Fox Cities Managers July 2009


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PowerPoint slides from the July 14, 2009 meeting - Topic: Conflict Management by Ryan Kehl

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  • EXPLAIN : You can also have “internal” conflict, where you have two of your own opposing thoughts or possible actions competing with one another. (Do you go to your daughter’s 1 p.m. concert or attend your weekly department meeting?) EXPLAIN : And conflict can result from a hostile encounter. EXPLAIN : Although we often think of it that way, conflict itself is not necessarily negative. It exists when your concerns or desires differ from another persons.
  • EXPLAIN : We have two formal definitions for you. Both are widely recognized – the first is from Peg Pickering’s book, and the second is from the American Management Association. ADVANCE slide animation and read aloud ADVANCE slide animation and read aloud
  • ADVANCE SLIDE ANIMATION EXPLAIN : Let’s discuss some misconceptions about conflict. One is that it will take care of itself . Some people believe that “ if I ignore the situation it will go away”. That would be nice and there are a few occasions when this will work. EXPLAIN : The “ignoring” technique may be used successfully with . . . < your third grade daughter when she continually demonstrates that he has learned to artificially reproduce the sounds of bodily functions at the dinner table .> OR < your toddler who likes to scream to get attention .> EXPLAIN : Even then, you may make you opinion clear before you decide to go use the “ignore” technique. There are other occasions when it’s appropriate to avoid conflict, and we will discus that later. EXPLAIN : There can be negative effects of conflict, but it doesn’t have to be that way. EXPLAIN : Confrontation does not have to involve a nasty exchange. Confronting means to face, especially in a challenge, to oppose, to bring face to face. It is simply putting the items in question on the table to be addressed. Behavior not confronted will not change. We will address techniques for this later.
  • EXPLAIN : As we mentioned earlier, the two types of conflict are internal conflict and conflict between or among people. For the remainder of the workshop, we will focus on conflict between two or more individuals. ASK : What are some of the causes of conflict between individuals? REFER TO prepared flipchart and record participant responses. Causes of Conflict Possible responses : communication failure personality conflict lack of cooperation differences regarding authority differences regarding responsibility competition over resources non-compliance with rules value differences goal differences methodological differences substandard performance functional loyalties Perceived differences in treatment or status Role conflict NOTE: Do not advance slide animation at this point
  • The strategy we use for resolving interpersonal conflict depends on a couple of things Why is it occurring? What is the root cause of the difference?
  • EXPLAIN : The strategy we use for resolving interpersonal conflict depends on a couple of things – “ Why is this occurring? and “What is the root cause for the difference?” EXPLAIN: When we think about all of these causes of conflict, we can basically put them into one of two categories. EXPLAIN : The 2 root causes of interpersonal conflict are structural issues and personal issues. ADVANCE slide animation Two root causes of interpersonal conflict are structural issues and personal issues.
  • EXPLAIN: As you can guess, structural conflict is based on the structure of the organization. Let’s define structure in an organization. Structure is the way an organization is set up and operated – the kinds of jobs and departments and the relationships among them. Why do organizations have structural conflict? It’s because, usually we have a distinct division of labor, specific jobs in order to increase productivity. (Specialization leads to repetition, which in turn leads to expertise, which increases productivity. It is rational to divide work into distinct, somewhat limited jobs. (Simon) Organizations usually divide work both horizontally and vertically. Because organizations must divide labor, structural conflict is inherent in practically all organizational settings. Greenberg and Baron (1993) summarize these and other factors that promote structural conflict
  • EXPLAIN : One approach to resolve structural conflict is to use your authority. Authority is the direct power of your office, title, etc. You could give a direct order, act as a problem solver, or judge) This is the most popular method among top executives. (Stagner) While it’s quick, the primary disadvantage is that more substantial issues may be neglected and the issue may resurface again later. EXPLAIN : You can reduce Interaction: it takes two to tango. Instead of having a pool of manufacturing managers, you have them assigned to one (or more) customers. Sales support might be on dedicated teams, etc EXPLAIN : You can be more precise about job duties. (For example, if production wants to change a design, and the design engineers see it as solely their function, the supervisor may need to communicate what the preferred action is – maybe having production’s input is a good thing, or maybe it’s more often a waste of time.) The supervisor usually has a ‘third party” view. And can clarify roles and responsibilities. (one solution to this type of conflict is to hire a person to transition from design to production)
  • EXPLAIN : Interpersonal conflict refers to conflict as a result of different personalities and values. Personality is defined as a person’s typical pattern of attitudes, needs, characteristics, and behavior. Values are conceptions of what is good, desirable, and proper. It can be magnified by biological and social differences – race, gender, age, national origin, marital status, disability. EXPLAIN : Here are some basic human needs, some are more important to people that others. When these are not met they will spark a conflict To be valued, to be in control, self esteem needs, the need to be consistent (hard to admit you are wrong) Interpersonal conflict often begins with or is magnified by structural causes.
