Mayo Positive Conflict & Courageous Communication


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Mayo Positive Conflict & Courageous Communication

  1. 1. Challenging Conversations How to handle difficult, emotional, stressful, angry and confrontational conversations The first 8 slides are not in the book
  2. 2. Class is based on… <ul><ul><li>Harvard : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiations Project </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict Management Program </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced Communications Program </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fierce Conversations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resolving Conflict at Work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult Conversations *** </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Crucial Conversations*** </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5,000 pages of research and studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>100 + companies in the last 11 years </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Each of us experiences innumerable miscommunications and conflicts in the course of our lives that affect us deeply and daily. It is impossible to grow up in a family, live in a neighborhood, attend school, work at a job, have an intimate relationship, raise children, or actively participate in the world around you --- without experiencing frequent conflicts of some sort. Yet many of these conflicts are either avoidable or completely unnecessary. Most arise from simple miscommunication, misunderstanding, seemingly irrelevant differences, unclear roles and responsibilities and false expectations.
  4. 4. Many people fear conflict because: <ul><li>A confrontation could escalate the problem rather than solve it. </li></ul><ul><li>I could be rejected, laughed at, yelled at, made fun of… </li></ul><ul><li>I could lose the relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>I do not have time to make sure everyone is happy. </li></ul><ul><li>Confronting the negative behavior could cause an outcome for which I am not prepared. </li></ul><ul><li>I could incur retaliation. </li></ul><ul><li>The cure could be worse than the disease. </li></ul><ul><li>I could be met with irrationality or emotional outbursts. </li></ul><ul><li>I might hurt their feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>I could discover that I am part of the problem. </li></ul>However…
  5. 5. The results of NOT confronting a problem include: <ul><li>The problem could escalate on its own rather than work itself out. </li></ul><ul><li>You could be rejected. </li></ul><ul><li>You could lose the relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>It could get much worse and start to involve more people. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions could escalate until someone blows up. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Some Ground Rules <ul><li>The EVIL people </li></ul><ul><li>States vs. Traits </li></ul><ul><li>What outcome do you really want? </li></ul><ul><li>How important is this to you? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is an enormous difference between communicating superficially to settle conflicts, and communicating deeply to truly resolve them. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You can only fix you </li></ul><ul><li>This takes practice and work </li></ul>
  7. 7. It is all just a story in your head…
  8. 8. It is of paramount importance to always remember… <ul><li>The meaning of any message is determined solely by the receiver – not the deliverer of the communication. </li></ul><ul><li>You lose total control over message meaning once it has been delivered. </li></ul><ul><li>It is NOT the content of your message that matters, it is what the receiver THINKS you said that matters. </li></ul><ul><li>To assume that your words alone define your message is a dangerous assumption. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Attitude = Actions = Reactions <ul><li>Attack = </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Counterattack </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defend </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roll over </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blame someone else </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Run away </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refuse to budge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undermine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunity = </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discover common interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on the problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite to explore </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create introspection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reframe the issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let is pass through </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Truth Assumptions <ul><li>I am right </li></ul><ul><li>You are wrong </li></ul><ul><li>I know the facts </li></ul><ul><li>You are mistaken </li></ul><ul><li>I understand </li></ul><ul><li>You are confused </li></ul>3
  11. 11. They are the problem! Rude Arrogant Manipulative Controlling Naïve Irrational
  12. 13. How do we fix the “truth” assumptions? <ul><li>Admit you are not always right. </li></ul><ul><li>Realize they are not always the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Check your information. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine your world. </li></ul><ul><li>Explore their world. </li></ul>PAGE 4 * Remember: How important is this to you?
  13. 14. Key Points: <ul><li>Reality is unforgivingly complex. Every conversation is wrapped up in multiple, competing realities existing simultaneously: This is true and this is true and this is true. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult conversations are almost never about getting the “facts” right. </li></ul><ul><li>They are most usually about conflicting perceptions, interpretations, personalities and values. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Phrases for miscommunications <ul><li>Ordering : You must, You have to, You will… </li></ul><ul><li>Threatening : If you don’t, You’d better, You’ll pay a big price… </li></ul><ul><li>Preaching : It is only right that you, You ought to, It is your duty to… </li></ul><ul><li>Interfering : What you should do is, Here is how it should go, It would be best if you… </li></ul><ul><li>Judging : You are argumentative (lazy, stupid, greedy), You’ll never change, Your not serious enough to… </li></ul><ul><li>Blaming : It’s all your fault, you are the problem here… </li></ul><ul><li>Accusing : You lied to me, You started this mess, You won’t listen, You did this on purpose… </li></ul><ul><li>Labeling : You’re being unrealistic ( emotional, angry, hysterical…), This is so typical of you… </li></ul>
  15. 16. Three Key Questions: <ul><li>What really happened? </li></ul><ul><li>How did it really make me feel? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I “guess” they intended? </li></ul>Go from accusing…to explaining “ I” - statements
  16. 17. “ Susan, you had better start making it to meetings on time or there is going to be a serious problem. I am sick and tired of you waltzing in here whenever you feel like it. You have a bad attitude and it is causing a lot of problems around here and you need to fix it – right now!
