Conflict • Conflict: A condition that exists anytime two or more people disagree. • Interpersonal conflict is unavoidable, but we can learn to manage it.
Conflict • Conflict is a natural phenomenon, neither inherently good or bad, but there may be positive or negative outcomes.
B. Examples of Conflict Give some examples of conflict situations in: • WORK ENVIRONMENT –: • Superior & Subordinate relationships? • Subordinate & Superior relationships? • Peer groups in work environment? • JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION • Where they agree? • Where they do not agree? • How do you resolve issues? • DOMESTIC SITUATIONS • RELATIONSHIPS
Sources of Conflict • Conflict exists whenever incompatible activities occur. • Conflicts may originate from a number of different sources, including: • Differences in information, beliefs, values, interests, or desires. • A scarcity of some resource. • Rivalries in which one person or group competes with another.
Undesirability of Conflict • Conflicts are often hard to keep under control once they have begun. • There is a definite trend toward escalation and polarization. • Once conflict escalates to a point at which it is no longer under control, it almost always yields negative results.
Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace Causes of Conflict • Misunderstanding • Personality clashes • Competition for resources • Authority issues • Lack of cooperation • Differences over methods or style • Low performance • Value or goal differences
C. Interpretations Conflict is… • perceived differently by different people • often perceived as bad • “eliminate conflict in the workplace” • “eliminate conflict from your daily life”
Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace The Value of Conflict Conflict is destructive when it: • Diverts energy from more important issues and tasks. • Deepens differences in values. • Polarizes groups so that cooperation is reduced. • Destroys the morale of people or reinforces poor self-concepts.
Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace The Value of Conflict Conflict is constructive when it: • Opens up issues of importance, resulting in issue clarification. • Helps build cohesiveness as people learn more about each other. • Causes reassessment by allowing for examination of procedures or actions. • Increases individual involvement.
Functional and Dysfunctional • Functional; works FOR the organization • Dysfunctional” harms the organization • Curvilinear relationship with performance • Too little • Too much
Negative Consequences • Wastes time • Wastes energy • Retaliation and sabotage
Anger Disagreement Hostility Threat Anxiety Competition Tension Violence Destruction Pain War Conflict Resolution General perceptions of conflict as “negative:”
Clarifying Learning Stimulating Intimate Courageous Strengthening Creative Helpful Enriching Caring Opportunity Inclusive Conflict Resolution Potential Productive Outcomes of Conflict:
Conflict Resolution • Managing conflict in a dysfunctional way is a learned behaviour and can be changed.
Conflict Resolution • How do/did we learn our own styles of conflict management? • Role Models? • Family role models • Celebrity role models • Teachers/mentors/coaches • Media examples/role models
Personal Styles of Dealing with Conflict • Turtle (Avoidance) • Teddy Bear (Accommodation) • Shark (Domination) • Fox (Compromise) • Owl (Integration)
Conflict Resolution • It’s likely that a person employs more than one style, depending on the situation, but usually one style dominates. • Certain styles may be appropriate for certain situations.
Conflict Resolution • Managing conflict constructively depends in large measure on clear, open, and honest communication
Roadblocks To Resolving Conflict • Clashing Egos - Styles Of Conflicts • Name calling • Sarcasm/Ridicule • Insulting • Threatening • Blaming • Inflexibility • Defensive body posturing/language
Constructive Criticism • If you do it, yes, follow some good rules: private, timely, descriptive, etc. • It’s rare that there is a work related problem that can be unilaterally corrected by one person
Constructive Criticism • Performance & Motivational problems are often systemic, related to the organization’s management systems, leadership & communication practices. • Thus, feedback most often should be two way.
Conflict Styles • Accommodate: Yield, go along with the other person’s way of behaving. Your needs are still not met. • Avoid: Both parties continue to do things their own way and don’t discuss the problem • Leave: End the relationship • Vent: Discuss with friends but do nothing about the problem directly with the person or persons involved with you.
