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Conflict Management
• Conflict is disagreement, struggle, fight or
incompatibility.
• Conflict can be difference of opinion or approach,
competing interests or goals.
• Real or perceived threat or opposition
to one’s needs, interests, principles, concerns,
or security.
• A state of disharmony between incompatible or
antithetical persons, ideas, or interests; a clash.
• Lack of conflict is a sign of conformity.
• It is unhealthy when there is conflict.
Conflict Management
• When a conflict arises it can have positive
consequence as well.
• Constructive conflict can produce social
change.
• It gives people to test their capacities.
• Successful resolution of conflicts leads to Win-
Win situation.
• Unfortunately most people do not practice
effective conflict management.
Conflict Management
• Main sources of Conflict
– Different point of view, status
– Aggressive or competitive behaviour
– Cultural influences
– Ego
– Assumptions and Expectations
– Mind games
– Clashes between value and interest
– Inner conflict
– Fear, Frustation
Conflict Management
• In World War II, the U.S. Army was astonished
to learn that at least three out of every four
riflemen, trained to kill and commanded to do
so, could not bring themselves to pull the
trigger when they could actually see the
person they were about to shoot. Amazingly,
this held true even when the individual
rifleman himself was in danger of being shot.
The riflemen refrained from shooting as long
as they thought they were not being observed
by their commanding officer.
Conflict Management
• What was the reason that the soldier could
not fulfill his duty and disobey his seniors
order. The reason for this was inner conflict.
Although the duty of the soldier was to
neutralize it’s enemy and save his land and
people. The strong minded soldier had the
inner resistance towards killing a fellow man.
Conflict Management
• Bad consequences of Conflict
– Hampers decision making process
– Reduces productivity
– Break down of collaborative ventures
– Destruction of communication
– Violence
– Break down of relationships
– Frustation , Anger, Ill health
Conflict Management
• Good consequences of Conflict
– Provides improved solutions to problems.
– Increases individuals competencies and interest.
– Builds self confidence.
– Enhances innovation and creation.
– Encourages dialogue.
– Increases team spirit and performance.
– Diffuses more powerful conflicts
Conflict Management
• How many people does it take to start
conflict?
Conflict Management
• There was a father who left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons.
When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. Will of
the father stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels
while the middle son should be given 1/3rd. The youngest son
should be given 1/9th of the 17 camels.
As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or
17 by 9, three sons started to fight with each other.
How can they divide their father’s inheritance? So, three
sons decided to go to a wise man.
The wise man listened patiently about the whole matter. So,
the wise man, after giving this thought, brought one camel
of his own and added the same to 17. That increased the
total to 18 camels.
Conflict Management
• Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will.
Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 camels.
1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 camels
1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 camels.
Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17 and this leaves one
camel, which the wise man took away.
So, the attitude of conflict resolution is to find the 18th camel
i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the
18th ground by using his or her intellect, the issue is resolved.
It is difficult and at times, it is not easy at all. However, to
reach a solution, first step is to believe that there is a solution.
If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach
any!
Conflict Management
• Causes of conflicts
– Personality clashes/egos
– Stress
– Difference in beliefs, values and perception
– Cultural differences
– Negative attitude
– Confusion with authority or responsibility
– Inner conflict
– Lack of communication
Conflict Management
• Strategies to Resolve Conflicts
– Assume you do not have all the answers.
– Ask questions to understand the other person(s).
– Be prepared to compromise or make a deal.
– Really listen to what they are saying.
– Use non-verbal cues (e.g. nodding the head)
– Focus your attention on them.
– Paraphrase what they have said, to show that you
have understood.
Conflict Management
• Manage conflict successfully
– Win-win conflict. Both parties achieve
their desires.
– Collaboration or problem solving are forms of win-win
conflict.
– Gain participation from everyone involved in the
conflict.
– State the reason to work on a solution.
– Have each party see the problem/situation from the
other point of view. State what you want.
– Different people respond to the same conflict in
different ways. They are Addressers, Concealers and
Attackers.
Conflict Management
• Response to Conflict
– Addressers are the people who are willing to take
initiatives and risk to resolve conflicts by getting their
opponents to agree with them on some issues.
– Addressers can either be first-steppers or confronters.
– First-steppers are those who believe that some trust
has to be established to settle conflicts. They offer to
make a gesture of affability, agreeableness or
sympathy with the other person's views in exchange
for a similar response.
