Managing Conflict. Building Blocks for Supervisors Series February, 2015

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1 Managing Conflict Building Blocks for Supervisors Series February, 2015

2 What is Conflict? A fight, battle or struggle Controversy; disagreement; quarrel Incompatibility or interference

3 Conflict Myths & Truths Conflict in the workplace leads to a dysfunctional team Conflict can actually bring about creative ideas, helping team members work together more effectively to reach goals and objectives

4 Conflict Myths & Truths Conflict represents a breakdown in communication While a breakdown in communication may drive a conflict, it also presents an opportunity for increased open, honest communication

5 Conflict Myths & Truths A good team does not have conflicts All teams experience conflict, but effective teams work through conflict, using it to develop better interpersonal skills and strengthen the team

6 Conflict Myths & Truths Nice people don t engage in conflict Everyone experiences conflict. Treating people considerately and respectfully is what is important

7 Conflict Myths & Truths If you ignore it, conflict will go away Sometimes minor issues resolve themselves, but more often than not, conflict that has been ignored grows into something more serious

8 Conflict Myths & Truths Conflict = Fight In a fight, someone wins and someone loses. Conflict that is managed effectively will often result in a win/win solution

9 Conflict Myths & Truths All conflicts can be resolved There are times when people simply cannot reach agreement-there is no perfect solution. When differences cannot be resolved, they should at least be managed

10 Causes & Effects of Conflict

11 Effects of Conflict Positive/Constructive Conflict Has been managed effectively Creates a safe environment to address issues and share opinions Creates understanding of self and others Strengthens relationships and builds trust among team members Fosters open, honest communication Improves problem-solving and decision-making skills Negative/Destructive Conflict Has not been managed effectively Creates a chaotic environment where people feel out of control Deepens differences, polarizes people and groups Leads to distrust, suspicion and gossip among team members Discourages and prevents open, honest communication Leads to low morale and decreased productivity

12 Effective Supervisors: Create an environment that encourages open and honest communication Employees develop a better understanding of needs and interests of others More likely to resolve their differences and find solutions

13 Causes of Conflict Different needs and goals Different values, beliefs and styles Poor communication Lack of role clarity/unclear or unreasonable expectations Performance problems Organization or work environment changes

14 Preventing Conflict

15 Inspire Your Employees Faith in You Increase confidence Competence in job, decision-making and problem-solving Deal with performance problems promptly Inspire trust and respect Treat employees fairly and with respect Share information appropriately Be consistent

16 Value and Respect Diversity Treat all employees with respect and dignity Make judgments based on equity and merit Ensure that unfair barriers do not inhibit employees Provide an environment free from discrimination and harassment

17 Maintain Open Lines of Communication Make yourself accessible and approachable Share information appropriately Listen to and encourage communication from employees

18 Foster a Team Environment Cooperation, not competition Ensure understanding of goals and objectives and how each contributes Encourage open communication and teach positive communication skills Celebrate your successes!

19 Hire Carefully and Address Performance Problems Ensure that new employees are a good match for the job Ensure job responsibilities are clear Follow a system of coaching and counseling to address problems

20 Establish Clear Roles and Expectations Ensure job responsibilities are clear Distribute workloads equitably Ensure goals and performance expectations are at a high, but attainable level

21 Conflict Management Styles

22 Five Conflict Management Styles Accommodating Competing Avoiding Cooperating Collaborating

23 Conflict Management Styles FOCUS ON TASK OR OWN AGENDA (Level of Assertiveness) Directing Collaborating Compromising Avoiding Accommodating FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIP OR OTHERS AGENDA (Level of Cooperation)

24 Conflict Management Styles FOCUS ON TASK OR OWN AGENDA (Level of Assertiveness) Directing Collaborating Compromising Avoiding Accommodating FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIP OR OTHERS AGENDA (Level of Cooperation)

25 Conflict Management Styles FOCUS ON TASK OR OWN AGENDA (Level of Assertiveness) Directing Collaborating Compromising Avoiding Accommodating FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIP OR OTHERS AGENDA (Level of Cooperation)

26 Conflict Management Styles FOCUS ON TASK OR OWN AGENDA (Level of Assertiveness) Directing Collaborating Compromising Avoiding Accommodating FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIP OR OTHERS AGENDA (Level of Cooperation)

27 Conflict Management Styles FOCUS ON TASK OR OWN AGENDA (Level of Assertiveness) Directing Collaborating Compromising Avoiding Accommodating FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIP OR OTHERS AGENDA (Level of Cooperation)