  17. 18. “ Susan, when you come in late to our team meetings, I feel frustrated because it has a serious impact on keeping the agenda on track. I feel like you don’t want to be in the meetings, and that confuses me because I know you are excited about the project. Could you help me understand what has been keeping you from making it on time?”
  18. 19. Five Levels of Confrontation Demand for Action Understanding PAGE 9
  19. 20. Reflection <ul><li>Relationship is top priority </li></ul><ul><li>Sincere effort to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Active listening </li></ul>“ I can see that you are upset and you feel like there is a lot of pressure on you. You mentioned that you are working on eight different projects, including the annual budget. That is very challenging. I can understand that you feel stressed.”
  20. 21. I - statements <ul><li>Relationship is important </li></ul><ul><li>Build understanding by sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Non-judgmental </li></ul>“ I feel uncomfortable when you throw files down on my desk and raise your voice…” Let’s look at a few examples of I-statements…
  21. 22. I-Statement Examples: <ul><li>For my point of view it seems like… </li></ul><ul><li>When you ____ I feel like _____ </li></ul><ul><li>I get the sense that you might… </li></ul><ul><li>In the past I have felt like… </li></ul><ul><li>From where I am sitting… </li></ul><ul><li>When I think about what happened I feel… </li></ul><ul><li>To me it seems like… </li></ul><ul><li>I know this is not what you meant, but I feel… </li></ul><ul><li>I might be wrong, but to me, I looks like… </li></ul><ul><li>I might be the only one who sees it this way, but to me… </li></ul>Very assertive… yet totally non-aggressive
  22. 23. Diplomatic Disagreement <ul><li>Reach understanding in a gentle way </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Disagree… agreeably </li></ul><ul><li>Preserve relationship in conflict </li></ul>“ I appreciate your position and realize you feel it will improve productivity. I believe we should wait until we get the new computers and make sure the software is compatible.”
  23. 24. Gentle Confrontation <ul><li>Build relationship / change behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Validate / direct </li></ul><ul><li>Non-threatening… tentative </li></ul><ul><li>Show concern and understanding </li></ul>Combination of : - Reflection - Validation of worth / importance - “I”-statements - Tentative indication of consequences
  24. 25. “ I know you think the Tampa project is a waste of time. I understand your feelings and appreciate that it may not seem like a top priority to you. Tom, you are one of the key people on our team, however, I feel frustrated when you agree to deadlines on that project and then turn work in days late. I am trying to manage all of our projects well, and this situation is causing me a lot of stress and extra work. If you continue to delay the project, it may mean that we don’t meet our quarterly goals and we will all lose our chance for bonus.”
  25. 26. Firm Confrontation <ul><li>Focus on changing behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain / preserve relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Desire a firm resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Clear consequences for noncompliance </li></ul>* Same as Gentle Confrontation… plus: “ This cannot continue. In the future, I would appreciate it if you would please honor the deadlines you commit to. It is very important to all of us. If you cannot…”
  26. 27. I don’t feel like talking about my feelings… <ul><li>Emotions ARE what make it challenging </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t hide your emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions can hurt you </li></ul>Our emotions can be constructive or destructive, pleasurable or painful, positive or negative. They can distort or clarify our communications, escalate or de-escalate our conflicts, encourage us to act collaboratively or prevent us from doing so.
  27. 28. Some common myths about Emotions <ul><li>Emotions are irrational. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions are negative. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions can’t be controlled and will escalate if released. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions are unnecessary. </li></ul><ul><li>Being emotional is a sign of weakness. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not proper / professional to show emotions at work. </li></ul><ul><li>Nice people do not feel negative emotions. </li></ul><ul><li>People will reject / laugh at me if I show my emotions. </li></ul><ul><li>Other people have no right to be emotional with me. </li></ul><ul><li>I am responsible for fixing other people’s negative emotions. </li></ul><ul><li>If people express anger toward me it must mean the don’t like, love, trust, respect… me. </li></ul>All false! The key is to learn to negotiate with your emotions!
  28. 29. How do you learn to stop and negotiate with yourself in the middle of an angry episode? The GAP
  29. 30. Key Point: <ul><li>You make yourself mad </li></ul><ul><li>You create your own anger and rage </li></ul><ul><li>You create your own frustration </li></ul><ul><li>No one else can make you lose your temper </li></ul><ul><li>No one else is responsible for your reactions. </li></ul><ul><li>No one else is responsible for your behavior </li></ul>It is one thing to say that you understand this… It is a completely different thing to actually live this.
  30. 31. Summary of Key Points <ul><li>Realize you are telling a story – it is not the truth </li></ul><ul><li>You create your own emotions – you make yourself mad </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and manage emotions – express them rationally </li></ul><ul><li>Use the Gap – act like the “Ideal You” </li></ul><ul><li>Use “I” statements – assertive not aggressive </li></ul><ul><li>Ask good questions – listen and summarize </li></ul><ul><li>What is your purpose? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do I want to have happen? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do I not want to have happen? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do I want for the relationship with this person? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Am I truly acting in a way that will get me that? </li></ul></ul>