Understanding and Managing Conflict Presented By: Kelli Key Associate Director, EEO & Diversity Field Service Mary Jo Williams Operations Manager, Cincinnati Accounts Management Center
What is Conflict? • The struggle or contest between people with 0pposing: • Needs • Ideas • Beliefs • Values • Goals • It can also originate from past rivalries and personality Differences
Beginnings of Conflict • Poor communication • Seeking power • Dissatisfaction with management style • Weak leadership • Lack of openness • Change in leadership
Conflict Indicators • Body language • Surprises • Conflicts in value system • Lack of respect • Lack of clear goals • Disagreements, regardless of issue • Withholding information
Good or Bad? Conflict is often needed. It: • Helps to raise and address problems. • Energizes work to be on the most appropriate issues. • Motivates people to participate. • Helps people recognize and benefit from their differences. The conflict is not the problem – it is when conflict is poorly managed that is the problem.
Good or Bad? Conflict is a problem when it: • Hampers Productivity. • Lowers Morale. • Causes more and continued conflict. • Causes inappropriate behaviors.
Causes of Workplace Conflict • Poor Communications • Alignment of amount of resources is insufficient • Personal Chemistry • Leadership Problems
Conflict Management Conflict Management is the principle that all conflicts cannot necessarily be resolved, but learning how to manage conflicts can decrease the odds of non productive escalation.
Common Conflict Management Strategies • Avoid it. • Accommodate it. • Compromise. • Compete. • Collaborate.
Avoiding • Low assertiveness and low cooperation. Avoiding Skills • Ability to withdraw • Ability to leave things unresolved • Ability to sidestep issues • Sense of timing
Accommodating • Low assertiveness and high cooperation. Accommodating Skills • Forgetting your desires • Ability to yield selflessness • Obeying Orders
Compromising • Moderate assertiveness and moderate cooperation. Compromising Skills • Negotiating • Assessing value • Finding a middle ground • Making concessions
Competing • High assertiveness and low cooperation. Competing Skills • Arguing or debating • Standing your ground • Using rank or influence • Stating your position clearly • Asserting your opinions and feelings
Collaboration • High assertiveness and high cooperation. Collaboration Skills • Active Listening • Identifying concerns • Non threatening confrontation • Analyzing input
Techniques for Resolution • Meet conflict head on • Set goals • Plan for and communicate regularly • Be honest about concerns • Agree to disagree • Remove individual ego • Let the team create – people will support what they create
Techniques for Resolution • Discuss differences in values openly • Communicate honestly • Provide more data and information than is needed • Develop a sound management system • Focus on interests vs. positions • Think outside the box to develop optional solutions