Conflict Resolution in the Workplace. Course Sample

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1 Conflict Resolution in the Workplace Course Sample

2 Certificate in Conflict Resolution in the Workplace PROGRAMME Student Name:.. Company:... Tutor/mentor:.. Start Date:.....

3 CONTENTS Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Diffusing Difficult Situations in the Workplace Body Language Voice Calming Techniques Transactional Analysis Communication Equipment Personal Safety Planning Preventing and Managing Physical Assault in the Workplace Reporting and Recording Incidents Personal Protective Measures (clothing, barriers, personal alarms) Deffining Aggression Mediation in the Workplace Workplace Conflict Uniqueness The Mediation Session Practice Standards for Mediators Diversity, Equality, Discrimination and Harassment Bullying Staff Morale Legislation Affecting Personal Safety at Work Health and Safety Responsibilities Management of Health and Safety Regulations 3, 8 The Principles of Duty of Care Reasonable Force Offensive Weapons Protection from Harassment Act Human Rights Act Employment Rights Act

4 UNIT 1 DIFFUSING DIFFICULT SITUATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE Introduction Anger is a normal human emotion and most people are able to control their anger, and any subsequent aggressive behaviour, to some extent. However there may be a wide variety of different reasons why some people do on occasions, become aggressive or violent. The anger or aggression displayed could be the result of numerous factors, such factors could include, individuals emotions or feelings, unrealistic expectations not being met, alcohol or drugs, cultural differences, or possibly mental health issues to name but a few. We will generally have a choice of how we interact with the individual who is or is becoming aggressive, the way that we respond to a situation can be vitally important to our own personal safety. The importance of effective communication in identifying the cause of a difficult situation can not be over emphasised, it s importance in attempting to resolve the conflict is key. Communication Communication is the made up of the both the verbal message, the words we use and the non verbal message, which is made up of, our body language and the tonality of the words we use. The old expression it s not what you say, it s how you say it sums this up very well. In the following paragraphs we will now look at the process of communication and how that communication can be important in dealing with and managing conflict. Body Language (Non Verbal Communication or NVC) Surprising as it may seem, it is a commonly held belief that 93% of communication is non-verbal (body language) in as much that it is not what is spoken but how we actually appear, the positioning of the body, the eyes, mouth and facial expression are all very important factors when identifying an individual s mood or intentions. Language is concerned with the expression of thoughts, ideas and feelings and its function is to allow communication to take place. Therefore communication doesn t have to be in the form of words providing that we understand the message and grasp the meaning of what is being conveyed. On first meeting someone it takes on average 30 milliseconds to decide if they have a trustworthy face or not, this reaction is linked to the fight or flight response and the amygdala in the brain, commonly known as the fear centre. "Personal achievement in life is a function of the ability to communicate." On first meeting with others we form immediate impressions of them, these impressions count, we assess people and their intentions by what we first see. It must be remembered that others also consider their first impressions of us, our body language and dress can trigger violence in others. This can be demonstrated by the importance of the first meeting with someone who we do not know, the rule of tens is said to be

5 important, that is to say that we have, 10 Steps, 10 Seconds, and 10 words to make a good first impression, if we do not make a good impression it could take up to a further 21 meetings to turn around that initial poor first impression. Certain cultures also have rules about touching and whether it is seen as appropriate or not, for instance some will not shake hands as touching others is not accepted. Touch can trigger a range of messages and reactions such as love, affection, anger or sympathy. The amount of space that we have between ourselves and another is known as personal space; this is space is also known as proxemics, the proximity of one individual to another, how ever it is termed, this space is important to us. There are varying degrees of personal space: Intimate space zone - touching to 50 centimetres away Personal space zone - 50 centimetres to 4.2 metres Public space zone metres and beyond If we enter a zone without consent this can raise the conflict and may well result in aggression and violence. The old saying keep someone at arms length is often appropriate for people that we do not know, or know very well, as this is generally outside the 50 centimetre range as explained above. Another saying I wouldn t touch them with a barge pole further adds to this sentiment, in as much that people who we do not trust we prefer to have lots of space between us and them in order to have time to react to them should the need arise. The safe boundary that we each require in order to feel comfortable will differ for each of us, but the intimidation that we feel when someone breaches that zone without permission is very real. We will read another persons non verbal signals when deciding how close is close enough. It is important to be sympathetic to the reactions of others so as not to provoke a conflict. We can say a lot to others without using words, we have to ensure that our body language gets across the same message as our words so that the message is congruent. If there is a mismatch between the words used and the body language displayed, we will instinctively trust the body language that we see, often this is a subconscious process and we are not aware of the importance we place on the nonverbal messages we see and react to. We display body language via our facial expressions, posture and our gestures.

