What is conflict?- An expressed struggle – Disagreementbecomes verbal and nonverbalfacial/gestures show aggression.- Occurs when people are interdependent- Mutually aware of incompatible goals- See each other as interfering with achievinggoals
Quotes about Conflict• An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.~ Ghandi• Mankind must evolve for all human conflict amethod which rejects revenge, aggression, andretaliation. The foundation of such a method islove. ~ Martin Luther King• Truth springs from argument amongst friends.~ David Hume****I do not agree with what you have to say, butIll defend to the death your right to say it.~Voltaire
Mckorke and MillsConflict - It is our mindset!• Language choices shape our perception of ourroles in conflict• Crum’s five mind sets:Negative – Negative, diminish energy, invokefear and require struggle1)Destruction2)Decay3)Survival
Crum’s five mindsetsPositive - invoke love and are effortless andjoyful.•Success•Artistry
Words can contribute to conflict –A Cow“Everyone knows what a cow is!”WRONG….
Conflict – Deborah TannenAn American academic and professor of linguistics at Georgetown University inWashington, D.C.We live in an Argument culture where:•Opposition•Debate•Polarization•Litigation•Attacks•Criticism are perceived as “The Best Way to Get Things Done.”•War or sports metaphors are used
Heres a short list of metaphors borne from war terms.It is arranged as:1) Metaphor; 2) An example in use; 3) An implication made by the metaphor.• Launch: John Kerry launched a diplomatic effort aimed at ending the war. Diplomacy is a weaponagainst war itself.• Ceasefire: The neighbors agreed to a ceasefire over their lawn ornament argument. Argument iswar: words are bullets that can inflict harm; the mind is a territory that can be disputed.• Truce: The neighbors agreed to a truce over their barbeque dispute. Disagreement is war: the termsof agreement are a truce spelling out sovereign territories.• Battle: Every day is an uphill battle. Life is a battle against a higher enemy - and we are theunderdogs (rebels?) seeking higher ground.• Battleground: The senate has become the battleground for stem cell lobbyists. Opposing lobbyistsare civil-war warriors seeking to sieze a specific legal territory from (disputed zone) lawmakers.• Under fire: The president has been under fire for his veto of the stem cell bill. Politics is war, withword-bullets a popular means of attack• Firestorm: Stem cell research has created a firestorm of controversy. Controversy is heat, and isself-perpetuating (also heated debate or discussion). (Note: self-perpetuating heat is also a qualityof friction, another metaphor for disagreement).• Bombard: The president was bombarded with questions from the press. The press is an enemystate, whose purpose is to destroy the president.
Other Metaphors relating to Conflict• Two rams butting heads• She was so angry she was like a tornado• Talking to a brick wall• Tied up in chains• Don’t rock the boat• Stabbed in the back• Life is a Rocky Road• He is treating me like a child
Causes of ConflictInternal –•Problems such as those discussed about Anger•Psychological problems•Challenges such as Aspergers syndrome,, hard of earing, etc.•Physiological problems (hungry, tiredness, pain, etc.)•Self concept – is it weak or strong•Needs not being met (Maslow Hierarchy of Needs)External –•Noise•Workplace•Campus•Family
Conflict - Human History• People are killed, imprisoned, electrocuted, drowned,exiled, beat up, segregated, isolated, verbally abused,hung, tortured, or starved to death.Over:• Ideologies, Religions, Resourses, Territory, Pride,Values, National Interests, Ethnic Differences, Familyand Spousal Disagreements, Neighborhood Disputes.
Seven reasons we get angry.From Kristina Von Rosining – Life CoachAnger is a normal emotion.-The reasons why we get angry are varied. Need know causes!Three reasons people respond with anger - emotionallythreatened:1. Feeling hurt - when our feelings are hurt it is easier to get intouch with anger at the person who has just emotionally woundedus than to acknowledge the hurt.2. Feeling betrayed - the feeling of having been betrayed hits us tothe core and again the instinctive response can be one ofoverwhelming anger at the person who betrayed us.3. Feeling embarrassed - responding with anger becomes a way ofcovering up what one is really feeling.
Seven reasons we get angry.From Kristina Von Rosining – Life CoachFour reasons people respond with anger that are learned responses:1.Repeating a pattern (manner in which we learn to deal with anger) – Yelling, ignoringsomeone this is a pattern that is learned – usually from a parent or other adult fromwhom one learns how to deal with anger.•Most people do not know how to deal with anger•We need someone to model successful ways of handling oneself when angry.2. Getting ones way - Some people have found that they get what they want when theyget angry- they intimidate the other person and cut off communication.3. Handling defensiveness - Responding with anger can be a cover up for feelingdefensive, and is a learned response to experiencing strong feelings that are deep inside.•People who are in the habit of responding with defensive anger are frequently not evenaware what they are really feeling. Anger can be a cover-up for many other feelings.4. Pent-up rage – Many reasons: having been mistreated, bullied and/or abused;difficulty with impulse control; or a result or drug, alcohol, or prescription drug abuse.• Any one who is struggling with pent-up rage may benefit from a professionalassessment. If one does not find successful ways of handling this kind of anger it willadversely affect relationships.
