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Managing Conflict

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  1. Managing Conflict “Conflict can lead to better decision making, expose key issues, stimulate critical thinking and fuel creativity and innovation.” Center for Creative Leadership Newsletter – April 2005 Designed and Facilitated by P. A. Training Solutions

  2. Table of Contents on Managing Conflict,Dealing with Difficult People, Courageous Conversations and Inclusive Leadership Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  3. Participant Outcomes Identify types of conflict and give examples. Assess own conflict style and describe characteristics of each style. Choose appropriate approaches to manage conflict. Describe strategies to become effective in dealing with conflict. Cite ways conflict can be beneficial. Select appropriate strategies to deal with difficult people. Discuss an approach to conducting courageous conversations. Distinguish among diversity, inclusion and equity. Discuss the traits of an inclusive leader. Suggest ways to apply the Developing Diversity Competence model. Discuss strategies for improving inclusiveness on your campus. Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  4. Types of Conflict Communication conflicts Some conflicts are the result of one person not listening closely to another person. Careful listening not only includes listening to each word a person says, but also asking clarifying questions to make sure you understand the person’s full meaning. Example: Personality conflicts Sometimes people simply don’t get along with each other. They push our buttons. We all have different personalities and the way we approach tasks and the way we interact interpersonally may, at times, be disagreeable to others. Example: Organizational conflicts Conflict can also arise out of the way an organization is structured. Group members may disagree with certain members having authority and/or may disagree with the way those members use their authority. Example: Situational conflict Some conflicts arise out of an event that happens. Each member of a group may disagree on or have a differing point of view about a situation which can lead to conflict. Example: Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  5. What’s Your Conflict Management Style? Instructions: Listed below are 15 statements. Each statement provides a possible strategy for dealing with a conflict. Give each a numerical value for your response.( 1-Always, 2-Very often, 3-Sometimes, 4- Not very often, 5-Rarely, if ever.) Don't answer as you think you should, answer as you actually behave. ____ a. I argue my case with peers, colleagues and coworkers to demonstrate the merits of the position I take. ____ b. I try to reach compromises through negotiation. ____ c. I attempt to meet the expectation of others. ____ d. I seek to investigate issues with others in order to find solutions that are mutually acceptable. ____ e. I am firm in resolve when it comes to defending my side of the issue. ____ f. I try to avoid being singled out, keeping conflict with others to myself. ____ g. I uphold my solutions to problems. ____ h. I compromise in order to reach solutions. ____ i. I trade important information with others so that problems can be solved together. ____ j. I avoid discussing my differences with others. ____ k. I try to accommodate the wishes of my peers and colleagues. ____ l. I seek to bring everyone's concerns out into the open in order to resolve disputes in the best possible way. ____ m. I put forward middles positions in efforts to break deadlocks. ____ n. I accept the recommendations of colleagues, peers, and coworkers. ____ o. I avoid hard feelings by keeping my disagreements with others to myself. Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  6. Conflict Management Styles Scoring Sheet Scoring: The 15 statements you just read are listed below under five categories. Each category contains the letters of three statements. Record the number you placed next to each statement. Calculate the total under each category. We will fill in the STYLE category at the end of this discussion at the retreat. Results: My dominant style is _________________________________ (Your LOWESTscore) and my back-up style is_______________________________ (Your second Lowest score) “Good leaders do not try to eliminate conflict, they try to keep it from wasting the energies of their people.” Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  7. Relationships Characteristics • “The Shark” forces others to accept his or her way. • Believes conflicts are settled by one person losing. • Intimidating and oblivious to needs or feelings of others • The Shark wants to win and will fight at any cost to do so. • Values the end result over the relationship. • While you’re talking, the Shark is thinking of his or her next argument to defeat you. Low • “The Owl” confronts openly and fairly. • Begins discussions by identifying openly the wishes of both. • Committed to personal goals and to others’ goals. • Never satisfied until a solution is found that satisfies both. “If we just keep working at this we’ll find a way for both of us.” • Possesses a great deal of energy, patience, and time. • The Owl attacks the problem, not the person. • When the Owl talks, he or she may come on strong, but when you talk, the Owl is listening carefully and sympathetically. High • “The Fox” compromises. Has a “give and take” approach. • Gives up some goals if you’ll give up some of yours. • Values goals and relationships equally. • When the Fox is talking, he or she is diplomatic but persuasive. • When you talk, the Fox is trying hard to figure out some compromise. Medium • “The Turtle” tends to be passive and withdraws. • Avoids people and issues that may cause conflict. • Believes it is hopeless to try to resolve conflict. • Feels helpless to gain his goals and refuses to cooperate with others in gaining theirs. • The Turtle neither talks nor listens. You won’t even get a chance to discuss things with the Turtle. Low • “The Teddy Bear” soothes. • More than anything else, Teddy Bear wants others to accept him or her. • Quick to accommodate to others and ignore own needs because Teddy Bear believes that asking others to meet his or her needs will harm the relationship. • When the Teddy Bear talks, everything sounds just fine. • When you talk, he or she is listening and agreeing with you. High Characteristics of Conflict Management Styles Competitive Collaborative Compromise Avoiding Accommodating *Information compiled from: David W. Johnson, revised by Ron Kraybill, and adapted by Barry Bartel for use in Let's Talk: Communication Skills and Conflict Transformation. Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  8. Approaches to Managing Conflict High Assertiveness Low Assertiveness Competitor Collaborator Compromiser Accommodator Avoider LowCooperationHigh Cooperation Helpful Conflict Resolution Language Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  9. Descriptions of Conflict Approaches Conflict is best understood by examining the consequences of various behaviors at moments in time. These behaviors are categorized according to conflict styles. Competing is putting your needs above the needs of others. Characteristics are an aggressive style of communication and a low regard for future relationships. Competitor styles tend to seek control over a discussion. They fear that loss of such control will result in solutions that fail to meet their needs. Example of when appropriate: Collaborating is the pooling of individual needs and goals toward a common goal. Often called "win-win problem-solving," collaboration requires a more assertive communication and cooperation to achieve a better solution which is better than either individual could have achieved alone. Covey calls it the “third way.” It provides for consensus and the integration of needs and brings new time, energy, and ideas to resolve the dispute meaningfully. Example of when appropriate: Compromising is an approach to conflict in which people gain and give in a series of tradeoffs. While satisfactory, compromise is generally not satisfying. We remain focused on our needs and don't necessarily understand the other side very well and avoid risk-taking involved in more collaborative behaviors. Example of when appropriate: Avoiding is a common response to the negative perception of conflict. We think if we don't bring it up, it will blow over. Most of the time all that happens is that feelings get pent up, views go unexpressed, and the conflict festers until it becomes too big to ignore. Like a cancer that may well have been cured if treated early, the conflict grows and spreads until it kills the relationship. Because needs and concerns go unexpressed, people are often confused, wondering what went wrong in a relationship. Example of when appropriate: Accommodating, also known as smoothing over, is the opposite of competing. Persons using this style yield their needs to those of others, trying to be diplomatic. They tend to allow the needs of the group to overwhelm their own, which may not ever be stated as preserving the relationship is seen as most important. Example of when appropriate: Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  10. Nine Strategies for Resolving Conflict • Skills Leaders Need to Manage Conflict • Communication Skills • Decision-Making Skills • Leadership Skills • Management Skills • Negotiation Skills • Observing Skills • Time Management Skills Ask first … “Do I have a dog in this fight?” Is this issue important to me? Do I want to spend the time and energy required to resolve this conflict? Attack the problem, not the person. Accept and respect that individual opinions may differ, don’t try to force compliance, work to develop common agreement. Communicate your feelings assertively, NOT aggressively. Express them without blaming. Focus on areas of common interest and agreement, instead of areas of disagreement and opposition. Forget the past and stay in the present. Listen without interrupting; ask for feedback if needed to assure a clear understanding of the issue. NEVER jump to conclusions or make assumptions about what another is feeling or thinking. Prevent escalation. Choose a non-threatening environment to discuss the issue and come up with a solution or suggest ideas to defuse the problem. Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  11. Good Conflict If well managed, conflict can have positive outcomes says Brenda McManigle at the Center for Creative Leadership. “Conflict can lead to better decision making, expose key issues, stimulate critical thinking and fuel creativity and innovation.” Examples of Good Conflict Situations: Constructive Responses to Conflict Active resolution of conflict. Improved team performance. Less insistence on sticking adamantly to one position. Non-judgmental actions. Open and honest communication of feelings. The needs of both parties being met. Thoughtful, no impulsive responses. Win-win solutions. Destructive Responses to Conflict Closed channels of communication. Decreased team performance. Feelings of anger and frustration. Getting even and keeping score. Incomplete tasks. Judgmental actions. Refusal to deal with issues. Source: McManigle, Brenda. Center for Creative Leadership Newsletter. “Managing Conflict – Constructive issue. 2005. Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  12. Difficult People • Identifying Your Difficult Person • Characteristics of the Difficult Person • Strategies to Deal with the Difficult Person “Temper gets you into trouble; Pride keeps you there.” Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  13. Difficult People Tidbits People are difficult because they … do not have the skills nor the ability to do things in a more constructive way. don’t take responsibility for their actions. need to be the center of attention. need to be in control. think they know it all. Check out the name of difficult people on pages 14-16 for suggestions Name: Characteristics: My Difficult Person • Dealing with the difficult person requires you to … • focus on what you can do. • keep your cool. • keep the lines of communication open. • not take things personally . • speak in private. • use more "I" language than "you" language. Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  14. Strategies for Dealing with Difficult People Communicate assertively. You maintain your rights while respecting the rights of others. Find any agreement. This is always a wonderful place to start. Focus on future behavior. “People aren’t the problem, it’s how you choose to behave that might be the problem.” Know when to walk away. Ask “Is this relationship worth saving?” Lose the victim mentality. Don’t turn over your life to them. Practice your response. Don’t go into a situation ready to argue. Stay in the "adult" mode and keep your cool. Don’t resort to childish behaviors. Speak in private. Always handle your disagreements in private. Teach others how to treat you. “People can’t push your buttons unless you show them the panel!” Use more "I" language than "you" language. This helps prevent the other person from becoming defensive. Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  15. Types of Difficult People Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  16. Types of Difficult People Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  17. Types of Difficult People Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  18. My Plan to Deal With the Difficult Person What are some steps you will take in the next week to deal with your difficult person? “Difficult People are your key to self empowerment, you need to learn how to cope with them, not let them dominate and affect you.” --Janice Davies Facilitator Dr. Pat Akers