  • EXPLAIN : A manager can advise an employee – this is more subtle than telling them directly. Ask questions to help the employee talk. Direct the discussion to any points that have been omitted or neglected. EXPLAIN : Behavior modification is another technique. BF Skinner states that “behavior is a function of its consequences” If our needs are satisfied by our behavior, we continue it. If not, we stop. Rewards, non-rewards and punishment are options. People will continue behavior if they are rewarded, they will stop the behavior if they are not rewarded for it or if they are punished for it. EXPLAIN : There is continuous reinforcement, intermittent reinforcement . Intermittent reinforcement takes longer, but the resulting behavior lasts longer. Punishment (kalat 1993) believes that punishment should be used infrequently because it tends to produce undesirable side effects (retaliation)
  • ADVANCE SLIDE ANIMATION EXPLAIN : Let’s discuss some misconceptions about conflict. One is that it will take care of itself . Some people believe that “ if I ignore the situation it will go away”. That would be nice and there are a few occasions when this will work. EXPLAIN : The “ignoring” technique may be used successfully with . . . < your third grade daughter when she continually demonstrates that he has learned to artificially reproduce the sounds of bodily functions at the dinner table .> OR < your toddler who likes to scream to get attention .> EXPLAIN : Even then, you may make you opinion clear before you decide to go use the “ignore” technique. There are other occasions when it’s appropriate to avoid conflict, and we will discus that later. EXPLAIN : There can be negative effects of conflict, but it doesn’t have to be that way. EXPLAIN : Confrontation does not have to involve a nasty exchange. Confronting means to face, especially in a challenge, to oppose, to bring face to face. It is simply putting the items in question on the table to be addressed. Behavior not confronted will not change. We will address techniques for this later.
  • EXPLAIN : At stage one level of conflict, most people would say the conflict is “no big deal”. Care should be taken so that a stage one conflict does not develop into stage two. There is no magic formula. The variable here is people, as they have different personalities, ways to deal with conflict, and different life events that can affect when a person has “had enough”. What was tolerable yesterday may not be tolerable after two weeks. EXPLAIN : At stage one, people are interested in the issue that is the center of the conflict and they are willing to talk about it because they consider it worth their time, but they are not deeply vested in the outcome. They may feel discomfort or anger, but are quick to pass off these emotions, with a sense of optimism that it will work out. Communication is clear, specific and solution oriented. EXPLAIN : Coping strategies for stage one include AVOIDANCE and OBLIGING. People may use avoidance when they determine that they have neither the time or the motivation to alter the idiosyncrasies of another. You (or they) pass off minor things rather than deal with them. If your contact is minimal with the other person, you have probably managed the situation appropriately. Obliging is a slightly stronger form of avoidance, where an individual gives in to another. It involves one’s desire to fit in and belong. The desire to belong is greater than the person’s “level of vestment” “in the idea, opinion, preference, etc. This strategy uses a give- in attitude so that things can keep moving. It can be beneficial to the team effort, but there is no way of knowing how long people are will to “oblige”.
  • EXPLAIN : At stage two, self interest and saving face become important. People keep track of verbal victories and record mistakes. Alliances and cliques begin to form. At his stage, the people are the problem. Competing parties are less likely to provide accurate facts to each other because trust level has declined. EXPLAIN : At stage two, the language is less specific. You’ll notice references to the phantom “They” and comments such as “everyone believes” . Words like “always” and “never” increase in frequency. The atmosphere is not hostile, but it is cautious. The coping strategies that worked in stage one do not work now. EXPLAIN : As a manager, you are now implementing a people management strategy. A discussion of the issues is difficult as parties drift into personality concerns. There may be resistance to addressing the issue directly. If the parties can not do this (constructively) on their own, you may need to guide the process until it is “normal” at least possible for them to do it for themselves.
  • EXPLAIN : At stage three, leaders emerge from the group and act as spokespersons. Positions are polarized; small factions form. The merits of the argument and the strength with which positions are held are greatly exaggerated. A loss of perspective is quite likely at this point. Logic and reason are not effective a this stage. EXPLAIN : To demonstrate the pervasiveness of escalating conflict and its connection to interpersonal factors, Sermat (1978) conducted two experiments in which test subjects played against opponents. In one game , a machine was programmed to respond exactly as each subject has acted toward it. In the other, the subjects played against members of the research team who had been instructed to respond in a reciprocal manner toward the test subjects. EXPLAIN : In these games, cooperation with opponents usually resulted in mutual gain for both sides. When playing against the machine, the subjects learned to act cooperatively to maximize their total payoff, even when doing so meant the machine also benefited. But when the opponent was a person, the reverse occurred. At the end of 30 trials in the machine-opponent series, subjects had cooperated 90 percent of the time. In the personal –opponent series, subjects acted aggressively 90 percent of the time, even though they had reduced their own payoff by behaving in that manner. In other words, beating the other person became more important than obtaining a higher objective reward.
