Adapted from Dispute Resolution Center of Snohomish and Island Counties (2004). 1801 Lomard Ave, Everett, WA 98206; 425-339-1335 .
Conflict is…The interaction of interdependent people who perceive incompatible goals and interference from each other in achieving those goals.-Hoeker & Wilmot
Toward ConflictManagement Blake and Mouton’s Conflict Grid Source: Reproduced by permission from Robert R. Blake and Jane Syngley Mouton. “The Fifth Achievement.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 6(4), 1970..
What is Conflict?Conflict is… Conflict is not… Perceived difference Sign of a bad needs, values and relationship goals Negative experience Part of a relationship Mistake Consequence of Struggle between growth right and wrong change
Examples of Conflict Generational change: Housestaff clash with primary care providers Technology driven change: Upgrading to electronic medical records Change in scope of practice: Should we admit to the hospitalists? Something just isn’t fair: What about our salaries? Others
Advantages of Conflict Diffuse more serious conflicts Stimulate search for new facts or solutions Enhance relationships Increase cohesivenessConflict should be managed not eliminated
Disavantages of Conflict Time consuming Disrupts progress/ problem solving Detracts from job at hand Keeps people apart; if unresolved Poor quality, lowers productivity Reduces team effectiveness
Styles of ConflictSuccessful leaders know their own preferred style of handling conflict, but vary their style to meet the needs of the situation..
Styles of conflict High Competition Collaborate Compromise Low Avoidance Accommodate Low High Cooperativeness
Why Conflict ArisesType “A” Personality Vs. Type “B Personality
Type ”A” PersonalityHighly CompetitiveStrong PersonalityRestless wheninactiveSeeks PromotionPunctualThrives ondeadlinesMaybe jobs at once
Type “B”Personality Works methodically Rarely competitive Enjoys leisure time Does not anger easily Does job well but doesn’t need recognition Easy-going
Aggressive PeopleBody language Stiff and straight Points, bangs tables to emphasize points Folds arms across bodyVerbal language Aggressive people “I want you to…” are basically “You must…” insecure….. Try to “Do what I tell you!” avoid them. “You’re stupid!”
Submissive peopleBody Language Verbal Language Avoids eye contact “I’m sorry” Stooped posture “It’s all my fault” Speaks quietly “Oh dear” Fidgets Submissive people have a great sense of inferiority
Assertive PeopleBody language Stands straight Appears composed Smiles Maintains eye contactVerbal language “Let’s” “How shall we do this?” “I think… What do you think?” “I would like…”
Types of ConflictWithin an individual Between two individualsWithin a team of individualsBetween two or more teams withinan organization
Approaches to ConflictWin/Lose One party gets satisfactionLose/Win The other party gets satisfactionLose/Lose Neither party gets satisfactionWin/Win Both parties feel satisfied
Responses to Conflict The exit response involves leaving a relationship either by physically walking out or by psychologically withdrawing. The neglect response occurs when an individual denies or minimizes problems, disagreements, anger, tension. The loyalty response is staying committed to a relationship despite differences. The voice response is an active, constructive strategy for dealing with conflict by talking about problems and trying to resolve them.
Causes of conflict Conflict of aims- different goals Conflict of ideas- differentinterpretations Conflict of attitudes - differentopinions Conflict of behavior- differentbehaviors are unacceptable
Stages of ConflictConflict arisesPositions are stated and hardenedActions, putting into action theirchosen plan Resolution???
Preventing ConflictAssess positive and negativepersonality traits of people involvedDetermine personality type Aggressive Submissive Assertive Assess if people are introvert orextroverts...
Preventing ConflictReview past conflictsAssess communication skills ofthose involvedRead body language of participants
Preventing ConflictTry to reduce conflict Realize that communication is colored by personal experience, beliefs, fear, prejudices Try to be neutral Plan the timing and place of the conversation Realize that outside stress may add to confrontation Eliminate/reduce external interruptions
Preventing ConflictManage the language used Neutral vs. loaded words Reduce technical language Allow for cultural differences in language Words may have different meanings for different people…ask them to elaborate
Tips for ManagingWorkplace Conflict Build good relationships before conflict occurs Do not let small problems escalate; deal with them as they arise Respect differences Listen to others’ perspectives on the conflict situation Acknowledge feelings before focussing on facts Focus on solving problems, not changing people If you can’t resolve the problem, turn to someone who can help Remember to adapt your style to the situation and persons involved26
Aids to CommunicationListen Actively Tailor words toRelax personObserve body Determine thelanguage best timingDevelop interest Determine thein others interests best placeAsk for Why is theclarification conversation necessaryPlan what you aregoing to say
Personalities who cause conflictAggressorPassiveAbsenteeError proneNegativeattitudeChatterboxDo nothing
Personalities who cause conflictUnreliableTime wasterResentfulperson
WAC’em method W hat’s bothering you? A - What do you want to Ask the person to do?C heck in to see if what you’ve asked for can happen