Establish Effective Workplace
Relationships
BSBWOR401A
Faculty of
Business &
Computing
Prepared and presented by Hunter Institute
1
Learning Outcomes
 Collect, analyse and communicate
information and ideas
 Develop trust and confidence
 Develop and maintain networks and
relationships
 Manage difficulties to achieve positive
outcomes
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Computing
2
Effective Workplace Relationships
“People want to know that they are
important to an organisation and that
their work is important to the work of
the organisation.
Good managers do this.”
Bill Cossey
(Chief Executive State Courts)
Adelaide 2004
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Activity
 Describe a workplace
that has achieved
effective workplace
relationships.
– What does it look like?
– How are people behaving?
– What support systems
exist to support effective
workplace relationships?
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COLLECT, ANALYSE AND
COMMUNICATE INFORMATION
AND IDEAS
In this section we will discuss:
– The need for information sharing.
Tools you will take away from this session include:
– Basic communication tools that will enable you to
• communicate ideas and information that are
appropriate to your audience
• ensure communication takes into account social
and cultural diversity
• seek input from internal and external sources to
develop and refine new ideas and approaches.
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WORKPLACE INFORMATION
Information is:
• A message received and
understood, that reduces
uncertainty
• A collection of facts (data) from
which a conclusion may be
drawn
• Knowledge acquired through
study, experience or instruction
Workplace
information
may be
sourced
internally
and/or
externally
To fulfill your work duties you will need:
• Specific information – related directly to your role, tasks,
the organisation’s goals and vision
• Generic information – related to organisational operations
within the world environment.
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USEABLE INFORMATION
Information is useful when it is:
 valid
 reliable
 accurate
 consistent
 sufficient
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 verifiable
 timely
 communicated in
ways that make it
understandable to
the user
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COMMUNICATION
Frontline managers provide the
communication link between workers and
upper management.
You will be required, on a daily basis, to
communicate effectively with managers,
workers, suppliers, customers (internal and
external) and other stakeholders.
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FOR INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION
What are the skills required for effective
communication?
Effective communication occurs only when a
message is sent and understood as it was
intended.
What does this mean to you?
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FOR INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION
Why is spoken
language a poor
medium for
communication?
What do body and
paralanguage tell you
that words do not?
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ASSERTIVENESS
Effective communication is based on
assertion
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COMMUNICATION AND DIVERSITY
 Diversity - the quality of being different and
unique at an individual or group level.
 Valuing diversity - appreciating and
respecting the worth and contribution of
human differences.
 Managing diversity - creating and sustaining
an open, supportive, responsive
organisation in which differences are
combined and encouraged so that everyone
can reach their potential.
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DIVERSITY
 Fuels creative energy and insight
 Is essential to the growth of individuals
and organisations
 Sparks alternative viewpoints and ideas
 Enables organisations to develop broad
perspectives, pre-empt change and
approach problems creatively.
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FOR INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION
 Do you know what your organisation’s anti-
discrimination, equal employment opportunity,
affirmative action polices are?
 Do you understand their meaning in terms of your
workplace behaviours and those of others?
 Are they evidenced by the ways in which your
organisation recruits, selects, trains and promotes
staff, and in its operation in the wider community?
 What can be done to improve acceptance and
understanding of diversity in your workplace?
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INFORMATION SYSTEMS
An information system is a collection of
hardware, software, people, procedures
and data.
The system must provide appropriate,
accurate and understandable facts, figures
and general information to the people who
need to know.
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Good quality information
+
honest, open communication
=
high productivity.
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7 Main Elements of
Communication
 Sender
 Channel
 Message
 Context or
 Receiver
setting
 Interference or
noise
 Feedback
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A Process Model of Communication
CHANNEL
Verbal, Visual, Non Verbal
Eg: Television, telephone, computer
SENDER
RECEIVER
Self Concept
Family
Culture
Self Concept
Message
INTERFERENCE
Skills
Feelings
Values
Culture
Skills
Feedback
Attitudes
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Family
CONTEXT
Environment, status,
time
Feelings
Attitudes
Values
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Appropriate Method and Pattern of
Communication
 Analyse your audience
 Decide your purpose
 Identify the subject
 Consider the context
 List/think about all issues/topics to be
included
 Decide sequence or strategy to deliver
message
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Workplace Diversity:
Individual Differences
 Perceptions
 Education and Skills
 Motivation
 Preferences
 Gender
 Socio-cultural
 Self-esteem
 Career Goals
 Life Stage
 Expectations
 Values and
 Position roles
Attitudes
 Locus of Control
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Workplace Diversity:
The Legal Framework
Remember there is State and Federal Legislation
prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the
grounds of:
• Race and Nationality
• Transgender
• Gender
• Religion
• Age
• Partners characteristics
• Sexual preference
• Pregnancy
• Disability
• Family responsibility
• Marital status
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Opportunity based on MERIT
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Managing Workplace Diversity
‘Managing diversity’ looks at the diverse
needs and capabilities of employees
and how this can be best managed.