  • EXPLAIN : Here is a well known model for conflict management approaches. Let’s start by looking at each axis. There are two: the level of concern for self and the level of concern for others. Each axis has a low and a high level of concern. EXPLAIN : Some strategies are unilateral, some require both parties to participate in order to be effective
  • EXPLAIN : As you can guess, no one approach is applicable to all situations. It’s important to develop the ability to use each style according to the situation. Some styles will be more natural for you than others. As we discuss them, see which ones you most commonly use. NOTE: Point out the five styles or modes according to where they fall on the axis (high concern for others and low concern for self is obliging mode.)
  • EXPLAIN : When concern for self is high and concern for others is low, a “competing” mode is in effect. EXPLAIN : Another word for competing is coercing or competing. Coercing is a process in which someone uses confrontational tactics, such as argument, use of authority, or threat, to achieve the goals of each group regardless of the expense paid by the other.
  • EXPLAIN : competing is when you assert your position without considering opposing viewpoints. It may take the form of standing up for your rights or throwing your weight around. It is the opposite of obliging. Some uses for the competing mode: Quick action : when a decision needs to be made and there is no time to debate the issues (emergencies) Unpopular decisions : When a difficult or unpopular course of action must be taken. ( A salary reduction) Vital Issues : When issues of critical importance are involved and you know you are correct. For example, your boss wants to use a customer as a reference and you know that he feels strongly about not having his name used. You object. Protection : To be used in situations where non competitive behavior may be taken advantage of. You assert yourself in a staff meeting because you work in a highly competitive group of people and you know that is the only way to be heard.
  • EXPLAIN : When people have a high competing conflict management style, they may be using that mode because they are not fully aware of the needs and concerns of others, or as a natural defense mechanism. ASK : What were some of the possible consequences of over/under use of the competing mode? DIRECT the competing group to present their lists Possible responses include: OVERUSE Lack of feedback or input. People may have learned that it is difficult to influence you, or to share with you a different point of view. As a result they may hesitate to give you important information. Reduced learning. People may be afraid to tell you what they don’t know or are unsure about. They may fear intimidation or judgment. As a result, you don’t have the opportunity to educate others, share your experience Low Empowerment. People may feel that they cannot afford to take risks or make decisions without your approval. They may believe that sine”your way” will win out in the end. Surrounded by “yes people”. People may learn that it is unwise to disagree with you and, therefore, tend to tell you what they think you ant to hear. It hurts innovation if they accept your position without challenging or questioning it first.
  • EXPLAIN : The style characterized by a high concern for others’ position, but low for our own is know as obliging. EXPLAIN : Accommodation (obliging) is the process by which one person neglects his own interests by satisfying the needs of the other involved. ASK : Can someone give me an example of a time when they used this mode? Possible responses: “If I’m in the mood for Chinese food, but my customer wants to go to a steakhouse, I’ll accommodate his wishes.
  • EXPLAIN : Obliging can mean an act of selfless generosity or simply obeying orders. EXPLAIN : You may want to use an obliging mode when: you realize that you are wrong about something, or when you want to allow another position to be heard. By putting aside you own concerns, you are showing reasonableness and that you are fair. EXPLAIN : Allowing people to learn from their mistakes helps them to develop performance . By allowing others’ to pursue their plan when it differs from yours, you encourage risk taking and empower the people with whom you work. EXPLAIN : By giving in to another person, you foster good will , and perhaps build favors that will pay off when the issue is of greater importance. (parents of young teens may call this “choosing my battles”) EXPLAIN : To keep the peace - Sometimes its necessary to be accommodating in order to preserve harmony and avoid disruptions. For example, when a department is undergoing change it is helpful to minimize conflict whenever possible.
  • EXPLAIN : Other words for obliging: accommodating, appeasing, placating. Obliging is forgoing your own concerns in order to satisfy the concerns of another person. Sometimes it is necessary to be accommodating in order to preserve harmony and avoid disruptions. For example, when a department or organization is undergoing tremendous change, it is helpful to minimize conflict wherever possible. ASK : What were some of the possible consequences of over/under use of the obliging mode? DIRECT the avoiding group to present their lists Possible responses include: If you do not assert your position, others may perceive that you don’t care. (Remember that we said that conflict in an organization is good because it shows that they have an interest in what is going on?) If you are too accommodating, you may be fostering an environment where people think they can do whatever they want. Some people overuse the accommodating mode because they have a strong desire to please others, or because they have a hard time identifying what they need or want. Obliging gives power to others – this could apply to your subordinates, in that you able to let them make decisions and let go of details that should not concern you. It can build trust and confidence in others. From the perspective of organizational politics, it is helpful to know when to yield, to your manager/s as well as you peers. ADVANCE slide animation and read aloud
  • EXPLAIN : The goal here is to delay. A party or parties involved in a disagreement postpone or ignore the issue causing the conflict. EXPLAIN : When we are using the avoiding mode, we may have a “don’t rock the boat” style. EXPLAIN : Let’s start by looking at what happens when there is low concern, both for ourselves and for others. I referred to this earlier when I talked about the types of conflict that do not generate strong feelings. If that is the case – that we do not perceive the situation as difficult for us or for others, it is easy (and common) that people avoid conflict. ASK : If this is the case, how can you get the issue and this person moving? Help them out by focusing on the issue, help separate the people from the problem. Provide a focus on the problem. Seek out and define the reasons for resistance or inactivity Limit the number of variables presented to the avoider. Set a deadline.