– Confronters think that things are so bad that they
have nothing to lose by a confrontation. They might
be confronting because they have authority and a safe
position, which reduces their vulnerability to any loss.
Conflict Management
• Response to Conflict
– Concealers take no risk and so say nothing. They
conceal their views and feelings. Concealers can
be of three kinds.
– Feeling-swallowers swallow their feelings. They
smile even if the situation is causing them pain
and distress. They behave because they consider
the approval of other people important and feel
that it would be dangerous to affront them by
revealing their true feelings.
Conflict Management
• Response to Conflict
– Subject-changers find the real issue too difficult to
handle. They change the topic by finding
something on which there can be some
agreement with the conflicting party. This
response style usually does not solve the problem.
Instead, it can create problems for the people who
use this and for the organization in which such
people are working.
– Avoiders often go out of their way to avoid
conflicts.
Conflict Management
• Response to Conflict
– Attackers cannot keep their feelings to themselves. They
are angry for one or another reason, even though it may
not be anyone's fault. They express their feelings by
attacking whatever they can even, though that may not be
the cause of their distress. Attackers are of two types.
– Up-front attackers are the angry people who attack openly,
they make work more pleasant for the person who is the
target, since their attack usually generates sympathy,
support and agreement for the target.
– Behind-the-back attackers are difficult to handle because
the target person is not sure of the source of any criticism,
nor even always sure that there is criticism.
Conflict Management
• Five-Step Problem-Solving Process
– Clarify the problem
– Generate and evaluate possible solutions
– Decide together which is the best solution
– Plan how to implement the solution
– Evaluate the solution
• There are different theories of solving
conflicts. The best solution depends on a
variety of factors and on the level of conflict.
Conflict Management
• Collaboration
• Fundamental premise: Teamwork and cooperation help everyone
achieve their goals while also maintaining relationships
• Partners work together to understand the real issue and find solution.
• Strategic philosophy: The process of working through differences will
lead to creative solutions that will satisfy both parties' concerns
• When to use:
– When there is a high level of trust
– When you don't want to have full responsibility
– When you want others to also have "ownership" of solutions
– When the people involved are willing to change their thinking as
more information is found and new options are suggested
– When you need to work through animosity and hard feelings
• Drawbacks:
– The process takes lots of time and energy
– Some may take advantage of other people's trust and openness
Conflict Management
• Compromising
• Fundamental premise: Winning something while losing a little is OK
• Strategic philosophy: Both ends are placed against the middle in an
attempt to serve the "common good" while ensuring each person
can maintain something of their original position
• When to use:
– When people of equal status are equally committed to goals
– When time can be saved by reaching intermediate settlements on
individual parts of complex issues
– When goals are moderately important
• Drawbacks:
– Important values and long-term objectives can be derailed in the process
– Each party involved will give up something.
– Can spawn cynicism, especially if there's no commitment to honor the
compromise solutions
Conflict Management
• Accommodating
• Fundamental premise: Working toward a common purpose is more important
than any of the peripheral concerns; the trauma of confronting differences
may damage fragile relationships
• Strategic philosophy: Appease others by downplaying conflict, thus protecting
the relationship
• When to use:
– When an issue is not as important to you as it is to the other person
– When you realize you are wrong
– When you are willing to let others learn by mistake
– When you know you cannot win
– When it is not the right time and you would prefer to simply build credit for the
future
– When harmony is extremely important
– When what the parties have in common is a good deal more important than their
differences
• Drawbacks:
– One's own ideas don't get attention
– Credibility and influence can be lost
Conflict Management
• Competing
• Fundamental premise: Associates "winning" a conflict with
competition
• Strategic philosophy: When goals are extremely important, one
must sometimes use power to win
• When to use:
– When you know you are right
– When time is short and a quick decision is needed
– When a strong personality is trying to steamroller you and
you don't want to be taken advantage of
– When you need to stand up for your rights
• Drawbacks:
– Can escalate conflict
– Losers may retaliate
Conflict Management
• Avoiding
• Fundamental premise: This isn't the right time or place to address this
issue
• Strategic philosophy: Avoids conflict by withdrawing, sidestepping, or
postponing
• When to use:
– When the conflict is small and relationships are at stake
– When you're counting to ten to cool off
– When more important issues are pressing and you feel you don't have time to
deal with this particular one
– When you have no power and you see no chance of getting your concerns met
– When you are too emotionally involved and others around you can solve the
conflict more successfully
– When more information is needed
• Drawbacks:
– Important decisions may be made by default
– Postponing may make matters worse
Conflict Management
• Reaction to Conflict
– Fight, which is not a beneficial, sound or gratifying
approach to dealing with a conflict situation, as it involves
'tactics, strategies, offensive and defensive positions,
losing and winning grounds, and exposure of weak points.'