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Diversity:
 must be valued
 requires a cultural change
 challenges individuals to change core
values and behaviours
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For Change to Occur
 A strategy and process must be
implemented
 The strategy must be supported by all
staff
What are you going to do to change
the culture of your team?
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Workplace Diversity
 Do you understand your own
perceptions and biases?
 How do you recognise prejudice in the
workplace?
Activity
 Convert subjective experiences into
objective statements
 Identify your cultural biases
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Understanding Persuasion and
Influence
 Activity:
– Complete self assessment
– Discuss your answers with your group
– Prepare to discuss with the whole group
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Understanding Persuasion and Influence
 Self assessment statements are
‘myths’ about persuasion (Although some
contain a grain of truth, they are risky guides for
communication)
 Total Score 45-35 (Successful
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communicator)
 Total Score 34 - 28 (Scope for better
choices as a communicator)
 Total Score 27 – 7 (Scope to rethink
some of your basic assumptions. The
rewards will be more than worth the
work!
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Develop Trust and Confidence
 TRUST – can be defined as confidence, the
absence of suspicion, confirmed by our
track record and our ability to correct.
(Learning Centre 1996)
 People with a great deal of CONFIDENCE
feel good about themselves and think that
they are able to accomplish most tasks that
confront them.
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Develop Trust and Confidence
 Treat people with integrity, respect and
empathy
 Develop and maintain positive
relationships
 Gain and maintain trust and confidence
 Adjust interpersonal styles to the social
and cultural environment
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Workplace Trust in Decline
According to survey findings
 The level of trust was best between front-
line employees and their immediate
supervisors.
 The level of trust was worst between front-
line employees and top level executives.
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Develop Trust and Confidence
……….……Self Discloses……………
……….……Seeks Feedback……………
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Open Arena
Blind Spot
Hidden
Unknown
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JOHARI Window
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Open Arena
Blind Spot
Hidden
Unknown
Known to Self
Not Known to
Self
Known to Others
Not Known to
Self
Not Known
to others
Known to Others
Known to Self
Not Known
to others
……….……Self Discloses……………
……….……Seeks Feedback……………
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Developing Effective Relationships
part 1
 Support each other
 Learn from each other
 Engage in meaningful interaction
 Acknowledge difficulties
 Provide accurate information
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Developing Effective Relationships
part 2
 Clarify expectations, priorities
 Initiate continuous improvement
 Communicate/celebrate success
 Work across teams - job rotation
 Communicate openly, honestly and
consistently
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Treat People with Integrity, Respect
and Empathy …part 1
 Be sensitive to the needs of others
 Communicate openly and honestly
 Be reliable
 Be loyal to the organisation and workers
 Be self motivated
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Treat People with Integrity, Respect
and Empathy….part 2
 Be collaborative
 Treat people equitably
 Be concerned about people’s welfare
 Consult with employees
 Appreciate individual differences
 Plan tasks well
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Good Governance and Risk
Management
 EEO Policy
 Anti Harassment Policy
 Affirmative Action Policy
 Code of Conduct
 Grievance handling procedures
What other strategies can you use to manage
standards of workplace behaviour?
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Actions a Leader can Take to Gain
and Maintain Trust and Confidence
 Solve problems
 Share credit
 Air concerns with relevant people
 Hold informal talks
 Be direct in communication
 Be timely and admit mistakes
 Engage in honest and tactful communication
 Schedule regular meetings for input and
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feedback
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A Culture of Trust …part 1
 People enjoy coming to
work
 Staff freely share ideas
 Conflict is resolved
constructively
 Managers never use
their position as a threat
 There are no rewards
for being “Yes” people
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A Culture of Trust…part 2
 Staff feel valued and appreciated
 Managers are not threatened by devolved
authority
 Mistakes are handled with support
 Staff and managers respect and speak highly
of each other
 Most people willingly take on extra work
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Building Customer Confidence
and Trust
 Provide quality work
 Make customers feel comfortable
 Foster partnerships
 Be honest
 Build long–term relationships
 Under promise, over deliver
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Networks and Relationships
 Activity
– What are the benefits
of networking to your
team/organisation
– What are the benefits
to you personally?