  • EXPLAIN : There are some appropriate uses for the avoiding mode: EXPLAIN : When the issue is trivial it may make sense to leave it alone. (As a manager, you would let others resolve this type of issue.) EXPLAIN: Avoiding conflict can help reduce tensions. Use this mode when the dangers of engaging outweigh the benefits. It may be best to overlook certain things and address it when the situation returns to normal. EXPLAIN : Avoiding conflict can help you buy time. You may need more time to gather information. By avoiding the situation for the time being, you can reduce the chances of making a quick decision that is not based on fact or that is a quick fix. EXPLAIN : When you are in a position of little power, or in a situation over which you have little control, it may be wise to avoid getting involved. EXPLAIN: Allowing others: Don’t champion a cause that should be handled by someone else. Allow the people who own the problem to take responsibility for it. EXPLAIN: Avoiding conflict can be a very appropriate strategy when you sense that you are dealing with a symptomatic problem. Sometimes a problem is evidence of a much larger issue. Spend your energy on the root issue, not the symptoms it is causing.
  • EXPLAIN : High avoiding mode is preferred by some people because it appears to save time and energy, or because they are uncomfortable with conflict in general. ASK : What were some of the possible consequences of over/under use of the avoiding mode? DIRECT the avoiding group to present their lists Possible responses: You may not be giving your views or challenging ideas you do not agree with, which could mean you are depriving the team or other person of good input Decisions are made by default: If you avoid taking action, you may find that decisions are made anyway. It can damage your credibility and influence. It could cause the organization or team to move in directions that are not appropriate. Issues fester. If left unchecked, small issues may become more complicated than necessary. Cautious climate. It may seem that you are “walking on eggshells” Your cautious posture may become contagious. People may become frustrated due delays. EXPLAIN : Here are some consequences we came up with – is there anything different here? . ADVANCE slide animation and read aloud
  • EXPLAIN : Collaboration is the process by which each party attempts to reach mutual satisfaction by collectively confronting the conflict, recognizing the concerns of each group, and problem-solving.
  • EXPLAIN : Collaborating is working with another person to find an optimal solution. Some appropriate uses for collaborating are: When both sides of an issue are important or interdependent it is helpful to Integrate solutions :. For example, your spouse or partner needs a ride to the airport and you have an appointment at the same time. EXPLAIN : When you want to learn , test your assumptions, or understand another position, you may collaborate with a member of another department to get a better understanding of his or her needs. EXPLAIN : Collaborating helps you draw from a broader range of expertise and experience – get new perspectives . EXPLAIN : Collaborating helps you gain commitment and buy-in. People naturally support the solutions they helped to create. EXPLAIN : Collaborating helps you improve relationships : You can build rapport or improve a difficult relationship. For example, you may talk through a recent conflict with a co-worker to understand his or her perspective and improve communication.
  • EXPLAIN : If you are high in collaborating, you may tend to want to be the “peacemaker” or find your self wanting to make everyone happy. ASK : What were some of the possible consequences of over/under use of the collaborating mode? DIRECT the compromising group to present their lists Possible responses: OVERUSE Too much time on trivial matters. Collaboration requires a lot of time and energy. If overused, you may be spending too much time on trivial matters. Diffused responsibility. With collaboration risk and responsibility are shared. Collaboration may be used as a way of avoiding taking ownership. If people become comfortable in an environment where no one is really held accountable, performance may suffer. Others may take advantage: It may be easy for people to take advantage of your collaborative efforts to lighten their own workload or get their needs met. They do not have to work at understanding your concerns, because they know you will find a solution that works for both of you. Work overload: You may find it hard to say “no” or you may enjoy championing “causes”. As a result, you may be spreading yourself too thin.
  • EXPLAIN : Negotiation is the process by which both groups selectively ignore certain interests in order to reach an agreement, thus achieving partial satisfaction for each side.
  • EXPLAIN : Compromising is finding a middle ground or forgoing some of your concerns to have others met. It can mean negotiating or splitting the difference. It is best used when: Issues are of moderate importance : When the issue is somewhat important, but not critical enough to use the competing or collaborating modes. (There’s only one donut left, so you split it). When both parties have equal power and are equally committed to opposing views. (Example, in labor union vs. management disputes, negotiation can be the way to reach the solution.) The goals may be mutually exclusive, and neither side has ultimate power. When you need a temporary solution to a complex problem in order to buy the time needed to find the best course of action. When time is tight , try to find a solution that at least somewhat satisfies both parties. EXPLAIN : It can also be used as a backup solution . You may start in one mode (competing or collaborating) and switch to compromising when it looks like the only way to resolve the issue.