Five Conflict Management Styles• Dysfunctional families – Many of us grew up in families wherewe didn’t learn to effectively communicate in relationships,especially when it involves conflict – being assertive helps healand reduces our stress and conflict with others.There are five basic styles of communication:- Avoidance- Accommodation- Competition- Collaboration- Compromise
Five Conflict ManagementStylesAvoidance is a style (AS) in which individuals have developed apattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, protecting their rights, andidentifying and meeting their needs.AS will:•Avoid conflict•Fall to assert themselves•Allows others to infringe on their rights•Tend to speak softy and apologeticallyIssues:•Avoidance can make conflict worse•Avoidance demonstrates lack of care or concernWhen is this style appropriate?•Can be positive, especially if the conflict is too big or emotional to resolve without help•Can give a group time to cool off – or allows group to avoid ‘hot issues to get in the way
Five Conflict Management StylesAccommodation is a style (ACS) in which individuals give in toavoid a major blow up or controversy. Not a bad approach,especially when conflict is pseudo or simple.ACS will:•Hope this approach makes the conflict go away•Have a high need for approval – think this will make people likethem more•Give in too quickly, and doesn’t allow discussion which is oftenhealthy for a group making decisionsWhen is this style appropriate?•Accommodating others may cause the group to make a baddecision, if more discussion isn’t allowed to happen
Five Conflict Management StylesCompetition is a style (CS) that people who have power or want more poweroften seek to compete with others. Often referred to aggressive.CS will:•Try to dominate others•Use humiliation to control others•Have low frustration levels•Blame others, instead of owningthe issuesWhen is style appropriate?•Not always wrong to compete, if you know you aren’t wrong•Also, if group members are suggesting something illegal or inappropriate•Or, member keeps others in the group from destructive or inappropriatebehavior
Five Conflict Management StylesCompromise ‘the big C’ (CS) is style thatattempts to find a middle ground – a solutionthat meets all needs.Issues:•You win…I win, is the best case, however attimes nobody gets what they want.•Or, some lose and some win, which isexpected…like a democracy. The majority win.•What can happen to the minority?
Five Conflict Management StylesCollaboration is a style (COS) where groupmembers work side-by-side, rather than goingafter power, control, or winner takes all.COS will:•View conflict has something that needs tobe resolved, rather than a game wherepeople win or lose.•COS leave personal grievances aside.Works best:•With a culturally diverse group•When group has the time to take to work through discussion, and lookingall solutions to make sure everyone is happy with decision
• Differing Views of Your Conflict Style• Your ratings may reflect the way youintend to act during conflicts, rather thanthe way you interact with others duringconflicts.• For instance, you may intend to beconfronting. You want the goal achieved,and you care about the relationships.Others may perceive that you are forcefulwith a focus on goals and a willingness to
Conflict StylesThere are many potential causes for these discrepancies, but here are a few of the morecommon ones.• Style collision.• Egocentric interpretation. Although all five conflict styles are associatedwith both negatives and positives, society has taught us that its better to besmoothing.• Timing. Our ratings may be influenced more significantly by recent eventsand so can the ratings of other people.• Interpersonal history. If you are in the midst of conflict with anotherperson, you can expect your ratings to shift temporarily. If you have a historyof conflict with the person, you can expect the ratings to shift permanently.• Can You Change Your Style? By this point in your life, youve developed astyle, and it comes naturally to you. Its not so much a matter of changingyour style as it is controlling the negative aspects of the style youvedeveloped.
Dealing with Difficult PeopleCrazy - MakersPassive Aggressive – is a style whereindividuals appear passive on the surfacebut are actually acting out anger in a subtle,indirect, or behind the scenes way.PA will:•Mutter to themselves•Use facial expressions that don’t’ match•Deny there is a problem•Become alienated from those around themPA believe:•They are weak and resentful, so I sabotage, frustrate and disrupt.•I will appear cooperative but I’m not.
Dealing with Difficult MembersRecognizing Crazy maker Behavior• Surprise you with requests• Pressure to do something when you’re unsure• Use relationships as leverage• Isolate you from support• Shift expectations and moods
Crazy makers can be managedDon’t expect them to respond to feelings –Use statements that are factual, not emotional.Don’t let them spoil you day – One needs to emotionallyseparate their identity and self-esteem from theirnegative behavior – Don’t take it personally!Manage yourself in their presence• Monitor your physical and nonverbal responses.• Stay neutral – don’t show emotions show in your toneof voice, facial expressions or gestures.• Don’t give them the “power.”
Crazymakers can be managedManage and communicate expectations• Don’t expect them to behave as you do.• Be clear with them about your expectations.Slow them Down – Tell them “You will get back tothem,” or “You don’t have all the information youneed to make a decisions.”Ask lot’s of questions – This will help you sort out theirdemands and determine what they want.