Fighting as a way of resolving a conflict can only be useful
in courtroom situations, where winning and losing
becomes a by-product of the judicial process.
– Negotiate, towards a settlement with the other party.
Negotiations take place within the prevailing situation and
do not involve problem solving or designing. Third-party
roles are very important in bringing the conflicting parties
together on some common ground for negotiations.
Conflict Management
• Reaction to Conflict
– Problem solve, which involves identifying and removing the
cause of the conflict so as to make the situation normal
again. However, this may not be easy. It is also possible that
the situation may not become normal even after removing
the identified cause, because of its influence on the
situation.
– Design, which is an attempt towards creativity in making the
conflict situation normal. It considers conflicts as situations
rather than problems. Designing is not confined to what is
already there, but attempts to reach what might be created
given a proper understanding of the views and situations of
the conflicting parties. The proposed idea should be
appropriate and acceptable to the parties in conflict. A third
party participates actively in the design process rather than
being just an umpire.
Conflict Management
• Coping with anger
– Identify the need and feelings
– Name the thoughts
– Identify what you want
– Define how to get what you want
Image Reading 1
Image Reading 2
Case Study 1
• Johnny and Ken are college students and
share an apartment. For the past week Ken's
friend has stayed over every night. This affects
Ken's sleeping, and he didn't do well on a test
one morning.
– Using good conflict resolution skills, work though
Johnny and Ken's issue and resolution to the
problem.
Case Study 2
• The finance department of a company consists of 12
people. The relationship between the team leader
and the department manager was so damaged they
only spoke to each other through third parties. The
group was split into two teams – one group behind
the team leader, the other siding with the
department manager with a few members remaining
neutral. There was a perceived favouritism with
respect to approval of leave, training and allowances.
There had been no performance appraisals for two
years, and two staff members had been on stress
leave for five weeks.
– How can conflict management be handled in such a situation?

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Conflict management

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3. Conflict Management • Conflict is disagreement, struggle, fight or incompatibility. • Conflict can be difference of opinion or approach, competing interests or goals. • Real or perceived threat or opposition to one’s needs, interests, principles, concerns, or security. • A state of disharmony between incompatible or antithetical persons, ideas, or interests; a clash. • Lack of conflict is a sign of conformity. • It is unhealthy when there is conflict.
  • 4. Conflict Management • When a conflict arises it can have positive consequence as well. • Constructive conflict can produce social change. • It gives people to test their capacities. • Successful resolution of conflicts leads to Win- Win situation. • Unfortunately most people do not practice effective conflict management.
  • 5.
  • 6. Conflict Management • Main sources of Conflict – Different point of view, status – Aggressive or competitive behaviour – Cultural influences – Ego – Assumptions and Expectations – Mind games – Clashes between value and interest – Inner conflict – Fear, Frustation
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9. Conflict Management • In World War II, the U.S. Army was astonished to learn that at least three out of every four riflemen, trained to kill and commanded to do so, could not bring themselves to pull the trigger when they could actually see the person they were about to shoot. Amazingly, this held true even when the individual rifleman himself was in danger of being shot. The riflemen refrained from shooting as long as they thought they were not being observed by their commanding officer.
  • 10. Conflict Management • What was the reason that the soldier could not fulfill his duty and disobey his seniors order. The reason for this was inner conflict. Although the duty of the soldier was to neutralize it’s enemy and save his land and people. The strong minded soldier had the inner resistance towards killing a fellow man.
  • 11. Conflict Management • Bad consequences of Conflict – Hampers decision making process – Reduces productivity – Break down of collaborative ventures – Destruction of communication – Violence – Break down of relationships – Frustation , Anger, Ill health
  • 12.