  • ASK : What were some of the possible consequences of over/under use of the compromising mode? DIRECT the compromising group to present their lists Possible responses Modify position: This method of handling conflict is good if there are two or more valid solutions. Offering to “split the difference” or to each give a bit is good in that situation. However, this is obviously not a good strategy for you if you are right and the other party is not! Another negative consequence is that people will perceive a lack of values: If you always compromise, people may question your ability to hold firm to your principles. It may make it difficult for people to trust that you will support them. Compromising requires a certain degree of gamesmanship. If you overuse this mode, you may be fostering a cynical climate of “anything for a price” On the positive side, people are more likely to see you as flexible and reasonable. And your negotiation skills increase. You are able to get the best deal possible
  • EXPLAIN : Collaborating is the attempt of one or both parties to fully satisfy the needs of both.This approach assumes that both sides have legitimate goals and that creative thinking can transform conflict into an opportunity for both of them to achieve their goals. EXPLAIN : In Pondy’s model for conflict, he states that conflict has a positive outcome if ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE IS IMPROVED. (A measure of effectiveness and efficiency --Effective if they achieve their goals and efficient if the achieve them at minimal cost) EXPLAIN : Because collaboration has the greatest chance of satisfying both parties, and therefore, the greatest chance of maintaining agreements over the long haul, it has the best probability of achieving high levels of organizational performance. A program that involved the combined efforts of researchers form Harvard, MIT, and Tufts has produced an methods of conflict resolution known as principled negotiation . It requires that conflicts be resolved on the merits of the issues involved rather than haggling, trickery or posturing. EXPLAIN : Foremost is the idea that individuals involved will drive for mutual gain. If that is not possible, then their decisions will be based on fair standards independent of the will of either side. (P20 How to Manage Conflict on the Org.
  • With principled negotiation-this is a mindset you have to prepare for especially if you think the situation is going to be a conflicting one. Here are some things you can do to prevent conflict from elevating How do you find that win-win situation?
  • EXPLAIN : As humans, we have emotions, values, different backgrounds, and viewpoints. Everyone wants to feel good about himself or herself. EXPLAIN : If you try to resolve a conflict by attacking the person and not the problem, you may win the battle but lose the war. If while winning you make the other party lose face, you may risk losing their cooperation; you risk losing them as an ally in future disputes with others, you risk their revenge.
  • EXPLAIN : Fisher, Ury and Patton observe that individuals who focus only on particular positions in a conflict tend to paint themselves into a corner. The more you clarify and defend your position, the more committed to it you become to it; your ego becomes identified with your position, and you now have a new issue: saving face. Rather than take a position at the onset, you should let your interests be known, giving you and your adversary the opportunity to choose from one of many starting positions. EXPLAIN : The story of the two sisters and the orange. (they never discuss what the desired end result is, they only insist that they both need the orange. In the end we learn that one wants it for juice, the other wants the peel for the zest. They could have both had their interest met if they had discussed it)
  • EXPLAIN : The idea here is to try to think of many options, something akin to brainstorming. Options may not occur to individuals, but by working together, some good, combined ideas may emerge. EXPLAIN : Mary Rowe , a conflict resolution specialist from MIT, argues that inventing options for mutual gain is the most important tenet of principled negotiation when applying it to either interpersonal or structural conflict. Rowe has found that many managers are drawn into many conflicts by someone coming into their office with a specific complaint. The most effective managers are slow to use their authority and quick to involve the complaining party in the resolution of the conflict. (Tends to last the longest and have the fewest undesirable effects, such as resentment). Resentment undermines worker satisfaction and productivity. It’s a common result of using too much authority too soon to resolve a dispute. EXPLAIN : In addition – Generating options is less costly because “people who see options are less likely to take revenge” (Rowe) She has found that the strongest impetus for labor lawsuits against employers is that the plaintiff felt humiliated and could find no other satisfactory way to redress the humiliation. By the same token, sabotage and violence can be provoked by humiliation.
  • EXPLAIN : We’re not always going to get our way in life. We can’t win every battle. When we do lose, it is easier to accept if we see justice in the outcome. We can also win more amicably when we can show our opponent that the outcome meets some criteria for fairness. What we use as a standard will vary. EXPLAIN : At work, the standard may be organizational performance , but there are other standards: EXPLAIN : Others include equal treatment, costs, professional standards, and expert opinion
  • EXPLAIN : We can’t always settle a difference in a way that meets the interests of both parties. In such cases, we can keep conflicts and their ill effects in check if we make sure we have a BANTA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) Plan B
  • EXPLAIN : Knowledge is power. The more of it you bring to a conflict, the more likely you are to find a solution that is satisfying to everyone. Get the facts before you discuss the issue. Don’t make assumptions when you assess the situation. For example, before you decide that you can not afford another administrative assistant, , do you know what the salary is and whether or not your department can afford to hire (even part-time?)
