bill Taylor<br />University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service<br />
    2. 2. Conflict is natural, inevitable and necessary !<br /> Conflict creates tensionand pressure for change and all change creates some conflict.<br />2<br />
    3. 3. Have you experienced conflict in a meeting?<br />Yes<br />No<br />
    4. 4. Did the conflict result in a positive or negative outcome?<br />Positive outcome<br />Negative outcome<br />
    5. 5. Nonviolent Action<br />Administrative<br />Arbitration<br />Inaction<br />Facilitation<br />Judicial<br />Negotiation<br />Mediation<br />Legislative<br />Violence<br />Increasing formality & 3rd Party Influence<br />Continuum of Approaches to Conflict<br />5<br />
    6. 6. Personal Antagonism<br />Shift from non-personal, external disagreement to the other person being seen as the problem<br />Social Transformation of Conflict<br />6<br />
    7. 7. Issue Proliferation<br />“I don’t like your horse either !”<br />“You slighted me back in 1975?”<br />Antagonism moves from specific to general<br />Social Transformation of Conflict<br />7<br />
    8. 8. Triangle<br />Problem<br />Talk aboutnot with<br />Social Transformation of Conflict<br />8<br />
    9. 9. Barriers to Communicationand Agreement<br /><ul><li>Personal discomfort
    10. 10. Overly protective or defensive emotional responses by self or others
    11. 11. Emotional or hostile environment</li></ul>9<br />
    12. 12. When emotions are understood…<br /><ul><li>Differences may be negotiated without becoming too personal
    13. 13. Participants may not get upset as quickly</li></ul>Emotions in Conflict Situations<br />10<br />
    14. 14. People are most comfortable in the “emotional zone” they are accustomed to.<br /><ul><li>Those who grew up in hostile settings tend to explode or implode.
    15. 15. Those who grew up in nurturing environments may interpret explosiveness as hostility and recoil from a hostile person
    16. 16. They may speak past each other</li></ul>Emotional or Hostile Environments<br />11<br />
    17. 17. <ul><li>No one is completely powerless
    18. 18. Denial of one’s power is a small step away from abusing it
    19. 19. Significant power inequalities provide occasion for abuse of power
    20. 20. Constructive conflict transformation will work toward a balance of power</li></ul>Key Principles of Power<br />12<br />
    21. 21. Kinds of Power<br />Exploitive<br />Manipulative<br />Competitive<br />Nutritive<br />Collaborative<br />13<br />
    22. 22. Which power do you use most often?<br />Exploitive<br />Manipulative<br />Competitive<br />Nutritive<br />Collaborative<br />
    23. 23. Which power is most often used over you?<br />Exploitive<br />Manipulative<br />Competitive<br />Nutritive<br />Collaborative<br />
    24. 24. Sources of Power<br />16<br />
    25. 25. Will collaborative conflict resolution work?<br />Yes<br />No<br />
    26. 26. <ul><li>Issues can be easily defined
    27. 27. The dispute is not over constitutional rights or societal values
    28. 28. There are enough diverse issues to provide opportunities for trade-offs
    29. 29. The parties are readily identifiable</li></ul>Collaborative Processes may work if…<br />18<br />
    30. 30. <ul><li>All parties have a legitimate spokesperson
    31. 31. There is relative power balance between the parties (i.e. nobody can dictate the outcome)
    32. 32. A continuing relationship is likely
    33. 33. There is a realistic time deadline
    34. 34. Parties are motivated to negotiate issues on their merits</li></ul>Collaborative Processes may work if… <br />19<br />
    35. 35. Stages of a successful change process<br /><ul><li>Establish a sense of urgency
    36. 36. Create the guiding coalition
    37. 37. Communicate the change vision
    38. 38. Empower broad-based action
    39. 39. Generate short-term wins
    40. 40. Consolidate gains and make more change
    41. 41. Anchor new approaches in the culture</li></ul>How Does CollaborativeConflict Resolution Work ? <br />20<br />
    42. 42. <ul><li>All stakeholders– Be inclusive
    43. 43. Blockers
    44. 44. Approvers
    45. 45. Experts
    46. 46. Interested public </li></ul>Collaborative Process –Who should attend?<br />21<br />
    47. 47. Be an unbiased “process <br />agent”<br />Fosters attitude that conflict is an opportunity,not a threat<br />Role of Facilitator<br />22<br />
    48. 48. <ul><li>Purpose & Type
    49. 49. Agenda
    50. 50. Logistics
    51. 51. Conducting
    52. 52. Follow - Up</li></ul>Planning the Meeting<br />23<br />
    53. 53. <ul><li>Don’t react to outbursts
    54. 54. Do use only “I” statements, not “you statements
    55. 55. Do use symbolic gestures to show your sincerity – hand shake, call, card, etc.
