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Presentation at CPAMOPOC session by Sheila Wilmot (December 2017)


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Presenter: Sheila Wilmot
Date: December 13, 2017
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Presentation at CPAMOPOC session by Sheila Wilmot (December 2017)

  1. 1. Conflict Resolution & Cultural Pluralism Organizational Change A Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO) Training Prepared by Sheila Wilmot December 13, 2017
  2. 2. How do you respond to conflict? ■ Would you say that you... ➢Recognize conflict when it happens? ➢Face it or flee? ➢Use creativity in conflict resolution?
  3. 3. What we’ll do today... ■ By working through scenarios to understand and problem solve conflict/dispute situations relevant to cultural pluralism organizational change, we will:  Develop “Active Listening” Skills  Explore “diversity” & “interdependence” as both drivers of disputes and sources of resolution  Deepen our understanding of human rights protections & integrate this into conflict resolution practices  Review & practice collaborative conflict resolution processes
  4. 4. Scenario 1: Is this a conflict? ■ You are locking up your bike outside of work. A co-worker, Jean, walks up to you and says, “Guess who’s on ‘sick leave’ again? Must be nice.” Jean smirks and continues on into the building. ■ They are referring to another co-worker, Janice. The 3 of you work for your organization in a collaborative project with another arts group. ■ You groan to yourself and slowly head into work. 1. Is this a conflict? Why/why not? 2. How do you feel? What are the issues reflected in this interaction? 3. What could you do? 4. If something like this has happened involving you in the past, how did you handle it?
  5. 5. Conflicts & Disputes ■ The word conflict refers to an ongoing experience of varying degrees of tension, usually involving multiple events, and misunderstandings, possibly leading to the building up of layers of interpersonal discord. ■ Disputes are specific disagreements between or among people on a particular topic.[1] [1] Cooperative Solutions, 2010, p. 1_2
  6. 6. Conflicts & Disputes ■ In From Conflict to Creativity, the authors spell out how we often get caught in a cycle of escalating conflict based on a very simple dynamic[1]: ➢ Sam perceives a conflict with Marta ➢ Sam makes assumptions about Marta’s intentions, interests and the sources of perceived conflict ➢ Sam takes action ➢ Marta perceives a conflict ➢ Marta makes assumptions about Sam’s intentions, interests and the source of perceived conflict ➢ Marta takes action ➢ And around and ‘round we go… [1] Landau et al. (2001) p. 21
  7. 7. A Critical Conflict Resolution Skill ■ Active Listening ■Image from:
  8. 8. Scenario 2: Active Listening Working in pairs, pick a role below & work through the “L.I.S.T.E.N” steps. ■ Marta: seasonal programmer at ArtBus, a mobile gallery, participating in arts festivals across Ontario from May to October. Marta had an idea for next year’s festival, to get more involved with rural communities. She shared this with Sam (the E.D.) a month or 2 ago. She arrives today at a planning meeting, and sees another seasonal co-worker Graeme’s name on the agenda attached to “Rural Outreach.” She is fuming. ■ Sam: ArtBus E.D. for last 20 years – prepared the agenda for the meeting. Did attach Graeme’s name to the item. Is in her office preparing for the meeting when Marta arrives.
  9. 9. Active Listening: How did it go? ➢What are some things you found out in your Active Listening exercise? ➢How do you think this skill is useful for conflict resolution arising from cultural pluralism work in your own organization?
  10. 10. Conflicts & Disputes: Diversity ■ Individual differences ■ Professional differences ■ Unclear vision ■ Conflicting responsibilities ■ Unclear responsibilities ■ Conflicting information2 Anything you would add…? 2 - MANO-RAMO Best Practices Guide for Conflict Resolution, p.4
  11. 11. Conflicts & Disputes: Interdependence ■ Scarce resources ■ Struggles for power ■ Organization Structures and Procedures 3 Anything you would add…? 3 - MANO-RAMO Best Practices Guide for Conflict Resolution, p.4
  12. 12. Scenario 3: Diversity & Funding? ■ Jan is sitting down with Beth (the E.D.), just the 2 of them, to work on an Art’s Council grant proposal for YTZ Gallery’s “emerging artists” project for next year. There is a section that asks for detailed information on organizational diversity. Beth sighs and says, “These bits are really difficult. I mean we’re supposed to do all the equity stuff on the same budgets as before. And, with 3 staff. I mean, we’re working on it, you know.” ■ Jan sees what Beth means, but she is a bit worried about where the conversation is going to go. As a racialized person, talking about equity in her organization makes her feel so anxious. So she just nods and says, ”Yes, we are working on it.” ■ Beth continues, “Our board is diverse now: Keisha represents the Black community, and Jenny comes out of the disability in the arts movement. Of course, you are a core and indispensable part of everything we do too, Jan. I hope the funder really sees these changes, you know?”
