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Constructive Conflict Resolution


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Conflict can be constructive.

Testing ideas by challenging them with alternatives is a useful process. But it can be uncomfortable and confronting for many people.

This session will outline the types of conflict we encounter in open source communities, and explore some techniques for using conflict as a positive force for moving issues forward and avoiding stagnation.

Learning to understand the nature of conflict itself and the ways different people respond to conflict is an important step toward building a strong, inclusive community. We’ve seen patterns emerge, it’s time to address them in a more systematic and constructive way. Can we harness the underlying passion that drives people to disagree into a force for positive action?

Let’s discuss how we can build a culture of respect to embrace the positive aspects of conflict and work together better.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Constructive Conflict Resolution

  1. 1. CCR constructive conflict resolution Donna Benjamin @kattekrab and Gina Likins @lintqueen
  2. 2. CCR
  3. 3. CCR Hello!
  4. 4. CCR What is conflict?
  5. 5. CCR friction causes conflict
  6. 6. CCR Photo: Michelle Tribe Get the Cat! Flickr CC BY
  7. 7. CCR conflict is strife
  8. 8. Photo: Anon US Officer Berlin Wall 1961 Wikimedia Commons Public Domain
  9. 9. Photo: Daniel Foster Koren Missiles Flickr CC NC BY
  10. 10. Photo: Lybil BER International Peace Palace Wikimedia Commons GFDL
  11. 11. CCR competition is not conflict
  12. 12. CCR what causes conflict?
  13. 13. CCR lots of things
  14. 14. CCR “... a fundamental conflict at the heart of open source: the opposing forces of building community vs. deriving a sustainable level of revenue from an open- source project” - Andrew Binstock
  15. 15. CCR or more broadly stated: it is “Us” or “Them”.
  16. 16. CCR types of conflict
  17. 17. CCR unmet needs
  18. 18. CCR Photo: dife88 Grafitti Saliva Hunger Orange Pixabay Public Domain
  19. 19. CCR different values 4 men and an elephant parable https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant -- add notes [pieces of elephant]
  20. 20. CCR photo: Poussin jean Balance à tabac Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0
  21. 21. CCR different perspectives
  22. 22. CCRImage: Illustrator unknown 6 Blind Men and the Elephant Wikipedia Public Domain
  23. 23. CCR underlying assumptions
  24. 24. CCR
  25. 25. CCR diverse languages & cultures
  26. 26. CCR
  27. 27. CCR are there others?
  28. 28. CCR how should we deal with conflict?
  29. 29. CCR Spot the Conflict ACK that it needs fixing Personal System Reboot Root Cause Analysis Come to Resolution Negotiate to Compromise Agree to Disagree 5 step process
  30. 30. CCR 1. spot the conflict
  31. 31. CCR 2. all parties ACK that this needs fixing
  32. 32. CCR
  33. 33. CCR 3.personal system reboot
  34. 34. CCR We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein
  35. 35. CCR
  36. 36. CCR CUPFER Compassion Understanding Perspective Flexibility Empathy Respect
  37. 37. CCR compassion = “feeling with”
  38. 38. CCR perspective
  39. 39. CCR
  40. 40. CCR
  41. 41. CCR respect
  42. 42. CCR Image: ClkrFreeVector Images Pixabay Public Domain
  43. 43. CCR 4.Root Cause Analysis
  44. 44. CCR unmet needs
  45. 45. CCR consider: state checks; “I statements”
  46. 46. CCR different values
  47. 47. CCR consider: negotiation & compromise
  48. 48. CCR different perspectives
  49. 49. CCR consider: stand in the other person’s shoes
  50. 50. CCR underlying assumptions
  51. 51. CCR consider: communication & building shared understanding
  52. 52. CCR diverse cultures
  53. 53. CCR consider: research; define terms; affordance
  54. 54. CCR RCAConflict Type Definition Approach Unmet needs I need something & am not getting it State checks. Ping. Ack. Different values Different parties care about different parts of the equation Ngotiation - equation, finding balance. Think outside the box. Different perspectives We are seeing the problem from different angles Stand in the other person’s shoes (role-playing)
  55. 55. CCR RCAConflict Type Definition Approach Underlying assumptions We don’t agree/ understand what parts of the equation are “fixed” (what are constants) Communication & building shared understanding Diverse culture Language, belief systems, etiquette , Research, define terms, provide affordances. Also patience and appreciation.
  56. 56. CCR 5.Resolve, Compromise, Agree to Disagree
  57. 57. CCR Resolve ● Realized there wasn’t really a problem, or ● Found a new, win-win solution
  58. 58. CCR Compromise Everyone shifts a little towards the middle
  59. 59. CCR Agree to Disagree ● Not a good first response ● Can be a good endpoint if process has been effective ● Parameters for agreeing to disagree are helpful to prevent accumulation of baggage
  60. 60. CCR toolbox
  61. 61. CCR Conflict… “the root of personal and social change; it is the medium through which problems can be aired and solutions arrived at.” - Morton Deutsch
  62. 62. CCR Thank you Donna Benjamin @kattekrab and Gina Likins @lintqueen
  63. 63. CCR DISCON
  64. 64. CCR Non Violent Communication Observations - what are we seeing? what are we hearing? factual statements. Be alert for specifics. Watch out for signposts “always!” always? every time? How often, when? Feelings - What feelings in play? Your own? Others? Ask? Needs - State or guess the need that underlies the feelings in play Requests - Ask for action that meets that need. Ask clearly and specifically for what you want right now, rather than hinting or stating only what you don't want. (see
  65. 65. CCR Non Defensive Communication Ask questions To gather information, and gain clarity about what people are saying the issues are. Make statements Judgement free observations 1) what we hear being said, 2) noting contradictions in tone, body language, or words, 3) what conclusions and assumptions are made based on 1 & 2 4) but finally, express personal reactions, feelings, beliefs, and reasoning. Predict consequences Create boundaries and security by stating clearly how we will react when different choices are made. (see
  66. 66. CCR Appreciative Inquiry Appreciative Inquiry Focus on identifying what is working well, analyzing why it is working well and then doing more of it. This idea contrasts with the problem solving approach of looking for what’s broken and trying to fix it. This theory suggests action takes place in whichever direction people focus their attention. The 4D model. Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver (or Deploy or Do, or Destiny)