6 Examples of positive body language can include, a smile, appropriate eye contact, nodding your head in support of what is being said. Negative body language displays could include, standing with your arms crossed, standing too close to the other person, yawning or frowning or finger tapping. When asked to describe a smile we tend to concentrate on the mouth and describe those features, exposed teeth and the raising of the corners of the mouth. Describing the smile is difficult, however subconsciously we are able to recognise it instantly and differentiate between a genuine expression and a false expression. There six main types of facial expressions found in all cultures. Happiness (round eyes, smiles, raised cheeks) Disgust (wrinkled nose, lowered eyelids and eyebrow, raised upper lip) Fear (around eyes, open mouth) Anger (lower eyebrow and stares intensely) Surprise (raised eyebrow, wide open eyes, open mouth) Sadness (area around mouth and eyes)

7 Conflict often arises out of misunderstanding; being able to understand what is being asked of you is a key skill, you need to listen carefully to everything that others say and try to remember all the details. In light of what we have just covered in the previous paragraphs we must also consider the importance of the non verbal message when communicating with others and the impact that this can have in any communication we have with other people. Verbal Communication The way we communicate is very important in determining how others interact with us. If there is a breakdown in communication this can lead to frustration or anger and could ultimately lead to a difficult situation. We have already mentioned that non-verbal communication makes up 93% of the process and the remaining 7% is made up of the words we use. As discussed earlier there are different ways we can communicate, but there can be interference or blocks to the communication process which can create barriers to the communication flow as displayed in the model below. Basic Communication Model Transmitter or Sender Message Message Receiver Blocks such as: Stress Anger Alcohol Cultural Differences Confused State Language differences Stereotyping Blocks such as: Background Noise Weather Conditions Too Loud Too Quiet Non Verbal and Verbal Mismatch "Everybody can get angry, that's easy. But getting angry at the right person, with the right intensity, at the right time, for the right reason and in the right way, that's hard." (Aristotle)

8 Certificate in Conflict Resolution In the Workplace Activities and Self-Assessment Workbook Student Name:... Company:... Tutor/mentor:... Start Date:...

9 ACTIVITIES & SELF-ASSESSMENT EXERCISES The purpose of the following exercises is to enable you to identify what you have learned from reading your programme. Try to answer each question thoroughly and only include relevant information in the answers. Write your answers neatly in your workbook. If you have any difficulty finding answers to any of the questions, you must always ask for support. If you require additional space to write down your answers, add loose pages to the workbook, making sure that they are securely attached and cannot get lost. When you have completed each unit, detach the relevant sheets, staple them together and submit them to your tutor by the method agreed. Please remember to insert your name on each sheet of paper. Use the grid below (using a tick) to record the fact that you have submitted work to the tutor and that you have received it back with feedback. Unit Sent to Tutor Received Back Copyright NCC Asset Management and NCC Resources Ltd 2013 Product Code: NCCCW006 The author, publisher and distributor of this book have made every effort to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the content of this publication. In all instances you should take advice in relation to any local policies or procedures prior to making any decisions or taking any actions relating to the subject matter contained herein. No warranty is given or implied with respect to its content. Consequently in no event will the author, publisher or distributor be liable for direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use of the information contained in this book. V issue April 2013 Published by NCC Resources Ltd, Alexandra Business Park, Prescot Road, St Helens WA10 3TT Tel Fax

10 Unit One: Diffusing Difficult Situations in the Workplace Activity 1 Provide three examples in your own words of different uses of body language and when you may use to best affect. An example maybe smiling or shaking hands when first meeting someone. Activity 2 Certain cultures have specific rules about touching, research and provide three examples of different cultures and their customs

11 Activity 3 Detail as many aspects of negative body language that you can identify Activity 4 Think back to a situation where you were involved in a misunderstanding or conflict situation. What skills did you use to either resolve the misunderstanding or extradite yourself from the conflict? Activity 5 Tommy works in a Call Centre and deals with negative and aggressive customers occasionally. Explain how Tommy should deal with these callers to ensure that they are dealt with professionally. NB. Putting the phone down is not an option!

12 Activity 6 Think about the most frequent reasons people phone your workplace and write down five most common questions you have to ask to answer their questions or establish their requirements. If you are not in a work situation, reverse the question and consider how you are dealt with when contacting a supplier. What are their immediate questions to satisfy your needs? Activity 7 From the Control Trilogy, the Reaching Stage happens when you believe that the aggressor has calmed sufficiently. List communication skills involved with the reaching stage. Activity 8 Explain and summarise your understanding of Transactional Analysis.

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