What To Do With The
Problems You Cannot Solve?
SQA Days 20
Minsk 24 Nov 2016
We Don’t Have Problems!
in the road
way of doing
- A Conflict Prone Business?
• Want to do a good job
Normal Day at Work
• Tight deadlines
• Missing requirements
• Many defects
• Unrealistic expectations
(test it all)
What Is a Conflict?
Do you have an example of a conflict?
Perceptions of Conflict
Lewis A. Coser (1971)
”A conflict is a battle about values or a demand for
status, power or resources, in which the conflicting
parties not only strive to get their wishes fulfilled but
also to neutralise, damage or eliminate their rivals”
Sebastian Nybo (2009)
”A conflict reveals a difference in perception, from
which there arises a tension that can either be used
dynamically with the possibility to change opinions
and perceptions or can lead to a destructive battle
to force one position over the other.”
Dealing With Conflicts
• See the conflict before it is too late
• Realise how we interact
Almost don’t see the other as a person
Make negative hurtful remarks about the other party
You are either for me or against me
Goal in this phase is to ”hurt” the other party
•Can hardly be in the same room together or
•The fight can continue even though physically
•Can become physical
•See other party in a negative light
•Begin to blame the other party
•Begin to focus on personality not the problem
•Old unresolved conflicts begin to resurface
•Snide (sarcastic) comments are exchanged
•Negative hurtful comments behind person’s back
•Interpret negatively what is being said
•Talk about the person rather than with them
Have given up talking together
The original problem is forgotten and replaced by a
black and white vision of the world
Energy is used on trying to get the other to apologise
•Focus on problem not personalitiess
•Problem is solved and relationships maintained or
•Willingness to listen and change point of view
The Conflict Escalator
• Why am I reacting in this way?
• What can I do to change the situation?
Instinct, survival, eating,
Responds by one of the 3-F’s
Fight, Flight or Freeze !
Emotions, parenting, mood,
memory, “value judgements.”
• You are not “yourself”
What Can I Do?
• Beliefs & Values
Butterfly picture taken by Uwe H. Friese Bremerhaven, Germany.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
• The process or a period of changing from one state
or condition to another
• Turning conflict into collaboration
How To Start
• Meet, acknowledge and understand
• Look for and evaluate possible solutions
• Commit to solutions
• Maintain dialogue
• Look for ways to increase the collaboration
The Conflict Triangle
You are not good
You can’t do it.
You never do enough
It’s your fault.
You are to blame
You are not good
enough. I am
You can’t do it. I
I can’t do it, You can.
I am not good enough,
It’s not my fault. Its
I can’t do it
I am not good enough
I always do it wrong
I never do enough
You are not good enough.
Good, so I am needed.
Now I can’t take care of
Why do you do this
If it wasn’t for you,
my life would be
How to Deal with Difficult People?
• They are in the conflict triangle so.....
• They don’t know they are being difficult
• Maybe its me !
• They have a solution that works with their model of
• They are acting from fear at some level
• BUT you have to still deal with this so…….
Critical Success Factors
• Intention to collaborate – not to manipulate
• Be open for AN outcome – you may be surprised
• It takes two to tango – and two to collaborate
• Sometimes there are just difficult people – we have
to give up on them .....
• Don’t give up on yourself – ACT!