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Cross Cultural Conflict Management


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presentation for Inter-cultural Association of Greater Victoria

Published in: Business, Education

Cross Cultural Conflict Management

  1. 1. Cross-Cultural Conflict Management Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria August 2013 Ben Ziegler Tel: 250.516.3936
  2. 2. Agenda 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Introductions Conflict management styles Cross-cultural communication differences Key conflict management skills 4 ways to get better at cross-culture conflict management
  3. 3. Conflict Management Styles Assertiveness high low Cooperation high
  4. 4. Conflict management styles high Assertiveness Competing Collaborating Compromising Avoiding low Accommodating Cooperation high Based on Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument
  5. 5. Cultural differences Photo credit: Yourdon on Flickr
  6. 6. Direct and indirect communication preferences, by country (Laroche and Rutherford, 2007)
  7. 7. Strength of emotional behaviors in selected countries/regions (Laroche and Rutherford, 2007)
  8. 8. Appropriate timing of comments between two people in conversation (Laroche and Rutherford, 2007)
  9. 9. Communication channels (Laroche and Rutherford, 2007)
  10. 10. Individualism (Laroche and Rutherford, 2007)
  11. 11. 3 Key conflict management skills 1. Deal with your anger 2. Understand needs 3. Reframe the conflict
  12. 12. Conflict management skill: Deal with your anger How to respond ? Confront Defuse Disengage
  13. 13. Defusing Strategy 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Remain calm yourself Non-verbally reassure the other person Encourage talking Show understanding Commit to resolving the issue Help the other person save face
  14. 14. Disengaging Strategy 1. Acknowledge: “I can see you’re furious with me” 2. Commit involvement: “and I’d like to talk more about it” 3. State your need: “right now I’m too angry (frustrated, upset, etc.) to think or talk. I need 1 hour to cool off” 4. State your intent to return: “I’ll be back” 5. Leave.
  15. 15. Confronting Strategy Confronting Strategy = Assertive expression: 1. 2. 3. 4. Describe - “When you… Express - “I get… Specify – “I want… Consequence – “ So that we…
  16. 16. Conflict management skill: Understand needs What you see What you don’t see
  17. 17. When they say: I don’t like your attitude What else is on their mind?
  18. 18. Separate Positions, Issues, Interests Position – what I want as an outcome Issue – what conflict is about (non-blaming) Interest – why I want that as an outcome
  19. 19. Know your needs (and theirs!) Your co-worker says, “That’s not how we do it, here” What you want as an outcome Why you want it To contribute Feel welcomed… that you came to the right place, and belong here? Position Interests
  20. 20. Build on common ground Positions Interests
  21. 21. Conflict management skill: Don’t Reject. Reframe. Our mind can hold opposing views. What do you see a picture of?
  22. 22. Goal Focus Positions Interests Problem Focus Assertiveness Competing Avoiding Collaboration Accommodating Cooperation
  23. 23. Reframe conflict… and change the game From To “The most we can offer you is $15/hour.” “You expect top value for your money. These are the different ways I bring value to the position…” “I think Yu can do the job better than you.” “Work quality is important to you. What aspects of the job matter most to you?” “We need to get rid of Enrique so we can get our work done.” “How can we address team chemistry so everyone is more productive?”
  24. 24. 4 strategies to improve your cross-cultural conflict management 1. Observe how people in the culture handle conflict 2. Ask key informants (cultural experts) 3. Consult cultural sources 4. Observe other people’s actions to you
  25. 25. 1. Observe how people in the culture handle conflict Do they focus more on the work that has to get done or the working relationship between them? Think of someone in the culture who you think deals with conflict well. • Why do you think they are successful in managing conflict? • How does their approach to conflict management compare with your cultural experiences and background?
  26. 26. 2. Ask key informants (cultural experts) Think of your workplace or a current situation you are involved in. • Who are your key informants (cultural experts)? Ask them: • How they handle disagreements? • How they recommend you approach someone you have a disagreement with?
  27. 27. 3. Consult cultural sources • • • • • Read literature, stories… about the culture Popular culture; music, TV, magazines… Internet Research on conflict in this culture; e.g., ICA Etc.
  28. 28. 4. Observe other people’s actions to you
  29. 29. Questions & Answers?