  • 13. Conflict Management • Good consequences of Conflict – Provides improved solutions to problems. – Increases individuals competencies and interest. – Builds self confidence. – Enhances innovation and creation. – Encourages dialogue. – Increases team spirit and performance. – Diffuses more powerful conflicts
  • 14.
  • 15.
  • 16. Conflict Management • How many people does it take to start conflict?
  • 17. Conflict Management • There was a father who left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. Will of the father stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels while the middle son should be given 1/3rd. The youngest son should be given 1/9th of the 17 camels. As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, three sons started to fight with each other. How can they divide their father’s inheritance? So, three sons decided to go to a wise man. The wise man listened patiently about the whole matter. So, the wise man, after giving this thought, brought one camel of his own and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.
  • 18. Conflict Management • Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will. Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 camels. 1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 camels 1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 camels. Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17 and this leaves one camel, which the wise man took away. So, the attitude of conflict resolution is to find the 18th camel i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the 18th ground by using his or her intellect, the issue is resolved. It is difficult and at times, it is not easy at all. However, to reach a solution, first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach any!
  • 19. Conflict Management • Causes of conflicts – Personality clashes/egos – Stress – Difference in beliefs, values and perception – Cultural differences – Negative attitude – Confusion with authority or responsibility – Inner conflict – Lack of communication
  • 20.
  • 21. Conflict Management • Strategies to Resolve Conflicts – Assume you do not have all the answers. – Ask questions to understand the other person(s). – Be prepared to compromise or make a deal. – Really listen to what they are saying. – Use non-verbal cues (e.g. nodding the head) – Focus your attention on them. – Paraphrase what they have said, to show that you have understood.
  • 22. Conflict Management • Manage conflict successfully – Win-win conflict. Both parties achieve their desires. – Collaboration or problem solving are forms of win-win conflict. – Gain participation from everyone involved in the conflict. – State the reason to work on a solution. – Have each party see the problem/situation from the other point of view. State what you want. – Different people respond to the same conflict in different ways. They are Addressers, Concealers and Attackers.
  • 23. Conflict Management • Response to Conflict – Addressers are the people who are willing to take initiatives and risk to resolve conflicts by getting their opponents to agree with them on some issues. – Addressers can either be first-steppers or confronters. – First-steppers are those who believe that some trust has to be established to settle conflicts. They offer to make a gesture of affability, agreeableness or sympathy with the other person's views in exchange for a similar response. – Confronters think that things are so bad that they have nothing to lose by a confrontation. They might be confronting because they have authority and a safe position, which reduces their vulnerability to any loss.
  • 24. Conflict Management • Response to Conflict – Concealers take no risk and so say nothing. They conceal their views and feelings. Concealers can be of three kinds. – Feeling-swallowers swallow their feelings. They smile even if the situation is causing them pain and distress. They behave because they consider the approval of other people important and feel that it would be dangerous to affront them by revealing their true feelings.
  • 25. Conflict Management • Response to Conflict – Subject-changers find the real issue too difficult to handle. They change the topic by finding something on which there can be some agreement with the conflicting party. This response style usually does not solve the problem. Instead, it can create problems for the people who use this and for the organization in which such people are working. – Avoiders often go out of their way to avoid conflicts.
  • 26. Conflict Management • Response to Conflict – Attackers cannot keep their feelings to themselves. They are angry for one or another reason, even though it may not be anyone's fault. They express their feelings by attacking whatever they can even, though that may not be the cause of their distress. Attackers are of two types. – Up-front attackers are the angry people who attack openly, they make work more pleasant for the person who is the target, since their attack usually generates sympathy, support and agreement for the target. – Behind-the-back attackers are difficult to handle because the target person is not sure of the source of any criticism, nor even always sure that there is criticism.
  • 27. Conflict Management • Five-Step Problem-Solving Process – Clarify the problem – Generate and evaluate possible solutions – Decide together which is the best solution – Plan how to implement the solution – Evaluate the solution • There are different theories of solving conflicts. The best solution depends on a variety of factors and on the level of conflict.
