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4 TRUTHS About Resolving Conflict in Your Business

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4 TRUTHS About Resolving Conflict in Your Business

  1. 1. 4 Truths About Resolving Conflict in Your Business “Harnessing Conflict to Improve Your Business” Trish Blake-Jones April 6th, 2016
  2. 2. 4 Truths… ① You cannot ignore conflict ② Conflict arises from unmet expectations ③ Conflict has level of “cares” or values ④ Other person not necessarily evil
  3. 3. Emotions in Conflict
  4. 4. Emotions in Conflict (cont’d)  Say things we don’t mean  Mean things we don’t say  Emotions: confuse, hypnotize, energize, freeze us in fear  We’re stuck
  5. 5. Emotions in Conflict (cont’d) A N G E R Worry Sadness Uncertainty Shame Disappointment Jealousy Vulnerability
  6. 6. Conflict goes with us Business Personal/Family
  7. 7. Approaches to Conflict Importance of GOAL Importance of RELATIONSHIP Chart: Thomas & Kilman
  8. 8. I’d rather ignore the whole thing but…
  9. 9. Truth #1 You cannot ignore conflict Photo:
  10. 10. Common conflict coping mechanisms…  Side-step issue, don’t talk about it  Avoid other party  Triangulate: get others on your side  Retaliate, Undermine, Give up
  11. 11. When conflict festers… Employees take control of broken processes, Voids get filled – you lose power to control the outcome Conflict spirals
  12. 12. When conflict festers…  Morale sinks  Productivity sabotaged  Clients/Customers leave  Revenue 
  13. 13. Truth #2  Conflict arises from unmet expectations
  14. 14. So…? We can be curious We can consider our intention Distributive vs. Integrative bargaining “Pie” could be bigger than we thought
  15. 15. Truth #3  Conflict has levels of “cares” or values
  16. 16. Values/Cares in Conflict Negotiable Needs Wants Non- Negotiable Expected patterns of behavior Societal norms: right/wrong
  17. 17. Truth #4  Intentions of other party are not (usually) evil
  18. 18. YOUR Intention  Be the leader in your conflict  Move into your conflict, in order to move through  Follow your intuition
  19. 19. Difficult People & Conflict Personality Disorders 15% of population: 1 in 7 people Borderline Personality Disorder Narcissistic Personality Disorder Don’t recognize they are high- conflict
  20. 20. High-Conflict People (HCP) All-or-nothing thinking Preoccupation with blaming others Unmanaged emotions Draw in many other people Drain energy, time and resources Prolonged, unresolved conflict
  21. 21. High-Conflict People (HCP) How to respond? Don’t take it personally – it’s not you Use resources: HR, manager, 3rd party Book: “It’s All Your Fault at Work” Bill Eddy, LCSW, ESQ.
  22. 22. High Conflict People There are some people you’ve just got to love from a distance. Sonya Teclai The
  23. 23. Group development & conflict Forming Storming Norming Performin g Bruce W. Tuckman model
  24. 24. Reducing Conflict in business: Crystal clear work processes Team roles defined, refined (frequently) Clear lines of reporting Policies communicated and followed
  25. 25. Reducing Conflict in business: Consistent recognition & reward programs Model resolution culture – transparency, integrity, openness Get support if conflict averse
  26. 26. Modeling resolution… Pick the “right” time and approach Have intention to resolve Be the leader in your conflict
  27. 27. How to engage?  One-to-one  Letter/note  Not texting  Third-party support
  28. 28. …Consider APOLOGIZING Assumes responsibility for 50% + Surprise tactic Can be deeply effective Shifts dialogue immediately
  29. 29. Conflict as Learning “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.” Max Lucado
  30. 30. Got Conflict? BLAKE-JONES MEDIATION LLC 1534 Monroe Avenue ROCHESTER NY m @TrishMediates 585-943-1770

Editor's Notes

  • My Goal – for you to glean one or two concepts to help you think differently about a conflict you want to resolve.
    People can and will solve their own conflict.
    But 20-80% of a typical work day can be consumed with the fallout of a dispute or conflict. Conflict uses up vast resources and personal energy.
  • When we are “in’ a conflict, our emotions run high. This is normal.
    “This is business – don’t take it so personally. Of course you take it personally!
    Conflict is relational.
    Conflict is disempowering.
    Anger makes us feel righteous, maybe. Provides a false sense of strength.
    We pay a price for conflict.
    Anger: 2nd level emotion…cloaks feelings of worry, sadness, jealousy, uncertainty, fear, shame.
    Emotion is a very valuable source of info in a conflict you want to resolve.
    Why? Helps you clarify exactly what is going on internally.
  • None of these responses is wrong
    Skillful person uses RIGHT response, at RIGHT time, with RIGHT person
  • What are the tangible… not generalities… consequences of ignoring conflict… Fear is not a strategy…
  • Why can’t you ignore conflict in your workplace?
    What kind of conflict might you be able to ignore?
  • “The ability to ask for what we want — directly, confidently, and without aggression or manipulation — is an important factor in preventing and resolving conflict at work and home.”
  • I worked with a family-run business. This business was owned by a parent, and two siblings worked in it full time. When they came to me to help with, they would admit, overwhelming conflict between all the family members. In turns out, work processes and job definitions were not clear. So instead of one person being responsible for a defined task, no one would do it, or worse two would do it and fight about the decisions, costs, etc.

  • Workplace teams, interdepartmental groups, partnerships…
    They are all closed systems.
    One part not functioning well, it affects all the parts.
    The system becomes POISONED.
    Third generation family businesses…cannot outrun the conflict

    This is why you cannot ignore conflict in your business.
  • A typical definition of conflict is that it emerges when
    YOU PERCEIVE THAT YOUR NEEDS AND INTERESTS ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH MY NEEDS AND INTERESTS. We are in different camps/ we are opposed / you’re my enemy.

    Conflict arises from unmet expectations

    How benign is that? So simple.

    Difference between first definition and mine is all of a sudden we can become curious about the other party – what were your expectations?

    Curiosity cracks the door open. Our view of the conflict – if we’re willing – can shift. My intention is to find out more, not be positional.
  • Why is this important and what is my responsibility as the business person…
  • Definition of a Personality Disorder-
    “Enduring pattern of problems with interpersonal functioning in broad range of personal/social situations, leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational and other areas of functioning.” American Psychiatric Association

    We have people like this in our lives and have/ or have had them in our work environments. We may like them very much. In non-stressful situations people with these personality disorders are charming, funny, smart, engaging.

    Bill Eddy is a clinical social worker, attorney, and mediator. Founder of the High Conflict Institute in San Diego, he has coined the term HCP (High Conflict People). People with personality disorders tend to stir up conflict when they are stressed.

    On this next slide are characteristics of HCPs
  • I have realized that my best friend does have these traits
    DO NOT
  • De-personalize the conflict to the extent you can. The other party is likely to behave similarly with others; this is their modus operandi. Don’t dwell on the “Is it me?” question.

  • Sometimes all that is needed to get unstuck in a conflict is to sincerely and deeply apologize to the other party. Their second level care may be that you never admit you’re wrong. Think about it…