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Managing Workplace Conflict - HRMATT

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Managing Workplace Conflict - HRMATT

  1. 1. Managing Workplace Conflict Cavelle Joseph, M.B.A., B.Sc. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference Hilton Trinidad & Conference Center 14th May 2013
  2. 2. “Whycan’t wealljustgetalong?” This is a question, as many of you may remember, was asked in the worst of circumstances by a man severely beaten during an arrest. How many of us ask this on a daily basis? In personal and family relationships, in schools and at work, interactions among people are often fraught with disagreements. This presentation is intended to address managers, supervisors and other individuals who manage employees. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 2
  3. 3. At the close of this session, you will be able to: Explain what workplace conflicts are, the forms they take and cite examples. List at least three causes of these conflicts. State ways interpersonal conflicts may be avoided. List steps to follow in addressing an interpersonal conflict between two or more employees Describe the supervisor’s responsibility during a conflict resolution meeting. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 3
  4. 4. A condition between workers who are: Interdependent in some way Acting in ways that create a business problem When one or both parties are not able to secure what they need or want and are actively seeking their own goals. Conflict can build up over time or it can flare up suddenly. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 4
  5. 5. It can be based on genuine disagreements about the job, but it also can be fueled by many other things: Pressures that the individuals are feeling Frustrations Fears Personal dislikes, etc. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 5
  6. 6. A conflict exists when one person’s attempt to reach his or her goals interferes with another person’s attempt to do the same. Ex. Gail’s goal is to do her job well, and she see her efforts being blocked by Frank. His goal may be to prevent his cherished way of doing things from changing. Frank patronizes Gail, she threatens and calls him a name. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 6
  7. 7. Of course, conflict doesn’t have to be so open or obvious. Perhaps the nastiest conflict in organizations (and personal interactions) are the ones papered over by smiles and hearty greetings. If you feel that someone who pretends to like you is really stabbing you in the back, you ARE in conflict. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 7
  8. 8. Some signs of conflict are very visible. For ex., you might: Witness a heated exchange between colleagues. Attend a meeting between management and employee representatives that turns into a stand- off. However, not all forms of conflict are so obvious. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 8
  9. 9. Spotting conflict at an early stage gives you a better chance of: Identifying the underlying causes Reaching a sustainable agreement Resolving the conflict HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 9
  10. 10. Misunderstanding Personality clashes Competition for resources Authority issues Lack of cooperation Differences over methods or style Low performance Value or goal differences HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 10
  11. 11. Issue Emotions Interests, Needs, and Desires Self-Perceptions and Self-Esteem Hidden Expectations Unresolved Issues from the Past
  12. 12. You might notice the following symptoms: Motivation drops: fewer people volunteer to take on new tasks and there is little employee input at meetings Behaviour changes: people start to make derogatory remarks towards each other and there are fewer social events organized Productivity falls: there are likely to be more queries and complaints if people are not cooperating with each other Sickness absence increases: unhappiness may lead to depression or stress Responses to staff attitude surveys or questionnaires indicate underlying dissatisfaction. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 12
  13. 13. Conflict is destructive when it: Diverts energy from more important issues and tasks Deepens differences in values Polarizes groups so that cooperation is reduced Destroys morale of people or reinforces poor self concepts HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 13
  14. 14. Conflict is constructive when it: Opens up issues of importance, resulting in issue clarification. Helps build cohesiveness as people learn more about each other. Causes reassessment by allowing for examination of procedures or actions. Increases individual involvement. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 14
  15. 15. Cost Factors Wasted time Bad decisions Lost employees Unnecessary restructuring Sabotage, theft, damage Lowered job motivation Lost work time Health costs Estimated Costs $ _______________ $ _______________ $ _______________ $ _______________ $ _______________ $ _______________ $ _______________ $ _______________ HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 15
  16. 16. Avoid – Non confrontational; denies issues are a problem. Accommodate – agreeable, non – assertive; cooperative even at the expense of personal goals. Compete – uses power, position, personality, or status to get own way. Compromise – aggressive but cooperative; tries to bargain, compromise, and split the difference. Collaborate – high respect for mutual benefit. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 16
  17. 17. When presented with conflict, we may act without thinking about the choices we have. Consider the degree of assertiveness (“I want my way”) and cooperation (“Whatever you want”) in each style. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 17
  18. 18. When the following conditions are in place, the likelihood of a positive resolution increases: Commitment to find a resolution that is mutually beneficial. Trust. Frame of mind that there is more than one way to look at the issues. Belief that a solution exists. Commitment to stay in the communication process. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 18
  19. 19. 1. Obtain agreement from all parties that they will: Work to resolve the conflict. Treat each other with respect, dignity and fairness. Be clear and truthful about what is really bothering them and what they want to change. Listen to other participants and make an effort to understand their views. Be willing to take responsibility for their behaviour. Be willing to compromise. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 19
  20. 20. 2. Arrange for all parties to confront the problem. Select a time as soon as all parties have cooled down. Meet at a place that is neutral for all parties. 3. Have all participants describe their interpersonal conflict in clear terms and describe behaviours, feelings and desired changes. Direct participants to use “I”, not “you” and to focus on specific behaviours and problems, not on people. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 20
  21. 21. 4. Ask participants to restate what the others have said. 5. Summarize the conflict based on what you have heard and obtain agreement from all parties. 6. Brain storm to find solutions: Ask each party to offer a solution. List all of the options presented (either verbally or on a flip chart). Discuss all options in a positive manner. Rule out any options in a positive manner. Rule out any options that parties agree are unworkable. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 21
  22. 22. 7. Summarize all possible options for a solution. 8. Assign further analysis of each option to a participant. 9. Obtain agreement on next steps. 10. Close the meeting by having all parties shake hands, apologize and thank each other for working to resolve their conflict. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 22
  23. 23. • It is important for the Supervisor to: • Address the real issues • Speak openly and honestly • Listen well • Express strong feelings appropriately • Remain rational • Review what has been said • Learn to take as well as to give • Avoid harmful and negative statements HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 23
  24. 24. • Developing and implementing workplace conflict policies and procedures. • Creating and managing conflict – resolution programs. • Initiating employee communications on conflict. • Tracking the metrics and the costs of conflict resolution efforts. • Becoming involved in settling workplace conflicts. • If HR cannot resolve a conflict, an outside specialist may be needed to work out a settlement. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 24
  25. 25. 3Thingsyou can start doingtomorrow HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 25 1. Deal with complaints and problems 2. Realize “perception” is as important as reality 3. Remember the goal is to prevent, resolve and avoid claims – not to “win”
  26. 26. HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 26 • Conflict Resolution (2001) by Daniel Dana • People Styles at Work (1996) by Robert Bolton & Dorothy Grover Bolton • Resolving Conflicts at Work (2005) by Kenneth Cloke & Joan Goldsmith • Workplace Wars and How to End Them (1994) by Kenneth Kaye
  27. 27. Speaker’s Contact Info HRMATT’s 9th Biennial Conference – May 13th & 14th, 2013 27 Phone: 620-9193 E-mail: cavellewjoseph@gmail.com Skype: Cavelle-Joseph LinkedIn: Cavelle Joseph

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