  19. Courageous Conversation Facilitator Althea Riddick

  20. Courageous Conversations “No matter how effective a communicator you are, there will be times when you will not know how to address a difficult situation professionally. Avoiding the situation is not an option.” Define Courageous Conversations without using examples. What is the purpose of a Courageous Conversation? As a leader, list three situations that you think may require a courageous conversation. 1. 2. 3. Facilitator Althea Riddick

  21. Courageous Conversations “It’s not what you say that makes a conversation difficult, it is how you say it and the emotions involved.” Take a few minutes in your group and discuss a situation that you avoided because of a preconceived negative outcome. How does who “you are” as a person affect your ability to address difficult situations? How can you manage your emotions during a difficult conversation? Going forward, what can you do as a leader to improve your ability to address difficult situations? Facilitator Althea Riddick

  22. Rules to Follow in Conducting the Courageous Conversation Tell the person ahead of time you want to talk to them about the issue. (e.g. I’d like to come and see you on Thursday  to discuss how to improve your turning in assignments on time”). Start the conversation by identify what you believe the issue is and the impact you feel it is having on you and the organization. Be assertive and clear – if not, you risk losing momentum from the start. Tell them why the situation matters to you and what you feel are the implications if it is not sorted out. Ask them to acknowledge that they’ve understood what you’ve said and for their perspective on the situation. Listen carefully, asking for elaboration or clarification if necessary. Tell them what outcome you would like to see; then ask them to suggest a solution that would address your concerns. Discuss their proposals using lots of questions and reflecting back what they agree to so you are both clear about what is involved. Ask them for their commitment to making the change and stipulate a timescale. Agree with them how you will both know when the change has been made. Once the conversation has finished, take a few moments to reflect internally how it went. No doubt it won’t have been painless if you’re new to it, but vow to keep practicing – it gets much easier every time. Source: Wilson, Dianne, B. “Tips on Getting What You Want”. Retrieved from the internet on at 8, 2011. Facilitator Althea Riddick

  23. Inclusive Leadership “Valuing diversity is a celebration of our individual uniqueness.” Facilitators Dr. Pat Akers and Althea Riddick

  24. Embracing Diversity Describe the diversity you viewed in the video clip. What words capture how you felt after viewing the clip? What components should be included as we talk about diversity? • Equity is the principle of fairness • Equity involves recognizing that people are different and need different support and resources to ensure their rights are realized. To ensure fairness, measures must often be taken to compensate for specific discrimination and disadvantages. • Inclusion is ensuring that all are able to participate fully • Inclusion is not just about improving access to services, but also supporting people to engage in wider processes to ensure that their rights and needs are recognized. Facilitators Dr. Pat Akers and Althea Riddick

  25. Traits of an Inclusive Leader: Strategies for Inclusion Facilitators Dr. Pat Akers and Althea Riddick

  26. Developing Diversity Competence What one thing can you do to improve your awareness of diversity in the next 30 days? • Awareness • Knowledge • Skills • Actions/Behaviors “Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” Malcolm Stevenson Forbes Facilitators Dr. Pat Akers and Althea Riddick

  27. Ways to Improve Inclusiveness on Your Campus • _______________________________________________________ • _______________________________________________________ • _______________________________________________________ • _______________________________________________________ • _______________________________________________________ • _______________________________________________________ Facilitators Dr. Pat Akers and Althea Riddick

  28. “We could learn a lot from Crayons” “Some are sharp, some are pretty, and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, But they all live together in the same box.” Facilitators Dr. Pat Akers and Althea Riddick