    56. 56. Do put yourself in their shoes – (What are they feeling? Why? What are their needs?)
    57. 57. Don’t deduce their intention from your fears
    58. 58. Don’t blame them for your problem
    59. 59. Do discuss each other’s perceptions</li></ul>24<br />Conflict Resolution Do’s and Don’ts (cont.)<br />
    60. 60. <ul><li>Do look for chances to act inconsistently with their perception of you
    61. 61. Don’t reveal statements made in confidence to the facilitator – the neutral party
    62. 62. Don’t use names or derogatory personal statements
    63. 63. Do have everyone participate actively
    64. 64. Do allow each person to speak
    65. 65. Do give spokesmen authority to speak for their groups
    66. 66. Don’t put out media releases without consensus</li></ul>Conflict Resolution Do’s and Don’ts (cont.)<br />25<br />
    67. 67. How to Get to Yes<br /><ul><li>Separate the people from the problem
    68. 68. Focus on interests, not positions
    69. 69. Invent options for mutual gain
    70. 70. Insist on using objective criteria</li></ul>Principles of Effective Dispute Management<br />26<br />*Handout: “Conflict Resolution Styles”<br />
    71. 71. <ul><li>Overcome obstacles
    72. 72. Separate inventing from deciding</li></ul>Brainstorm with your own group<br />Then consider brainstorming with the other side<br /><ul><li>Broaden your options
    73. 73. Look for mutual gain
    74. 74. Insist on using objective criteria
    75. 75. Make their decision easy - BATNA</li></ul>Inventing Options<br />27<br />
    76. 76. BATNA – Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement<br /><ul><li>Parties need to be aware of what will be their best outcome if no agreement can be reached
    77. 77. How prepared are you to settle for your BATNA? How much impetus does this give you to find an agreement?
    78. 78. What will be the BATNA of the other parties?</li></ul>28<br />
    79. 79. <ul><li>Analysis
    80. 80. Planning
    81. 81. Discussion</li></ul>Three Stages of Consensus<br />29<br />*Handout: “Workable Agreements”<br />
    82. 82. <ul><li>Different persons have different roles within the functioning of a group
    83. 83. Role confusion or usurpation can delay or derail the process
    84. 84. See group role handout</li></ul>Roles Within a Group<br />30<br />* Handout: “Roles Within A Group”<br />
    85. 85. Road Blocks to Communication<br /><ul><li>Their position
    86. 86. Their dissatisfaction
    87. 87. Their power</li></ul>Dealing With People<br />31<br />
    88. 88. “Your goal is not to win over them, to win them over.” – Getting Past No<br />Five Steps<br />Go to the balcony<br />Step to their side<br />Reframe<br />Build them a Golden Bridge<br />Use power to educate<br />Turning Adversaries into Partners<br />32<br />*Handout: “Handling Problem People”<br />
    89. 89. THIS WORKSHOP…<br />Provided new information<br />Reinforced what I already knew<br />Provided no new information<br />
    90. 90. HOW MUCH KNOWLEDGE DID YOU GAIN?<br />A lot<br />A moderate amount<br />Some<br />Not much<br />None<br />
    91. 91. MY ATTENDANCE TODAY MOTIVATED ME TO THINK.<br />A lot<br />A moderate amount<br />Some<br />Not much<br />None<br />
    92. 92. MY ATTENDANCE TODAY MOTIVATED ME TO WANT TO LEARN MORE.<br />A lot<br />A moderate amount<br />Some<br />Not much<br />None<br />
    93. 93. MY ATTENDANCE TODAY MOTIVATED ME TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.<br />A lot<br />A moderate amount<br />Some<br />Not much<br />None<br />
    94. 94. 38<br />Questions<br />Thank You!<br />