  13. 13. Scenario 3: Diversity & Funding?  Is there a conflict?  If so, are there oppressive power dynamics at play in the conflict?  What could each person do differently?  What could the organization do differently?  If this kind of thing is familiar, how have you responded in the past?
  14. 14. Scenario 3: Diversity: Inclusion vs. Tokening ■ WorkInCulture 4 “What is Diversity & Inclusion?” ■ Inclusion as a process not a place ■ Individual & systemic oppressive power dynamics are barriers to inclusivity 4-
  15. 15. Human Rights & Inclusivity ■ Intent/Impact dynamics ■ Unconscious bias ■ The Ontario Human Rights Commission5: “Human Rights 101”  Shared conflict or harassment/discrimination  Organizational policies and practices to assess & address 5 - OHRC (no date) Human Rights 101. Online: 101
  16. 16. Collaborative Conflict Resolution Practices ■ Negotiation ➢Positional bargaining – oppositional ➢Merit-based or interest-based negotiation - collaborative
  17. 17. Conflict Resolution: Negotiation & Mediation ■ Review what negotiation is & how we do it. ■ Get some practice tips for solution-oriented communications.
  18. 18. Conflict Resolution: Negotiation & Mediation ■ Start with a clear method for working through the conflict ■ Figuring out your BATNA – the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement ■ Focus on solving the problem, not being hard on the people ■ Analyze, plan and then discuss ■ Brainstorm options and set objective criteria ■ Make an agreement
  19. 19. Conflict Resolution: Negotiation & Mediation ■ How to know if you have an agreement: • Have we addressed all of our interests, psychological and substantive? • Have we assessed all the options we came up with? Are there others? • Do the proposed solutions fit the criteria we agreed to? If so, you have an agreement.
  20. 20. Scenario 4: Cultural Pluralism in Process? ■ The Board of Urban Textiles has been doing some work for the last year on meaningful inclusivity. Using WorkInCulture resources, they started with a Benchmarking Quiz to identify gaps and set goals. One year later they want to evaluate their progress. One of the goals was inclusion of Indigenous peoples. ■ Once their Board was all white but their cultural pluralism work has been starting to make some shifts. It is a more racially and cultural mixed group now. This includes Jessica, an Anishnaabe educator, contract faculty at OCAD. ■ Andrea has been involved with the organization for many years, and has enthusiastically given a lot of volunteer time to these cultural change efforts. Charged with leading the process, she has done some research on evaluation tools and found a great on the group can use, the Medicine Wheel Evaluation Framework6. ■ She presents the method to the Board, and most people are quite excited to get started, commenting on how appropriate this is given their goals. After thanking Andrea for all her efforts, starting to set dates and eagerly discussing how to involve the whole organization, Jessica simply says, ”This isn’t going to work.” ■ An awkward silence falls. 6 - Online: Atlantic Council for International Co-operation (2007):
  21. 21. Scenario 4: Cultural Pluralism in Process? ■ What is going on here? What was done, what was missed? ■ Do you think there oppressive power dynamics happening in the conflict? If you so, explain. ■ Using the skill sets discussed today – Active Listening, Human Rights & Negotiation – spell out how the organization can do things differently to both avoid and deal with this moment.
  22. 22. Scenario 4: Cultural Competency vs Appropriation ■ Intent/impact ■ what is the purpose of cultural competency? How do we know when we ‘have it’? ■ colonization and anti-Indigenous racism are ongoing so cultural competency is not the same as cultural commodification & appropriation – we can’t just take it & use it; it is not ours to do so. ■ WorkInCulture & other resources?
  23. 23. Conflict Resolution & Human Rights: Organizational Policies ■ Policy ➢ Purpose ➢ Applicable to ➢ Guiding Principles ➢ Definitions ➢ Responsibility for Implementation ■ Procedures ➢ Informal Complaints & Dispute Resolution ➢ Formal Complaints and Resolution
  24. 24. Conflict Resolution & Cultural Pluralism Organizational Change: Next Steps? ■ What are your ideas?
  25. 25. References & Resources ■ Cooperative Solutions (2010). Conflict management: Negotiation and mediation. Toronto: Cooperative Solutions, Agree, & Conrad Grebel University College. ■ Landau, S., Landau, B. & landau, D (2001). From conflict to creativity: How resolivng workplace disagreements can inspire innovation and productivity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ■ OHRC (no date) Human Rights 101. Online: ■ Wilmot, S (2015). MANO-RAMO Best Practices Guide for Conflict Resolution.