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Networks and Relationships
 Benefits to your team/ organisation
– Source of information about developments in
the industry, marketplace and wider community
– Opportunities to do business with a broader
circle of customers
– Provides opportunity to tap into ideas about new
services and ways of doing things
– Grants access to industry expertise
– Provides support and assistance on issues your
team is grappling with
– Presents opportunities for beneficial
partnerships and supply arrangements
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Networks and Relationships
 Benefits to you personally
– Introduces you to a wide range of people with
different skills, knowledge and links to further
contacts
– Extends your circle of business and personal
acquaintances
– Provides you with sources of information and a
forum for sharing ideas
– Gives you access to advice on a wide range of
subjects
– Reveals new career opportunities
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Networks and Relationships
 An approach to networking
– Be aware of benefits
– Work to develop areas of personal expertise
– Analyse your current network of contacts
– Establish your own networking goals
– Get out there, promote yourself and make contact
– Sell networking to others
– Make sure networking benefits all parties
– Be an advocate for others
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Networks and Relationships
 Activity
– Describe how your organisation uses networks
to its advantage.
AND/OR
– Describe how your organisation could benefit
from establishing and maintaining a network
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Week 4 –
What have we covered so far?
 Week 1 – Collect, analyse and
communicate information and ideas
 Week 2 – Develop trust and confidence
 Week 3 – Develop and maintain
networks and relationships
 . . . Where to from here? . . .
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 Week 4 Topic -
Manage Difficulties to
Achieve Positive Outcomes
 Week 5 – Final Assessment –
 In-class case study
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Manage Difficulties to
Achieve Positive Outcomes
 Prevent workplace problems
 Understand workplace behaviour
 Support, coach and guide others
 Resolve work difficulties
 Manage poor performance
 Manage team conflict
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 Negotiate difficult situations
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Prevent Workplace Problems
Problems may be about:
 People
 Processes
 Technology
 Materials
They may be
 Routine
 Unique
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Minimising Work Disruption
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An Approach to Preventing
Workplace Problems
 Anticipate problems as part of the planning
process
 Develop suitable performance standards
 Design applicable “work practice standards”
 Implement effective feedback processes
 Make people responsible
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An Approach to Preventing
Workplace Problems
 Give those responsible appropriate
information
 Encourage feedback from customers and
suppliers
 Encourage creativity and continuous
improvement
 Develop a mindset among all staff “there is
always a better way”
 Role model and encourage a positive attitude
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Attitude, Attitude, Attitude!
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Understand Workplace Behaviour
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Understanding Workplace Behaviour
Transactional Analysis: Berne 1910-1976
Transactional Analysis (TA) is a method of
analysing behaviour patterns in interpersonal
communication
TA is based on the premise that each
individual has many ego states, which can
be simplified into three main categories.
People operate from one of three
recognisable ego states.
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Transactional Analysis
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Ego State
Concept
Behaviour
Parent
Taught/Learnt
Adult
Thought
Aggressive,
Bossy
Protective
Nurturing
Rational,
assertive, open,
analytical
Child
Felt/Emotional
Reactive,
adaptive, angry
spoilt
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Transactional Analysis
Use the PAC model to change the way you
react to these types of communications.
REMEMBER:
Sometimes the best way to change
other peoples behaviour is to
change your own.
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Transactional Analysis
Reflection Activity
What ego state do you use:

At work?

At home?

With friends?
 How can you and your team improve your
PAC interactions?
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Support, Coach and Guide Others
 Reflection Activity
– Has coaching been a consideration in my
workplace? If not, why not?
– Is there an employee in my team who would
benefit from coaching?
– Which skills or areas would I be best at when
coaching?
– Which of my colleagues have skills which could
be passed on to others through coaching?
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How Can You Build Positive Self
Confidence in Your Staff ?
 Illicit support from those around you
 Create a positive physical image (You, The
Environment and the Team)
 Develop and implement clear values, visions
and goals (Please, walk the talk!)