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  • 29. Conflict Management • Collaboration • Fundamental premise: Teamwork and cooperation help everyone achieve their goals while also maintaining relationships • Partners work together to understand the real issue and find solution. • Strategic philosophy: The process of working through differences will lead to creative solutions that will satisfy both parties' concerns • When to use: – When there is a high level of trust – When you don't want to have full responsibility – When you want others to also have "ownership" of solutions – When the people involved are willing to change their thinking as more information is found and new options are suggested – When you need to work through animosity and hard feelings • Drawbacks: – The process takes lots of time and energy – Some may take advantage of other people's trust and openness
  • 30. Conflict Management • Compromising • Fundamental premise: Winning something while losing a little is OK • Strategic philosophy: Both ends are placed against the middle in an attempt to serve the "common good" while ensuring each person can maintain something of their original position • When to use: – When people of equal status are equally committed to goals – When time can be saved by reaching intermediate settlements on individual parts of complex issues – When goals are moderately important • Drawbacks: – Important values and long-term objectives can be derailed in the process – Each party involved will give up something. – Can spawn cynicism, especially if there's no commitment to honor the compromise solutions
  • 31. Conflict Management • Accommodating • Fundamental premise: Working toward a common purpose is more important than any of the peripheral concerns; the trauma of confronting differences may damage fragile relationships • Strategic philosophy: Appease others by downplaying conflict, thus protecting the relationship • When to use: – When an issue is not as important to you as it is to the other person – When you realize you are wrong – When you are willing to let others learn by mistake – When you know you cannot win – When it is not the right time and you would prefer to simply build credit for the future – When harmony is extremely important – When what the parties have in common is a good deal more important than their differences • Drawbacks: – One's own ideas don't get attention – Credibility and influence can be lost
  • 32. Conflict Management • Competing • Fundamental premise: Associates "winning" a conflict with competition • Strategic philosophy: When goals are extremely important, one must sometimes use power to win • When to use: – When you know you are right – When time is short and a quick decision is needed – When a strong personality is trying to steamroller you and you don't want to be taken advantage of – When you need to stand up for your rights • Drawbacks: – Can escalate conflict – Losers may retaliate
  • 33. Conflict Management • Avoiding • Fundamental premise: This isn't the right time or place to address this issue • Strategic philosophy: Avoids conflict by withdrawing, sidestepping, or postponing • When to use: – When the conflict is small and relationships are at stake – When you're counting to ten to cool off – When more important issues are pressing and you feel you don't have time to deal with this particular one – When you have no power and you see no chance of getting your concerns met – When you are too emotionally involved and others around you can solve the conflict more successfully – When more information is needed • Drawbacks: – Important decisions may be made by default – Postponing may make matters worse
  • 34. Conflict Management • Reaction to Conflict – Fight, which is not a beneficial, sound or gratifying approach to dealing with a conflict situation, as it involves 'tactics, strategies, offensive and defensive positions, losing and winning grounds, and exposure of weak points.' Fighting as a way of resolving a conflict can only be useful in courtroom situations, where winning and losing becomes a by-product of the judicial process. – Negotiate, towards a settlement with the other party. Negotiations take place within the prevailing situation and do not involve problem solving or designing. Third-party roles are very important in bringing the conflicting parties together on some common ground for negotiations.
  • 35. Conflict Management • Reaction to Conflict – Problem solve, which involves identifying and removing the cause of the conflict so as to make the situation normal again. However, this may not be easy. It is also possible that the situation may not become normal even after removing the identified cause, because of its influence on the situation. – Design, which is an attempt towards creativity in making the conflict situation normal. It considers conflicts as situations rather than problems. Designing is not confined to what is already there, but attempts to reach what might be created given a proper understanding of the views and situations of the conflicting parties. The proposed idea should be appropriate and acceptable to the parties in conflict. A third party participates actively in the design process rather than being just an umpire.
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  • 37. Conflict Management • Coping with anger – Identify the need and feelings – Name the thoughts – Identify what you want – Define how to get what you want
  • 40. Case Study 1 • Johnny and Ken are college students and share an apartment. For the past week Ken's friend has stayed over every night. This affects Ken's sleeping, and he didn't do well on a test one morning. – Using good conflict resolution skills, work though Johnny and Ken's issue and resolution to the problem.
  • 41. Case Study 2 • The finance department of a company consists of 12 people. The relationship between the team leader and the department manager was so damaged they only spoke to each other through third parties. The group was split into two teams – one group behind the team leader, the other siding with the department manager with a few members remaining neutral. There was a perceived favouritism with respect to approval of leave, training and allowances. There had been no performance appraisals for two years, and two staff members had been on stress leave for five weeks. – How can conflict management be handled in such a situation?