Conflict Styles • Demand Change: Attempt to change the other person by insisting that he or she change his/her attitudes/behaviour. 6.Request Change: Attempt to change the other person by asserting your needs and requesting the other person to change to accommodate your needs.
Conflict Styles • Negotiate Change: Attempt to create change through negotiations in which you explore your mutual needs and attempt to find a mutually satisfying solution or at least one that is a better compromise than the present situation. • Self-Change: Change your own attitudes or behaviour to ensure that your needs met. This means that the other person is not asked to change anything about his/her attitudes/behaviour.
History Lessons Honeymoon Question: Where is the conflict? Pinch Point? Or Crunch Point? Pinch Point Crunch Point
History Lessons • Pinch point problems • are easier to attend to when they occur • People avoid confronting pinch points for various reasons • Crunch point problems • are multiple & complex • are more difficult to work out • are often emotionally loaded • are often sparked by verbal fighting • Parties have to decide • which problems they will work on • in what order
History Lessons • Each unresolved problem gets added a museum list of grievances created. • Differences become expressed as “You always …” “You never …” • As issues are added, the potential for relationship-destructive outcomes becomes greater
History Questions • How do you stop yourself from catching problems at the ‘pinch point’? • In your present relationships, how many pinches have you been saving up? • Do you have a small or large Grievance Museum?
History Questions • Do you ever ‘explode?’ If so, how well does it work? • When someone explodes at you, what’s your reaction?
Inferences & Conflict • Inference = assumption made about the other person’s attitudes or intentions
Inferences & Conflict EVENT: Something happens that doesn’t meet my needs CONFLICT STYLE: Demand Request Negotiate Etc. RESOLUTION OR NOT
Inferences & Conflict EVENT: Something happens that doesn’t meet my needs INFERENCE: I make inferences about the other person CONFLICT STYLE: Demand Request Negotiate Etc. RESOLUTION OR NOT
Inferences • Might be right or wrong • You can infer positive or negative intent/motives • + Bill’s late because he’s got a job and family and he did his best to be prepared for the meeting. • - Bill’s late because he doesn’t really like being assigned team work and he doesn’t mind letting people down.
What’s the Issue? • The issue might be: • Bill being late • Bill not preparing his part of the case • Bill not caring about the people in the team • If the inference is wrong, the the conflict issue has gone from a simple behaviour [lateness] to a larger ethical/moral issue. • It’s easier to resolve a lateness behaviour than a ‘not caring’ attitude.
Handling Conflict • Concern for own goals • Concern for goals of others • Concern for relationship
Conflict Management • Analysis • Determine ALL sources of conflict • Determine best strategy to use • Dictation • Arbitration • Mediation • Negotiation
Managing Workplace ConflictCommunication Reminders • Use “I” rather than “you” • Focus on behaviours, not personality • Give clear and specific examples • Explain impact of inappropriate behaviours on others • Avoiding `fighting words’
Managing Your Anger • Can be energizing, motivating • SLOW DOWN, take time • Think about the other person’s perspective • Think about consequences • Ask for feedback
Assertiveness • A way to decrease the likelihood/intensity of hot conflict • A way to cope better when there is conflict. Assertive: expressing your opinions and desires DIPLOMATICALLY
Who gains with assertiveness? • The non-assertive person. • The people around the non-assertive person.
Becoming More Assertive • If shyness is a problem, practice low-key social/business contacts. • Practice being decisive (start small!) and saying NO. • Talk about problems BEFORE you are furious or resentful. • Try to deal with one problem at a time.
Assertiveness Scripts • Clarify issue • State your position (including emotion if appropriate) • State your goal (including flexibility) • State desired or feared consequences. • Keep on track.
Assertiveness Techniques • Explain but do not justify. • Don’t make empty promises or threats.
Managing Other People’s Anger • Encourage confrontation • Contain • Connect • Open-ended questions • When necessary, allow people to ‘climb Mount Anger’