  • EXPLAIN : The last of seven is also one of the most important tenets of Principled negotiation. A willingness to communicate means taking the time to empathize – to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. EXPLAIN : Don’t interrupt – about the only time you can interrupt is when you don’t understand something and you want to clarify or have a point repeated. Don’t interrupt to jump to a conclusion. If you have a tendency to interrupt, try sucking in a breath of fresh air for three seconds, then hold it, then exhale slowly for three seconds. This technique will help you gain control over interrupting and over what you say/how you say it.
  • Before we talk about when and how to provide feedback, we first need to emphasize the fundamental purpose for providing feedback
  • Put them in small groups and have them generate responses to this question. Or generate responses as a large group
  • One tool to help you handle conflict so it doesn’t elevate through the 3 stages is being able to give appropriate feedback, for the appropriate reasons at the appropriate time. EXPLAIN : In order to continue developing, employees need feedback. You, as a leader of Plexus (leadership competency), have an obligation to let employees know where they stand and what is expected of him/her. When feedback is not provided, depending on their outlook, it may imply praise or criticism EXPLAIN : To raise the employee’s level of performance-regularly tell your employees they are doing a good job-and always encourage them to raise their sights. Let them know that you have confidence in their ability to perform above-average work and your expectation that it will improve the area.
  • EXPLAIN: The feedback judges individuals, not actions . The number one mistake people make when giving feedback is putting it in judgmental terms rather than descriptive terms. EXPLAIN: If you say to someone, “You were too abrasive” or “you need to be a better team player,” you put him/her on the defensive. Rather than leading to a useful conversation, the feedback attempt becomes a cycle of “attack” and “defend”. ASK : What could you say instead? EXPLAIN: The feedback is too vague . The use of generalized, cliché catch phrases like “you are a good leader,” “you did a great job on the presentation” or “you have a lot of common sense” isn’t very helpful. The person hearing these words may be happy to get the compliment, but they won’t have any idea of what exactly they did to earn your praise. If you want to encourage someone to repeat productive behavior, you have to let him know specifically what he did so he can keep doing it. EXPLAIN: The feedback speaks for others . Examples of this are “Sheila said that you seem confused about your new assignment” or “People are telling me that they feel like you are micromanaging them” isn’t effective feedback. Whenever possible, give feedback based on behaviors you have personally observed and can describe. EXPLAIN: Negative feedback gets sandwiched between positive messages . It’s tempting to tuck the negative comment between two positive statements. Your intentions may be good, but it doesn’t work. Both positive and negative feedback should stand on its own. The person may walk away thinking they are doing a good job when the real message was that they need to fix something about their behavior.
  • Most people want to know how they are doing, but do not want to be embarrassed or hurt in the process. If you need to administer negative feedback. Criticize in private When should feedback be used? Fill out the following questionnaire in participant manual on page 58: Think about a situation when you received feedback? How could it have been more effective? Choose a situation you’re facing on the job that involves giving feedback to an employee or coworker. What are some concerns you have about giving this feedback? What can happen if you don’t give the feedback? Let’s look at action steps we can take to ensure an effective feedback session (next slide)
  • Step 1: I have some feedback I think would be useful to you. Would you like to hear it? Step 2: So I don’t tell you things you already know, tell me… What worked for you? / What did you do well? Where did you get stuck? What will you do differently next time? Step 3: I agree with you on……, would you like to hear my observations? Step 4: Let them know What you thought worked for them / what they did well Where you thought they got stuck (if applicable) What you would suggest they try differently next time This model treats people with respect and integrity. Builds self esteem trust, and teamwork.
  • EXPLAIN : Constructive feedback can be an effective tool to improve performance-however it needs to be presented in a positive manner. This can enable the receiver to accept it with minimal effect on their self-esteem. ASK : What can you do as a leader to make sure feedback is effective? EXPLAIN : The feedback should be timely : As soon as the issue arises-good or bad address it immediately. Avoid procrastination. For maximum effectiveness, feedback should come as soon as the performance can be evaluated EXPLAIN ; Understand your reasons for giving the feedback. Ask yourself - Why I am giving this employee feedback? ------------- Example: Manager: Joe the reason I called you in today is because I need you to be on time for our meetings ------------- EXPLAIN: Feedback need to be specific: What specifically did I observe? Get the facts before you start. Do not prejudge the situation and think you know before asking questions ------------- Example: Manager: Joe you have been late to 3 of our last 4 meetings. Our meeting begin at 8:00-On Monday you came in at 8:20, on Wed. you came in at 8:25 and on Thur. You came in at 8:17 --------------
  • Fox Cities Managers July 2009

    1. 1. July 14, 2009 Conflict Management Ryan Kehl
    2. 2. Time Description Person(s) 6:00 Introductions All 6:10 Group Business Chuck Tomasi 6:20 Conflict Management Ryan Kehl 7:15 Future topics Chuck Tomasi 7:30 Open discussion All
    3. 3.
