CHAPTER 9 RESOLVING CONFLICTS WITH OTHERS
THE MEANING OF CONFLICT • A conflict is a situation in which two or more goals, or events are incompatible or mutually exclusive. (You are forced to make a choice.) • A conflict is also a strife, quarrel, or battle. • Being able to resolve conflict constructively is a major life skill.
SOURCES OF INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT IN ORGANIZATIONS • Competition for limited resources • Role conflict (competing demands) • Competing work and family demands • Personality clashes • Bullies in the workplace • Incivility and rudeness • Cross-generational conflict • Workplace violence (cause and effect)
WORK-FAMILY CONFLICT • Balancing the demands of career and family life is a major role conflict. • Work can interfere with family responsibilities; family responsibilities can interfere with work—both create stress. • Work-to-family conflict, and the reverse, can both create guilt and hostility. • Making a work-life choice can sometimes reduce conflict. A compromise can help.
INCIVILITY AND RUDENESS AS SOURCES OF CONFLICT • Being rude or uncivil toward work associates is milder form of aggressiveness than bullying. • What constitutes being uncivil or rude depends upon perceptions and values. • Sixty-nine percent of workers surveyed reported condescending behavior or put-downs in the workplace. • Uncivil treatment can lower productivity.
CROSS-GENERATIONAL CONFLICT Value-based differences in behavior can lead to conflict between generations, such as: • Preferred approach to communication, such as text messages vs. e-mail. • Approach to problem solving, such as brainstorming vs. working independently. • Requirement for being respected, such as being valued for new ideas vs. experience.
COMPANY INITIATIVES TO REDUCE WORK-FAMILY CONFLICT • Equitable time-off policies can be helpful. • Flexible working hours help workers manage family demands better. • Being well organized helps reduce work-family conflict. • Work-family programs were reduced during the Great Recession. • Job insecurity prevents many workers from asking for flexible arrangements.
WORKPLACE VIOLENCE(A Cause and Effect of Conflict) • Being the subject of violence creates conflict of wanting peace vs. chaos. • Workplace violence can occur in response to conflict of negative personnel decision. • Violence is 4th leading cause of workplace deaths; leads to 10% of fatal job injuries. • Workplace violence is often predictable, such as workers who talk about weapons, paranoid talk, and history of violence.
CONFLICT-MANAGEMENT STYLES • Competitive Style: Win at expense of other party, or dominate. • Accommodative Style: Satisfying other’s concern rather than one’s own. • Sharing Style: Moderate, incomplete satisfaction for both sides (compromise) • Collaborative Style: Fully satisfy desire of both sides (win-win) • Avoidant Style: Indifference to both sides
COLLABORATIVE (WIN-WIN) CONFLICT RESOLUTION • Both sides should gain something of value, so mutual gain is achieved. • Relationships between the parties are built on and improved. • Collaboration is key when both sides must be committed to the solution. • Finding win-win solutions is one of the most important conflict-resolution skills.
GUILELINES AND TECHNIQUES FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT • Confrontation and problem solving (confront the real issue, the solve the problem) • Constructive handling of criticism • Reframing through cognitive restructuring and asking questions • Use negotiating and bargaining (make a deal with the other side)
CONFRONTATION AND PROBLEM SOLVING • Takes a problem-solving approach and identifies reasons for the conflict. • Helps people feel responsible for soundest answer. • Confrontation can proceed gently to preserve relationship. • Bring closure by shaking hands and saying “Thank you.”
CONSTRUCTIVE HANDLING OF CRITICISM • See yourself at a distance (be a detached observer). • Ask for clarification and specifics. • Decide on a response. • Look for a pattern in terms of other criticism. • Disarm the opposition (agree with the criticizer).
REFRAMING FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION • Reframing means looking at the criticism in a different light. • Reframe through cognitive restructuring by viewing negative elements more positively. (“I sure learned from the F.”) • Reframe by asking questions, such as “Do I fully understand the situation,” of “Have I missed something important?”)
SEVEN INDICATORS OF NEGOTIATING SKILL • Enjoys settling differences of opinion. • Generally willing to compromise. • Thinks well under pressure. • Tactful and diplomatic. • Believes most things are negotiable. • Prepares in advance for negotiation. • Believes in satisfying both sides.
NEGOTIATING AND BARGAINING TACTICS • Understand the other party’s perspective. • Focus on interests, not positions. (“Here’s what I really need.”) • Compromise. (“Let’s meet halfway.”) • Begin with a plausible demand or offer, yet allow room for negotiation. (“How about 15% below your asking price?”
Negotiating and Bargaining, continued • Make small concessions gradually. (“If you buy today, you will get free delivery.”) • Know your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA). • Use anger to your advantage. • Anger can energize you. • Other side might submit rather than receive more of your anger.) • Allow for face-saving. (Create good will.)
COMBATING SEXUAL HARASSMENT (Outline) • Types of Harassment (Different Perceptions of Sexual Harassment; Sexual Harassment as Power) • Frequency of Sexual Harassment (The Influence of Work Setting on Frequency) • Adverse Effects of Sexual Harassment • Guidelines for Preventing and Dealing with Sexual Harassment
TYPES AND PERCEPTIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT • In quid pro quo person loses out because of refusal to grant sexual favor. • In hostile environmenttype person is subjected to unwanted sexually-toned messages and images. • Women perceive a broader range of sexual-social behaviors as harassing. • Perceptions more varied with respect to hostile-environment harassment.
POWER ASPECTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT • Sexual harassment also regarded as expression of power of one individual over another. • Harasser often has more power than the person harassed. • Customers and clients who harass a worker may be attempting to exert their power. (Customer is always right.)
FREQUENCY OF HARASSMENT • Scientific studies indicate 58% of women experienced potentially harassing behaviors. • Studies indicate that 24% of women have been harassed on the job. • Professional women experience more harassment from clients and customers than from company insiders.
INFLUENCE OF WORK SETTING ON HARASSMENT • Women in nontraditional jobs, such as welder, more likely to be harassed. • Women in male-dominated plants harassed more than in female-dominated community service centers. • Sexual harassment can take place in many settings, such as the many charges of harassment at the United Nations offices.
ADVERSE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT • Decreases in (a) satisfaction with coworkers, supervisor, work, overall satisfaction, (b) commitment to company, (c) productivity, (d) mental health, and (e) physical health. • Increases in job withdrawal, work withdrawal, and post traumatic stress disorder.
ENVIRONMENTAL HARASSMENT TO BE AVOIDED • Inappropriate remarks and sexual implications • Terms of endearment • Suggestive compliments • Physical touching • Work-related kissing, with cross-cultural exceptions
COMPANY ROLE IN DEALING WITH SEXUAL HARASSMENT • Create and disseminate policy about sexual harassment. • Have zero tolerance for harassment. • Open-door policy is helpful for receiving complaints about sexual harassment. • Training programs are useful, followed by periodic discussions. • Company should have complaint procedure for dealing with harassment.