Making Work Work (Final)


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Presentation at STC's annual conference in Philadelphia, June 2-4, 2008. Presented by Judy Glick-Smith and Emma Hamer. Exploring conflict styles and the conflict spiral in the context of increased remote collaboration in teams.

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  • Introduction (Judy, Emma) Show of hands ‘ who works in a dispersed / decentralized team’? ‘ who works in a multi- or cross disciplinary team’? ‘ who here has the ‘double whammy’ work experience? Another show of hands Who spends more than 25% of their time communicating with remote co-workers? On average, how often do you feel you need to clarify – or clear up – some sort of misunderstanding? See, here’s the thing. Human beings have evolved to communicate face-to-face. We read body language, subtle changes in expression, where the other person’s eyes move, any facial twitches, and so on. We read them without being aware of it, most of the time. We have simply developed the ‘well, you just know’ attitude around it. All this comes to a screeching halt when you’re not face-to-face. Sure, video conferencing helps a little bit, but if it’s a meeting, you’re usually watching the person doing the talking – not the other people there. And squinting at a screen is not conducive to catching the subtleties of facial expressions, now is it? So can we make it work? Can we make Work – work? Yes, we believe we can – no matter how far apart you are, or how different your native cultures are. You simply need to learn how to ‘read’ the other in a different way. That’s what we’re talking about today, and feel free to jump in at any time if you have an example or an experience that either bears us out, or challenges our ideas.
  • Making Work Work (Final)

    1. 1. Moving beyond the inherent conflict of new collaboration models
    2. 2. technology practices collaboration globalization
    3. 3. trans-disciplinary production is concurrent, not sequential
    4. 4. New York <--> New Delhi SharePoint (for better or for worse) Google docs, BaseCamp skype, tele conferencing, web conferencing
    5. 5. culture clash variety of communication styles communication hiccups: lingual and cultural many insecurities (trigger defensiveness)
    6. 7. Intensity Time Problem emerges Sides Form Positions Harden Communication Stops Resources are Committed Conflict goes Outside the Community Perceptions become Distorted Sense of Crisis Emerges
    7. 8. competition collaboration compromise avoidance accommodation Assessment Online:
    8. 9. assertive uncooperative goal: win satisfy own concerns at other’s expense
    9. 10. assertive cooperative goal: find a win-win solution the solution satisfies everyone’s concerns
    10. 11. intermediate in assertiveness intermediate in cooperativeness goal: find a middle ground an acceptable settlement partially satisfies all parties’ concerns.
    11. 12. unassertive uncooperative goal: delay sidestepping the conflict without satisfying anyone’s concerns.
    12. 13. unassertive cooperative goal: yield attempt to satisfy the other person’s concerns at the expense of your own
    13. 14. Competition Collaboration Compromise Avoidance Accommodation High aggressiveness Low aggressiveness Low Cooperation High Cooperation Concern for Self Concern for Others
    14. 15. no one perfect style style appropriateness awareness of others’ styles taking personal responsibility
    15. 16. Getting ahead of the conflict spiral involves personal awareness … of the situation … and of yourself.
    16. 17. ‘ safe' conversation boundary-setting expectation-setting getting commitment
    17. 18. confront broken promise express disappointment renew commitment identify natural consequence
    18. 19. check ego listen be (self-) aware think, then speak
    19. 21. We are … <ul><li>Judy Glick-Smith </li></ul><ul><li>President/CEO MentorFactor, Inc. 770-633-5582 [email_address] blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Emma Hamer </li></ul><ul><li>Principal - Senior Consultant E. Hamer Associates, Ltd. 604-317-2234 [email_address] website and blog: </li></ul>