    4. 4. <ul><li>Website is online ( </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review potential layouts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business cards </li></ul><ul><li>Getting the word out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other groups? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Using for invite management </li></ul><ul><li>Six month facilitator role </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><ul><li>Competitive or opposing actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Struggle resulting from incompatible needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hostile encounter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fundamentals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is conflict and why do we have it? </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Fundamentals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definitions: </li></ul></ul>Conflict exists when two or more competing responses of action to a single event are considered. It is simply a situation where one person’s concerns are different from another person’s. Conflict is the process that begins when one party perceives that another party has affected negatively, or is about to affect negatively, something about which he or she cares. Peg Pickering American Management Association
    7. 7. <ul><ul><li>Conflict, if left alone, will take care of itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The presence of conflict is the sign of a poor manager </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confronting an issue or person is always unpleasant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is always negative and destructive </li></ul></ul>Misconceptions about conflict
    8. 8. <ul><li>Types of Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal or Interpersonal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Within yourself or between individuals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpersonal conflict – two causes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Structural and Personal </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>What are some causes of conflict between individuals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of cooperation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personality conflicts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differences regarding authority or responsibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived differences in treatment or status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value or goal differences </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>Types of Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpersonal conflict – two causes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Structural </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the structure of the organization </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The kinds of jobs and departments and the relationships among them </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personality or value differences </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>Types of Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structural conflict is caused by </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Competition over scarce resources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ambiguity over responsibility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interdependence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive reward systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Differentiation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Power differentials </li></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>Types of Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structural resolution approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce interaction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify job responsibilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce interdependence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use principled negotiation </li></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>Types of Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal conflict is caused by </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personality differences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A person’s typical pattern of attitudes, needs, characteristics, and behavior </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Value differences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conception of what is good, desirable and proper </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be in control </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Self-esteem </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need to be consistent </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><li>Types of Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal resolution approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modify behavior </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defuse emotions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve communication – active listening </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use principled negotiation </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><ul><li>Stage 1: Everyday concerns and disputes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stage 2: More significant challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stage 3: Overt battles </li></ul></ul>There are three primary stages of conflict
    16. 16. <ul><li>Stages of Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stage one characteristics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Real, yet low in intensity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Day-to-day irritations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facts and opinions are openly shared once the problem has surfaced </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus is on issues, not personalities </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>Stages of Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stage two characteristics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More significant challenges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Win-lose attitude </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus shifts from issue to personality concerns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Atmosphere is not hostile, but cautious </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trust has declined </li></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>Stages of Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stage three characteristics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overt battles – the objective shifts from wanting to win to wanting to hurt </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What’s good for me and what’s good for the organization become synonymous </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Positions in the group are polarized, factions form </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul>High High Low Cooperativeness Assertiveness
    20. 20. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul>Compromise Cooperativeness Low Assertiveness Avoiding Competing Collaborating Accommodating High High
    21. 21. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul>Cooperativeness Assertiveness High High Low Competing
    22. 22. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles - Competing </li></ul><ul><li> “ My way or the highway” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May also mean coercing or competing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coercing is a process in which someone uses confrontational tactics such as argument, use of authority, or threat, to achieve the goals of each ground regardless of the expense paid by the other </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competing – Appropriate Uses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick action </li></ul><ul><li>Unpopular decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Vital issues </li></ul><ul><li>Protection </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>- You may not get all of the information you need </li></ul><ul><li>- Reduced learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>Low empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Surrounded by yes people </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competing – Negative Effects </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul>Accommodating Cooperativeness Assertiveness High High Low
    26. 26. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles - Accommodating </li></ul><ul><li> “ It would be my pleasure” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The process by which one person neglects his own interests by satisfying the needs of the other involved </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accommodating – Appropriate Uses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Showing reasonableness </li></ul><ul><li>Developing performance </li></ul><ul><li>Creating good will </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping “peace” and building social credits </li></ul><ul><li>Retreating </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of low importance </li></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>Others may perceive a lack of commitment </li></ul><ul><li>May have anarchy in your department </li></ul><ul><li>Restricted influence </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accommodating – Negative Effects </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul>High High Low Cooperativeness Assertiveness Avoiding
