Conflict Management


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Conflict Management

  1. 1. Managing Conflict Successfully Thomas Little Consulting 722 Dryden Drive Baltimore, MD 21229 443-838-2820 [email_address]
  2. 2. Lecture Plan <ul><li>Definition of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Why conflicts occur/workplace conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Elements of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioral symptoms of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict structure </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict management </li></ul><ul><li>Aggression versus assertiveness </li></ul>
  3. 4. Definition of Conflict ( 2 of 2 ) A situation in which someone believes that his or her own needs have been denied.
  4. 5. <ul><li>“ The goal of organizational leadership is not to eliminate conflict, but to use it.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Conflict is a predictable social phenomenon and should be channeled to useful purposes.” </li></ul>Constructive Approach to Conflict
  5. 6. <ul><li>Constructive Approach to Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the sources of conflict and its role in forming and facilitating human relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce your fear of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Create an environment of win/win/win conflict management through effective problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to others with concern and understanding to find effective ways to negotiate and achieve conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Accept your responsibility and role in producing positive results from conflict situations </li></ul><ul><li>Give and receive feedback more effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Confront others in a more caring and constructive way </li></ul><ul><li>Build personal self-confidence and credibility as an effective conflict manager </li></ul>
  6. 9. Conflict Involves… <ul><li>Emotions : What you feel is important </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptions : What you see at stake </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviors : How you act with others </li></ul>
  7. 10. Symptoms Of Conflict <ul><li>Tensions. </li></ul><ul><li>No desire to communicate. </li></ul><ul><li>Work not done properly. </li></ul><ul><li>Disastrous meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>Anger occurs quickly and easily. </li></ul>
  8. 11. <ul><li>The employee (or employees) involved display no desire to communicate. </li></ul><ul><li>Bad tempers are evident. </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity is falling. </li></ul><ul><li>Morale is slipping. </li></ul>Symptoms Of Conflict
  9. 12. <ul><li>One or more of those involved frequently calls in sick. </li></ul><ul><li>Accidents and errors become more frequent. </li></ul><ul><li>Disagreements become more pronounced (shouting, slamming doors, etc.) </li></ul>Symptoms Of Conflict
  10. 14. Conflict Depends Upon… <ul><li>1. Interdependency. How much do the parties need each other to act cooperatively, to provide resources, or to provide satisfaction of other needs? </li></ul><ul><li>If interdependency is high , then the costs of a fight are likely to be high. If there were absolutely no interdependency , then conflict wouldn’t exist at all. So, by definition, conflict occurs only between parties who need each other and who cannot simply leave the relationship with no negative consequences. </li></ul>
  11. 15. Conflict Depends Upon… <ul><li>Number of interested parties. How many distinct parties— individuals or groups—have an interest in how the conflict is resolved? As the number and size of parties increase, there are more people to please and the difficulty of resolving the conflict increases. </li></ul>
  12. 16. Conflict Depends Upon… <ul><li>Constituent representation. Do the parties represent the interests of other people (“constituents”) who are not personally and directly involved in the process of resolving the conflict? </li></ul><ul><li>When we speak only for ourselves and do not have to please others who are not present and involved, resolution is much easier. Reaching an agreement that is acceptable to everyone who is affected by how the issue is resolved, especially those who are not personally involved, is more difficult. </li></ul>
  13. 17. Conflict Depends Upon… <ul><li>Negotiator authority. </li></ul><ul><li>If negotiator authority is high, then resolution is easier. </li></ul><ul><li>If negotiator authority is low, then the process of resolving the conflict will take longer and will be more difficult. </li></ul><ul><li>Authoritarian states versus democratic societies </li></ul>
  14. 18. Conflict Depends Upon… <ul><li>Critical urgency. Is it absolutely necessary that a solution be found in the very near future, i.e., in the next few minutes or hours, to prevent a disaster? Or is there time to talk together for an extended time to find the best solution? </li></ul><ul><li>The greater the critical urgency, the less likely a consensual solution will emerge easily. </li></ul>
  15. 19. Conflict Depends Upon… <ul><li>Communication channels. </li></ul><ul><li>Are the parties able to talk to each other face to face in the same room? </li></ul><ul><li>If this is not possible, can they talk voice to voice on the telephone? Or must they talk keyboard to keyboard by using real-time (synchronous) Internet technology, such as an on-line conference or chat room? Or is it necessary that they communicate back and forth using an asynchronous technology, such as email? </li></ul><ul><li>Same-time-same place dialogue nearly always produces far better solutions than lesser communication channels. </li></ul>
  16. 20. Conflict Management <ul><li>Managing conflict means you need to develop several styles and decide which is valuable at any given point of conflict </li></ul>
  17. 21. 7 choices you can make in conflict <ul><li>1. Avoid it </li></ul><ul><li>2. Give in </li></ul><ul><li>3. Be Passive - Aggressive </li></ul><ul><li>4. Bully the other person </li></ul><ul><li>5. Compromise </li></ul><ul><li>6. Problem Solve </li></ul><ul><li>7. Manage to Win-Win-Win </li></ul>
  18. 22. Competition <ul><li>Plus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The winner is clear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Winners usually experience gains </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishes the battleground for the next conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May cause worthy competitors to withdraw or leave the organization </li></ul></ul>
  19. 23. Accommodation <ul><li>Plus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Curtails conflict situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhances ego of the other </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes establishes a precedence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not fully engage participants </li></ul></ul>
  20. 24. Compromise <ul><li>Plus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shows good will </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishes friendship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one gets what they want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May feel like a dead end </li></ul></ul>
  21. 25. Collaboration <ul><li>Plus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everyone “wins” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates good feelings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to achieve since no one knows how </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often confusing since players can “win” something they didn’t know they wanted </li></ul></ul>
