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  1. Your totem goes here

  2. Managing Conflict Tools of the Trade

  3. Learning Objectives • Better understand conflict from a leadership point of view. • Acquire new tools for successfully managing conflict situations.

  4. Norman Rockwell The Scoutmaster A picture of . . . what?

  5. A perfect night, a perfect camp site, perfect Scouts • A Scoutmaster in contemplation of perfection, serene and satisfied • A Scoutmaster who appears utterly competent and in control - OR -

  6. . . . are these the only moments of peace and quiet the poor man has all day – when everyone else is unconscious?

  7. Where was Norman Rockwell . . . • When the Boy Scouts were poking the bear with a stick? • When Cub Scout parents were screaming about the outcome of the Pinewood Derby? • When the Varsity team was arguing over officiating of the basketball game? • When the Venture Crew could not agree on anything about their weekend adventure?

  8. Leadership . . . • Is easy when everything is going well(or when everyone else is unconscious) • Usually involves managing conflict by finding common ground among people • Is providing tools for people to settle their own disputes • On rare occasions, involves making unilateral decisions

  9. Exercise • Get with a partner. • One of you make a fist (yes, you have to decide who [first lesson]). • The other has 2 minutes to convince the one to open that fist.

  10. Exercise Results • Get with a partner. • One of you make a fist (yes, you have to decide who [first lesson]). • The other has 2 minutes to convince the one to open that fist. What happened? Was anyone successful?If so, how?

  11. What Were Strategies? • Bribery? (I’ll give you money.) • Concern? (It’s better for you.) • Persuasion? (If we both have open hands, we’re on common ground.) • Interest? (What’re you hiding in there?) • Straightforward? (Please just open your fist.) In a law-abiding, nonthreatening world, we can’t make anyone do anything they don not want to do.

  12. Basic Conflict • How do you convince a 5- or 6-year-old to put away toys and take a bath? Give me suggestions. • What if that doesn’t work? What if the child digs in and refuses. Do we have to resort to a “power over” scenario (time out; take away a toy)? • Think about employer and employee, or about Scout Leader and Scout.

  13. In managing conflict , . . • be aware of yourself • be aware of others • set the scene for cooperative resolutions

  14. Be Aware of Yourself • Why is the issue, as it exists, important to you? • Does it really matter whether the other person ever opens the fist? • Does the child really need a bath now? • Do the Scouts really need to eat dinner now, or just some time (self-resolving conflict)? • Is the conflict a real issue, or a you issue?

  15. Be Aware of Others • When are people most likely to do what you want, if it is something they don’t want to do? • they trust you • experience says you are a reliable leader and ally • they understand you make decisions for the good of the group • Remember “Listening to Learn.” LISTENING is the most important component of conflict resolution. Without it, you miss vital facts, beliefs, and assumptions.

  16. Set the Scene forCooperative Resolutions • Listening attentively is essential to establish a cooperative relationship. • Think about the “Who, Me?” game and shared experiences – you were establishing common ground, trust, familiarity, understanding – connections. • Become involved – establish connections that can be used to resolve conflict.

  17. The Most Important Question • Whenever you work with others, the most important question to ask them is: “What do you want?” • When was the last time someone asked you? • When was the last time someone really listened to your answer? • Now turn the questions around! When was the last time you asked . . . ?

  18. Critical Questionsfor Conflict Resolution • What do you want? • What are you doing to get it? • Is it working? • Do you want to figure out another way?

  19. Why? • Number 1 focuses attention on real needs. • Numbers 2 and 3 make people responsible to discover theirown solution (DON’T SKIP THESE STEPS!). • Number 4 allows them to invite your help. Too often, we ask 1, then skip 2 and 3, and go to a variation of 4 where we offer our solution.

  20. Remember . . . • you can’t control the other person, BUT • you can persuade • you can offer to join forces in mutual search for a solution • you can encourage the other person to help be an active seeker for meaningful answers

  21. Effective Communicationin Conflict Situations • There is more than just words, remember(eg, body language, tone of voice). • Ask “the most important question” with different emphases. • Manage emotions, breathe slowly, step back, focus on situation for what it is, not what someone else wants to make it.

  22. Effective Communicationin Conflict Situations • Work in the present and future, let the past go. • Focus on solutions, rather than recriminations, (Fix the problem, not the blame!). • Any time you feel that you are not making progress, return to the four basic questions:What do you want? What are you doing to get it? Is it working? Do you want to figure out another way?

  23. Negotiating Limits and Rules Are you “law abiding?” • Actually, tell me about how you are not; for example: • speed limits • getting to meetings on time • So, are you really 100% “law abiding”; why or why not?

  24. Negotiating Limits and Rules • Scenario #1: I have a curfew. If I’m a “little late,” it’s OK. If I’m more than a “little late,” it’s not OK. What are the lessons? • Be clear about boundaries and stick to them. • Can both sides be involved in establishing boundaries? • What do you want? What does the other side want? Is there common ground? What’s negotiable?

  25. Negotiating Limits and Rules • Scenario #2: Older boys hike ahead of younger and out of sight, rest, then move out again as soon as younger boys catch up – plus, it’s in bear country. What’s the problem? • safety issue • morale and team building • appropriate leadership over all participants Who wants what? Common ground? What’s negotiable?

  26. Negotiating Limits and Rules • Cooperative Approach – engage everyone on an equal basis to find a solution – ask the “four important questions.” • Proscriptive Approach • This is what I want. • This is what I understand you are doing. • This is why it isn’t working for me. • Here’s what I need you to do.

  27. Negotiating Limits and Rules • Proscriptive approach causes immediate change in behavior, but allows explanation and basis for decision, interaction on a healthy level, and opportunity to evolve into a cooperative arrangement. • Works best when leaders have listened and learned, been willing to communicate, cared and connected.

  28. Negotiating Limits and Rules Be open about your understanding of mutual responsibilities and expectations; for instance:

  29. Ideas to Share More Often • If I’m doing something that bothers you, I’d like you to tell me in a respectful way. • How will it be if we really get along? What will that be like? • If I see you’re having a problem, what do you want me to do?

  30. Back to The First Exercise • The right words will open the fist, but it takes awareness and understanding. • Participants: make fists, then open them and shake hands – the ultimate goal of conflict resolution – find solutions that bring us closer together, rather than push us farther apart.

  31. Learning Objectives So, do you have… • a better understanding of conflict from a leadership point of view? (YOU BET!) • acquired new tools for successfully managing conflict situations? (YOU BET!)

  32. Is It Worth the Effort? YOU BET!

  33. Your totem goes here Thank You!