28 Conflict Management Styles FOCUS ON TASK OR OWN AGENDA (Level of Assertiveness) Directing Collaborating Compromising Avoiding Accommodating FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIP OR OTHERS AGENDA (Level of Cooperation)

29 Conflict Resolution

30 Responses to Conflict Unhealthy Responses Healthy Responses Inability to recognize needs/wants of other person Explosive, angry, hurtful and resentful reactions Holding grudges The expectation of bad outcomes Capacity to recognize and respond to needs/wants of other person Calm, non-defensive and respectful reactions A willingness to move past the conflict A belief that facing conflict directly is best for both sides

31 Resolving Conflict with Employees Deal with conflict immediately Meet with employee privately Listen actively Control your emotions Paraphrase to check your understanding

32 Resolving Conflict with Employees Share your perspective, but do not try to prove the employee wrong Create and evaluate realistic options for addressing the interests of both parties Work together to select one option Follow up with the employee

33 Types of Conflict Substantive or personal Severity Minor disagreement Major dispute Low level of dissatisfaction Arguments, loss of productivity

34 Approaches to Employee Conflicts Approach When to use How to Implement

35 Approaches to Employee Conflicts Approach When to use How to Implement Take no immediate action Employees are working to resolve the issue Demonstrated skills in CR Stay aware Express confidence in their ability

36 Approaches to Employee Conflicts Approach When to use How to Implement Take no immediate action Coach employees Employees are working to resolve the issue Demonstrated skills in CR One or both employees seek guidance Some difficulty but do not need intervention Stay aware Express confidence in their ability Ask questions Problems, not people Possible approaches Role-playing

37 Approaches to Employee Conflicts Approach When to use How to Implement Take no immediate action Coach employees Facilitate conflict resolution Employees are working to resolve the issue Demonstrated skills in CR One or both employees seek guidance Some difficulty but do not need intervention Conflict escalates and employees cannot resolve Stay aware Express confidence in their ability Ask questions Problems, not people Possible approaches Role-playing Schedule meeting with both employees Facilitate discussion

38 Approaches to Employee Conflicts Approach When to use How to Implement Take no immediate action Coach employees Facilitate conflict resolution Employees are working to resolve the issue Demonstrated skills in CR One or both employees seek guidance Some difficulty but do not need intervention Conflict escalates and employees cannot resolve Take control Conflict is serious enough to seriously affect morale or productivity, create unsafe working conditions Stay aware Express confidence in their ability Ask questions Problems, not people Possible approaches Role-playing Schedule meeting with both employees Facilitate discussion Take charge and decide how to resolve problem

39 Facilitating Conflict Resolution

40 Positions and Interests

41 Positions and Interests Position One person s solution to the problem What they demand What they want to have happen

42 Positions and Interests Position Interest One person s solution to the problem What they demand What they want to have happen The person s underlying need(s) Why they demand that particular solution What they get out of it

43 Interest-Based Problem Solving Based on common interests: Success of the organization/team Communication Professional competence Meeting customer needs Ethical treatment Recognition of our diversity

44 Advantages Parties will be more likely to feel the process is fair Parties more committed to the agreements WIN/WIN More likely to create a greater understanding of and respect for each other Easier to resolve future conflicts Maintains or improves the relationship

45 Schedule a Meeting Location that is private and neutral Sufficient time/convenient for both parties Physically arrange room in circle or triangle

46 Set and Enforce Ground Rules Confidentiality Listen actively and without arguing Be honest and open No personal attacks Maintain emotional control Everyone participates

47 Facilitate Discussion Bring out both viewpoints Allow them to decide who goes first Ask open-ended questions Paraphrase and summarize Allow them to ask questions Deal with emotions Have employees use I statements Remind them of ground rules

48 Get Agreement that there is a Problem Respect people, attack problems Raise the issue: Define the problem Determine underlying interests (needs and wants) Determine the facts

49 Create an Action Plan Brainstorm possible solutions Ask employees to evaluate the potential solutions Look for win/win solutions, not win/lose or lose/lose Focus on common goals

50 Optimal WIN/WIN Solution Squares with the facts Honors the interests of all affected parties Is better than the BATNAs of each party

51 Ending the Meeting Get commitment from all parties Follow up

52 The Four Agreements Be impeccable with your word Don t take anything personally Don t make assumptions Always do your best

53 Coming next month! Motivating & Goal Setting

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