Managing conflicts


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Conflicts are a major feature of every society but conflicts usually have an adverse effect when not properly managed.

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Managing conflicts

  1. 1. Managing Conflicts The Path to a Resolution Bolaji Okusaga
  2. 2. What is A Conflict? Conflicts exist where there are contending interests It arises from a need to secure stakes and positions Conflicts can be active or passive.
  3. 3. Personalities who cause conflict The Aggressor Passive The Arrogant Buff Mates Habitual Absentee Error prone Colleague The Chatterbox HumptyDumpty The Unreliable The Time waster The Hater
  4. 4. Causes of Conflict CONFLICT OF IDEAS: Different interpretations CONFLICT OF ATTITUDES: Different opinions CONFLICT OF AIMS: Different goals CONFLICT OF BEHAVIOR: Different behaviours
  5. 5. Roots of Conflicts ROOTS OF INTERPERSONAL CONFLICTS : Rejections Illicit Demands Reproach Accumulative Frustration CAUSATIVE FACTORS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF CONFLICTS: Regularity of occurrence Goal Affinity Goal Path Uncertainty Attribution of Cause Negative feelings
  6. 6. Conflict Catalysts Scarce Resources Conflicting attitude Resources are always not in abundance, causing competition – Active tension either in the process of accessing or sharing resources Attitudes and Communication styles are different Unclear sphere of influence Unclear boundaries – Overlapping roles Communication Barriers The inability to forge understanding - Poorly defined Goals Need for Consent Unresolved previous conflicts Knowledge of self and others The inability to agree - Lack of cooperation / trust Past experiences – Past betrayals Ego and feelings - Opposing personal values
  7. 7. Conditions Upon Which Conflicts Thrive Interdependence Perceived Incompatible Goals Scarce Resources Two or more interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from others in achieving that goal (Hocker & Wilmot, 1995) Competition between interdependent parties who perceive that they have incompatible needs, goals, desires, or ideas (Van Slyke, 1999) Because resources are usually never abundantly available, there is usually a contest for scare resources Interference Social Interactions This happens as a result of perceived incursion into a person’s or a group’s sphere of influence Society creates a basis for social interaction and given the fact that there are different personality types, conflicts often occur
  8. 8. Types of Conflict Inter-personal and intrapersonal Inter-group and intragroup Competitive and Disruptive • This exist between two persons or internally within a person • Between two groups or within a group • Occuring out of clashing goals and objectives
  9. 9. Stages of Conflict Conflict arises (Introduction of the Plot) Resolution Positions are stated and hardened (The Suspense) Actions taken in support of positions (Climax)
  10. 10. Conflict Process Antecedent Condition Perceived Conflict Felt Conflict Manifest Behaviour Conflict Resolution / Suppression Resolution Aftermath
  11. 11. Consequences of Conflict Adverse Consequences Affirmative Consequences Decreased Efficiency Suboptimal Productivity Better Understanding of Subject Disrupted Cognitive Functioning Stress Illuminate Way-forward Absenteeism Staff turnover De-motivation Inventive / Resourceful Resolutions
  12. 12. HIGH Communication Styles and Conflicts LOW DIRECTNESS OF COMMUNICATION OPENLY AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR Direct in expressing needs and opinion and gives no thought to others. ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOUR Express needs and opinions in a way that is considerate of others. I WIN, YOU LOSE I WIN, YOU WIN PASSIVE BEHAVIOUR Indirectly makes sure that others are aware of needs and opinion in a way that it seems more important than the needs and opinion of others. PASSIVE BEHAVIOUR Does not express needs and opinion and puts others needs above his / her needs. I WIN, YOU LOSE I LOSE, YOU WIN LOW THOUGHTS GIVEN TO OTHERS HIGH
  13. 13. Conflict and Communication HIGH ASSERTIVENESS Competing Collaborating Compromise Avoiding Accommodating LOW COOPERATION HIGH
  14. 14. Preventing Conflict Assess positive and negative personality traits of people involved Determine personality type • Aggressive • Submissive • Assertive Assess if people are introvert or extroverts...
  15. 15. Preventing Conflict Review past conflicts Assess communication skills of those involved Read body language of participants Competition (win-lose situation) Accommodation (win-win situation) Avoidance (loselose situation) Compromise (lose-lose situation) Collaboration (win-win situation
  16. 16. Preventing Conflict Manage the Communication Neutral vs. Words laden with layers of meaning Decrease mechanical language Allow for cultural differences in language Words may have different meanings for different people…ask them to elaborate
  17. 17. Resolving Conflicts Adapt to the Situation Problem-Solving Procedures Willingness to Ignore Power Issues Open-minded Attitudes Be Fair and Objective Appropriate and Effective Communication Mutual Awareness
  18. 18. The Path to Resolution What Works What Does Not Negotiation / Mediation Holding on rigidly to a position Looking at both sides of the argument Declining to strike a compromise A Win-Win attitude Name calling and blame-trading 18
  19. 19. Searching for a Solution Path to Take Path to Avoid • Identify Each Others Needs and Goals • Seek a Win-Win solution • The Use of Power may lead to three Responses • Fight • Flight / Avoidance • Obedience/ Shutting Down 19
  20. 20. The Resolution Platform Groundwork Issues Management Agreement Follow-up 20
  21. 21. The Resolution Platform: Groundwork Stage Include only those concerned. Get something to write down ideas. Give a description of the problem that respects all involved. Find a good time and place with no distractions. Explain how conflict resolution can enable all to win, and explain the steps. Agree not to slip back to the win lose methods 21
  22. 22. The Resolution Platform: Issues Management Stage Use “I” Messages to explain your own concerns, needs and basic goals Use reflective listening to hear and acknowledge the other’s needs and basic goals Evaluate exactly what each of your actual needs are with the problem. List needs. Don’t accept sudden promises not to cause the problem Identify gaps in realisation of strategic objectives Escalate current risks and identify potential risks Ensure proper communications with relevant stakeholders Mediate issues resolution 22
  23. 23. The Resolution Platform: Agreement Stage Get Agreement on who does what by when Write this down and check all agree to it If you want to set criteria for success, work out these now Refuse to remind or police the solutions 23
  24. 24. The Resolution Platform: Follow-up Stage Carry out agreed method. Wait to see if the conflicts seems resolved. If the agreed upon solution doesn’t work, remember it is the solution that failed, not the person, and seek for a new solution. Ask from time to time if the solution is working for both of you. 24
  25. 25. Thank You