Conflict - It is a matter of perspective• What do you see in the picture?• Some people see an eagle and a beaver, andother things.Questions:• Why do some people see an young or old woman, beaver, oreagle?• Is there a right way to see them?• How did you feel about those who saw it differently? Thesame?• Was there ever a time when you saw something one way andsome else saw it differently?
Conflict – can be a matter of perspective• Two people can look at the same picture andsee something different without either beingwrong, how might this affect a conflict?• If something is more serious such as ifsomeone is pro life or pro choice, is thereright or wrong?• What if each person sees the situation adifferent way? How can they figure out aresolution to the conflict if they are bothright?
The Moral to the Elephant•We should also try to understand otherpeople’s points of view.•This will enable us to get a proper perspectiveon different situations and events.
Unproductive Communication PatternsDuring Conflict• The early stages– Failing to confirm individuals– Cross-complaining – complaint met by complaint– Negative climate and mind reading• The middle stages– Kitchen sinking - involves throwing all kinds of events, ormisdeeds of another person, at them all at once. Example:A conversation about whos supposed to take out thegarbage today might turn into a discussion of whatsomeone did ten years ago.– Frequent interruptions• The later stages– Pressure to resolve conflict - Usually on own terms
Constructive Communication PatternsDuring Conflict• The early stages– Communicators confirm each other by recognizing andacknowledging each other’s concerns and feelings• The middle stages– Stay focused on main issues (agenda building)– Bracketing – Individuals confirm others by getting back tothem later– Don’t interrupt except for clarification– Recognize each other’s point of view• The later stages– Contracting – Take each proposal and agree upon asolution
Basic Methods for ResolvingConflict• See handout
Conflict Management SkillsTips for managing and resolving conflict• Make the relationship your priority. Maintaining and strengthening the relationship,rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectfulof the other person and his or her viewpoint.• Focus on the present. If you’re holding on to old hurts and resentments, your abilityto see the reality of the current situation will be impaired. Rather than looking to thepast and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve theproblem.• Pick your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to considerwhether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. Maybe you dontwant to surrender a parking space if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes. Butif there are dozens of spots, arguing over a single space isn’t worth it.• Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling orunable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which cannever compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by furtherdepleting and draining our lives.• Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement,agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If aconflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.
REDUCE CONFLICTEncourage Supportive CommunicationDifferent types of communication create supportiveand defensive climates in personal relationships.Interpersonal climates occur on a continuumconfirming to disconfirming.Confirming messages recognize that another personexists, acknowledge that another matters to us, andendorse what we believe is true.Disconfirming messages deny the person’s existence,indicate the other person does not matter to us, andreject another person’s feelings or thoughts.
Rewind - Say it better!Disconfirming vs. confirmingChange evaluation to description You’re acting very immaturely.Example:“I notice that you are getting upset by this situation.”Change certainty to provisionalism The right thing to do is crystal clearExample: “The right thing to do can be difficult to decide.”Change strategy to spontaneity Don’t you owe me a favor from when I typed that paper for you last term?Example, “Remember the term paper I helped you with last term? Do you think you could help me out with one of my own?”Change control orientation to problem orientation I think we should move where I have the good job offer since I earn a larger salary than you anyway.Example, “In terms of moving, what decision will make the most sense for us in terms of our financial position as well as ourrelationship?Change neutrality to empathy I can’t believe you got yourself into such a dumb predicament. Example, “This is tricky situation. Let’s see what we can do to help you address it.”Change superiority to equality I don’t want to get involved in your disagreement. Example, “I can see where you’re coming from with this, and based on what you’ve said, it seems like it might be best totalk with Susan directly about this issue.”
Emotion Competence - RespondConstructively to CriticismRefusing to accept criticism is likely to erect barriers oraffect job performance reviews.Seek more information - asking questions, paraphrasing what you haveheard to reduce tension.Consider the criticism thoughtfully – Is it valid?If you decide the criticism is valid, consider whether you want tochange how you act.Thank the person who offered the criticism – sometimes is disarmingand keeps the door open for communication in the future.Sometimes people are just difficult to deal with. They can be: rude,inconsiderate, or just crazymakers. This calls for you to protectyourself.
Humor• Before I criticize someone, I walk a mile in their moccasins. Thatway, if they get mad, theyre a mile away and barefoot.Humor used the right way at the right time can be just what you need todiffuse a conflict at work.1) Laugh at yourself, and use that as the subject of a joke or humor tostop the argument.2) Wait for a break in the argument, and bring up a silly story oranecdote from your day.3) Go back to your younger days. Throw out popular phrases from theschool yard. Use phrases like "nuh-uh," "I know you are, but whatam I?" and everyones favorite, "Im rubber youre glue. Whateveryou say bounces off of me and sticks to you."4) Try physical humor to stop an argument. Drop something, fall, spillfood or drinks on yourself or throw something to lighten the mood.5) Play act – Growl, clench fists, leg wrestle, arm wrestle.