  22. 26. Tips for Managing Workplace Conflict <ul><li>Build good relationships before conflict occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Do not let small problems escalate; deal with them as they arise </li></ul><ul><li>Respect differences </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to others’ perspectives on the conflict situation </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge feelings before focussing on facts </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on solving problems, not changing people </li></ul><ul><li>If you can’t resolve the problem, turn to someone who can help </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to adapt your style to the situation and persons involved </li></ul>
  23. 27. Conflict Options <ul><li>Win-Lose </li></ul><ul><li>Lose-Lose </li></ul><ul><li>Compromise </li></ul><ul><li>Win-Win </li></ul>
  24. 28. Win-Lose <ul><li>In Win – Lose, one party gets what he or she wants, whereas the other comes up short. </li></ul><ul><li>Power is the distinguishing characteristic in win-lose problem solving, for it is necessary to defeat an opponent to get what one wants. </li></ul>
  25. 29. Lose-Lose <ul><li>Neither party is satisfied with the outcome. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of us have seen battles of pride in which both parties strike out and both suffer. </li></ul>
  26. 30. Compromise <ul><li>Compromise give both parties some of what they wanted, though both sacrifice part of their goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Although compromises may be the best obtainable result in some conflicts, it’s important to realize that both people in a dispute can often work together to find much better solutions. </li></ul>
  27. 31. Win – Win <ul><li>The goal is to find a solution that satisfies the needs of everyone involved. </li></ul><ul><li>Not only do the parties avoid trying to win at the other’s expense, but they also believe that by working together it is possible to find a solution that goes beyond mere compromise and allows all parties to reach their goal in the conflict. </li></ul>
  28. 32. Win / Win / Win The Golden Triangle You The administration Students or other Employees
  29. 33. How to Win at Conflict <ul><li>Make avoiding the conflict less pleasurable than facing it and … </li></ul><ul><li>Make facing the conflict more pleasurable than avoiding it </li></ul>Whether you think you can or you can’t – you’re right – Henry Ford
  30. 34. Aggression <ul><li>Interrupt others when they are speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to impose our position on others. </li></ul><ul><li>Make decisions for others. </li></ul><ul><li>Use and abuse friendships. </li></ul><ul><li>Speak loudly and otherwise call attention to ourselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Accuse, blame, and find fault with others without regard to their feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Bring harm or cause inconvenience to others rather than bring or cause inconvenience to ourselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Speak beside the issue, distort the facts, or misrepresent the truth to get our solutions accepted quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider ourselves stronger and more capable than others. </li></ul><ul><li>Accept responsibility and positions of authority for the purposes of manipulation or to give us a means of vehemently expressing ourselves. </li></ul>
  31. 35. Assertiveness <ul><li>Allow others to complete their thoughts before speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>Stand up for the position that matches our feelings or the evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Make our own decisions based on what we think is right. </li></ul><ul><li>Look to friendships as opportunities to learn more about ourselves and others and to share ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Spontaneously and naturally enter into conversations using a moderate tone and volume of voice. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to understand the feelings of other before describing our own. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to avoid harm and inconvenience by talking out our problems or finding rational ways to deal with unavoidable harm / inconvenience. </li></ul><ul><li>Face problems and decisions squarely. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider ourselves strong and capable, but generally equal to most other people. </li></ul><ul><li>Face responsibility with respect to our situation, needs, and rights. </li></ul>
  32. 36. Problems with Being Nonassertive <ul><li>We end up with shoddy merchandise and service. </li></ul><ul><li>We bottle up our feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>We do not improve a bad situation. </li></ul><ul><li>We cheat another person out of a change to air the real issues. </li></ul><ul><li>We get involved in situations we would rather not be in. </li></ul><ul><li>We end up being a &quot;yes&quot; person -- having to do all the work while others sit by and watch. </li></ul><ul><li>We run into communication barriers because nobody is willing to say what he or she really wants. </li></ul>
  33. 37. Fear of Assertiveness <ul><li>Laziness. </li></ul><ul><li>Apathy. </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of inadequacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of being considered unworthy, unloved, or unacceptable. </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of hurting the other person or making him or her angry. </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of getting no reinforcement. </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of not knowing how to accomplish our desired goal. </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling that if we don't do it, someone else will. </li></ul>
  34. 38. Improving Assertiveness <ul><li>Take responsibility for yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't over apologize. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't try to rearrange someone else's life. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to change your mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to make mistakes. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to recognize unanswerable questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to say &quot;I don't know&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't be overly dependent on the goodwill of others. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to say &quot;I don't understand&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to say &quot;I don't care.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to make &quot;I *messages*&quot; to express yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to repeat assertions. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to make requests. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to say &quot;no.&quot; </li></ul>
  35. 39. Non-Assertiveness <ul><li>Stay in the back of groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Always stick to the middle-of-the-road position or refrain from taking a stand. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow others to make decisions for us. </li></ul><ul><li>Pass by potential friendships because they seem like too much effort. </li></ul><ul><li>Always keep our voice low or avoid eye contact to keep from calling attention to ourselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Verbally agree with others despite our real feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Bring harm or inconvenience to ourselves to avoid harming or inconveniencing others. </li></ul><ul><li>Procrastinate to avoid problems and to keep from making decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Always consider ourselves weaker and less capable than others. </li></ul><ul><li>Always escape responsibility with excuses and &quot;good&quot; reasons </li></ul>