    30. 30. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles – Avoiding </li></ul><ul><li> “ I’ll think about it tomorrow” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The goal is to delay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals involved in a disagreement postpone or ignore the issue causing the conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lean towards a “don’t rock the boat” style </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. <ul><li>Issues of low importance </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing tensions </li></ul><ul><li>Buying time </li></ul><ul><li>Low power </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing others </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding – Appropriate Uses </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding – Negative Effects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>- You may not be giving your views </li></ul><ul><li>- Decisions are made by default </li></ul><ul><li>- Issues fester </li></ul><ul><li>Cautious climate is contagious </li></ul>
    33. 33. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul>Cooperativeness Assertiveness High High Low Collaborating
    34. 34. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles – Collaborating </li></ul><ul><ul><li> “ Two heads are better than one” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working with another person to find an optimal solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each party attempts to reach mutual satisfaction by collectively confronting conflict, recognizing the concerns of each group or person and problem-solving </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborating – Positive Uses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Issues of moderate importance </li></ul><ul><li>Equal power and strong commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Temporary solutions </li></ul><ul><li>No Time constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Back up for competing/compromising </li></ul><ul><li>Gain commitment </li></ul>
    36. 36. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborating – Negative Effects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Too much time on trivial matters </li></ul><ul><li>Work overload </li></ul><ul><li>Diffused responsibility </li></ul>
    37. 37. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul>Cooperativeness Assertiveness High High Low Compromising
    38. 38. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles – Compromise </li></ul><ul><li> “ Let’s make a deal” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding a middle ground or forgoing some of your concerns to have others met </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May mean negotiating or splitting the difference </li></ul></ul>
    39. 39. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compromising – Appropriate Uses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrating solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Merging Perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Gaining Commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Improving Relationships </li></ul>
    40. 40. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compromising – Negative Effects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May be modifying your position when you shouldn’t </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of values/trust </li></ul><ul><li>Cynical climate </li></ul>
    41. 41. <ul><li>Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is your preferred style of handling conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Obliging </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Competing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compromising </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborating </li></ul></ul></ul>
    42. 42. <ul><li>Conflict Management Styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There is no one correct approach. Collaboration is recommended as being the most valuable, especially within an organization. </li></ul>
    43. 43. <ul><li>Principled Negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires that conflicts be resolved on the merits of the issues involved rather than haggling or trickery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Foremost individuals drive for mutual gain </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decisions are based on fair standards independent of the will of either side </li></ul></ul></ul>-Harvard, MIT, Tufts
    44. 44. <ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 Components of Principled Negotiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Separate people from the issue </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on interests, not positions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Invent options for mutual gain </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use objective standards of fairness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have alternatives to a collaborative agreement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Degree to which each party is knowledgeable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness to communicate </li></ul></ul></ul>
    45. 45. <ul><li>Principled Negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1.) Separate people from the issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Never forget that on the other side of the issue is a person </li></ul></ul></ul>15
    46. 46. <ul><li>Principled Negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2.) Focus on interests, not positions </li></ul></ul>
    47. 47. <ul><li>Principled Negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3.) Invent options for mutual gain </li></ul></ul>
    48. 48. <ul><li>Principled Negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4.) Use objective standards of fairness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Market value </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Precedent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What a court would decide </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moral standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency </li></ul></ul></ul>
    49. 49. <ul><li>Principled Negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5.) Have alternatives to a collaborative agreement </li></ul></ul>
    50. 50. <ul><li>Principled Negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6.) Degree to which each party is knowledgeable </li></ul></ul>
    51. 51. <ul><li>Principled Negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7.) Willingness to communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t interrupt </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resist foot tapping, fidgeting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid loaded questions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use indications of following </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on the intent, not just the words </li></ul></ul></ul>
    52. 52. <ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the purpose of feedback? </li></ul></ul>To reinforce or change performance or behavior
    53. 53. <ul><li>Indicate common feedback mistakes made by managers </li></ul>
    54. 54. <ul><li>Feedback </li></ul>Fifty-percent (50%) of performance problems in business occur because of the lack of feedback!
    55. 55. <ul><ul><li>Judges individuals, not actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too vague </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speaks for others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exaggerated with generalities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychoanalyzes the motives behind the behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses inappropriate humor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is a question, not a statement </li></ul></ul>Common Feedback Mistakes
    56. 56. <ul><ul><li>Your past experiences have proven a more effective way of doing something </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Someone asks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When you want to change or reinforce behavior </li></ul></ul>When is Feedback Appropriate
    57. 57. <ul><li>How to Provide Feedback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 1: Ask permission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 2: Ask the receiver to respond first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 3: Endorse what you agree with, then </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>offer your observations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 4: Build upon what the receiver said </li></ul></ul>
    58. 58. <ul><ul><li>Be timely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give the reason for providing feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give specifics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to the other person’s reasons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer specific suggestions for dealing with the issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarize your discussion and offer support </li></ul></ul>Tips for Effective Feedback
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    60. 60. <ul><li>Web site </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    61. 61. 2 nd Tuesday of Each Month Date Topic August 11 Presentations Made Better September 8 Say It Well With E-mail October 13 Email management November 10 Personal productivity (GTD intro) December 8 Non-verbal communications
    62. 62. <ul><li>We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule and spending it with us to improve yourself and your organization </li></ul>