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Dont be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, Not with, the wind.
~Hamilton Mabie

Why Conflict is Important

Keeps the organization vibrant Status quo is insufficient Can react to change Keeps group thinking for itself Produces better solutions Win-win solution Guide team instead of micromanage Increases the organizations ROI

Conflict Resolution Process

Guiding principles: Must be constructive and with a plan to avoid getting pulled into an argument Combined effort of people from differing experiences produces better results Must be open to others differences and opinions

Set the Scene


Acknowledge the conflict

If needed, take a moment to restore emotional levels, then regroup

Gather Information
Active listening to others view Restate Paraphrase Summarize Identify issues clearly and concisely
Use I statements Remain Flexible

Clarify feelings

Find a common perception of the problem
Understand the others point of view Why they feel the way they do Needs, goals, interests can affect perception

Brainstorm solutions
As a group
Generate fair input Be open to all ideas Consider things you hadnt thought of before Wait to discuss ideas until brainstorming is done to

encourage participation

Negotiate a Solution
Mutual solution may already be clear
If solution has not surfaced, seek resolution with a

win-win negotiation situation = what can we do so all parties walk away happy?

So What About Conflict?

Natural occurrence Types include topical, personal, and relational Can provide healthy insight into the different aspects

of a situation May be a vehicle for continual improvement

Positive Conflict
Helps people understand what others feel is

important to them Clarifies and defines issues and values Aids a team in knowing what is really important and builds a sense of mutual respect Confrontation can lead to better ideas Can be the start of defining adjusted or new roles and goals which are more satisfactory to everyone

Negative Conflict
Interrupts normal relations between individuals

and teams Provokes hurt Causes loss of self-respect, or respect for others Takes time and energy of everyone involved Causes confusion, insecurity, hostility, distrust, alienation Causes stress

Perception: What Do You See?

Artist: W.E. Hill

Conflict Handling Style:

What Happens: Negotiation with give and take of each party Solution is somewhere in the middle Appropriate to Use When: Individuals are committed to the process Willing to give enough to make solution work Confidence that a solution can be reached Inappropriate to Use When: Individuals not willing to give in a little Original positions are too far from the middle Parties dont believe in negotiating

Conflict Handling Style: Denial/Avoiding

What Happens:

Nothing is said; no effort to talk Unsure of what to do Fearful of what might happen No commitment to improve the relationship

Appropriate to Use When:

Issue is not very important Emotions too strong or timing not right Need to gather more information
Issue is really important Not resolving will escalate and make it worse, or more difficult to resolve later on

Inappropriate to Use When:

Conflict Handling Style: Accommodating

What Happens: Suppress or smooth over conflict Downplays differences Emotions are controlled Goals are unclear Appropriate to Use When: Issue is not very important Timing is not right Relationship is more important, as long as both parties take turns Inappropriate to Use When: Issue is important Others are willing to work towards resolution Minimizing problem will escalate the issue

Conflict Handling Style: Power/Competing

What Happens: Relies on authority that comes from ones position Appropriate to Use When: Individuals unable to settle themselves Speed is of the essence Inappropriate to Use When: When those in conflict have no opportunity to express their needs or fulfill their self-interest Parties may not be committed to act on a dictated solution

Conflict Handling Style: Negotiation/ Collaborating

What Happens:

Reach consensus Usually a creative solution that makes everyone happy Emphasis is on finding solution to the problem by talking at length until one is found that each person can accept

Appropriate to Use When:

Everyone committed to process Know and follow guidelines and time to devote Healthy desire to work together Inappropriate to Use When: No commitment or training in the process Not enough time to see process through Highly competitive people would have a difficult time to use this method

Feedback Model
CARE Feedback Clearly describe behavior Address reactions to behavior Realistic expectations shared Expected result identified

Example Using CARE Model:

Let someone know how helpful theyve been meeting a difficult deadline.
Clearly describe behavior

Sonam, Im very grateful for the extra time you put in last week to finish coding the statements for our project. Address reactions to the behavior You not only saved everyone time and prevented confusion, your methodical approach is also easy for everyone to grasp Realistic expectations shared I know I can count on you in the future. Expected results Ill keep my eyes open for other opportunities for you to shine!

Example Using CARE Model:

Let Ashish know he missed an opportunity to win over an upset customer.
Clearly describe behavior

Ashish, Id like to share a way you can handle an angry customer by paraphrasing what he said right at the beginning of the call. Address reactions to the behavior This will let your customer know youve heard his concern and care about him Realistic expectations shared You could say something like, Mr. Jones, I can appreciate how upset you are about xxx not arriving on time. Expected results Ill e-mail you several words to use when paraphrasing. Try them during your calls today, and Ill check back with you tomorrow to see how its going.

Practice Example: Worksheet

Use the CARE Model to let someone know they used the wrong screens in the system, and gave out inaccurate info.

Clearly describe behavior

Address reactions to the behavior

Realistic expectations shared Expected results

Practice: Possible Answer

Clearly describe behavior

I just observed your last call and Id like to give you the correct process to follow for shipping xyz product. Address reactions to the behavior Youve put the customer address in the wrong screen, so shipping will not have the correct information, and the customer will be upset when they dont receive xyz. Realistic expectations shared Let me show you now the process and well correct the information from your last call, and show you in the knowledge base where to check the process the next time. Expected results Please print out the process from the knowledge base, and go through your other records to be sure youve put in the information correctly. Gretchen on your team can help you immediately if you run into any problems.

Guidelines for Managing Conflict

Separate Individuals from Position Taken

The point being made here is. Focus on Interest, Not Position So what you really would like to see happen is Create Options for Mutual Gain What if you did x and I did y,. That would work for me. Would it work for you, too? Agree When There is a Win So, then, we are all comfortable with the solution, right?

Self-Mediation Technique

Find a Time to Talk Plan the Context Talk it Out Make a Deal

Find a Time to Talk

When can we
Jo, do you have a minute

to talk about our earlier meet to discuss our conversation about the work opinions? I did for the team? Im Identify specifically uncomfortable with not understanding what you what you want to found unacceptable. Are talk about you willing to meet to talk Respectfully about this so we can reach request time an agreement for future work?

Plan the Context

Open with an expression

of appreciation and optimism Agree on cardinal rules No interruptions Agree on stop time No power or force for one sided solution State issue

I appreciate your willingness to meet with me to talk this out. Im hopeful well have a solution that will benefit both of us. Please tell me how you see the work I did wasnt complete.

Talk It Out
Restate to clarify what you

heard from the other person Ask Questions to Clarify Non-judgmental tone Check in for accuracy?

What I hear you say is that youre concerned I didnt include opinions of our part time staff in the survey. Is that correct?

Make a Deal
Possible Alternatives

Okay, so Ill repeat the What you will do survey for the part time staff. You will get me a list of their names, including third shift, by tomorrow. Ill share the results at our next results meeting on the 25th.
What I will do

Expressing Feelings and Listening

Express Feelings with I

Messages: I feel I am upset by I do not like it when Express What You Want I want you to I wish you would Express Appreciation of I appreciate your position I imagine you feel

Express What Heard Before

Respond I understand. I heard you say Express what will do.. I can I will
I plan to.