 Encourage positive self talk and affirmations
 Encourage the use of positive visualisation
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How Can You Build Positive Self
Confidence in Your Staff ?
 Provide feedback to promote a positive self
concept in individuals and teams
 Show confidence in your staff
 Expect the best, reward good performance
and see mistakes as learning experiences
 Promote a “Can Do” mentality
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Managing Poor Performance
 Maximising Performance
 Team Leaders Role
 Your Grievance Procedure
 Your Discipline Policy
 Certified Agreements
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Managing Poor Performance
 Activity: In your groups, discuss:
– What is poor performance?
– What are the reasons why managers avoid
dealing with poor performance?
– What are the organisational outcomes of poor
performance?
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Organisational Outcomes of
Ineffective Performance
 Absenteeism
 Low morale
 Productivity losses
 Breaches of legislative requirements
 ……and so on
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Ways of Managing Ineffective
Performance
 Informal or Formal
 Timely discussion paramount
 First option: Supervision and coaching
first (informal)
 Counselling and/or warning if the first
option is not successful (formal)
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Process for Managing Ineffective
Performance
 Be aware that a performance deficiency
exists
 Determine the source of deficiency
 Provide feedback to employee/team
 Agree upon a course of action
 Monitor and provide feedback to employee
 If no improvement, proceed to next stage
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Options for Managing Ineffective
Performance
 Targeted training program
 Referral to EAP
 Formal warning – verbal or written
 Transfer/demote to another position
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Legal Considerations
 Workplace Relations Amendment (Work
Choices) Act
 Industrial Relations Act
 EEO Legislation
 Workplace Enterprise Bargaining Agreement
 Award
Prevent an unfair dismissal claim!
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Supervisor
notes
performance
problem
Model of Employee
Assistance Program
Discussion with
employee concludes
with offer of referral
accepted
Supervisor Referral
Employee
recognises they have
a problem and wishes
to seek assistance
Employee self-referral
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE COUNSELLOR
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Periodic program reporting to organisation.
(usage, statistical measures of effectiveness, etc)
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Parting Company
 Termination of employment options
– Summary Dismissal – serious misconduct
– Frustration of contract
– Redundancy
– Giving notice – per provision of award
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MODEL OF TERMINATION
(Discipline)
Workplace Policy
formulated and
communicated
• Managers
Disciplinary discussion
• Staff
•Relay facts to employee
• Unions
•Obtain employee feedback
•Advise next steps
•Notify union
(if necessary)
Formal
Notification of an
Warning
instance
Due process followed
Investigation by
If repeated violation
Manager
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• Obtaining the
unbiased facts
Dismissal
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Managing Team Conflict
Team Conflict
The response an individual or group
makes to a perceived threat to goals or
anything they consider to be of value
Adapted from Landon & Marshall 2000
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Managing Team Conflict
Seek first to
understand,
then be understood
Stephen Covey
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
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Managing Team Conflict
Outcomes of conflict
Positive
or
Negative
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Managing Team Conflict
Common Causes








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Different opinions and expectations
Different values and perceptions
Shared resources
Unclear roles and responsibilities
Dependence upon each other
Unclear policy or procedures
Different goals, purpose, outcomes
Individual “personality” differences
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Your Conflict Management Style
 Complete Activity
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Conflict Management Styles
Options
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Competing
I win, you lose
Accommodation
I lose, you win
Compromise
Both win some, lose some
Collaboration
I win, you win
Avoidance
Lose-lose situation
Adapted from Thomas-Kilmann Inventory
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Assertive
Competing
Collaborating
Compromising
Unassertive
Assertiveness
Conflict Management Styles
Avoiding
Accommodating
Cooperative
Uncooperative
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Cooperativeness
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Ref: Thomas Kilmann Inventory
When to Use Each Conflict
Management Style
 Be aware of
– the situations where certain conflict
management styles are suitable (refer
course notes)
– Skills required in each conflict
management style (refer course notes)
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Dealing with Conflict
Part 1
 Listen with empathy
 Consider emotions
 Use assertiveness
 Keep it impersonal
 Use questions to clarify - facts
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Dealing With Conflict
Part 2
 Find a common outcome
 You must all want to resolve it
 Try to adopt a “win-win” approach
 Develop various options -together
 Seek further understanding by “Mapping the
conflict”
 Use a trusted third party mediator
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Personal Conflict
Management Toolkit
 “I” Statements
 Assertiveness
 Non Verbal
 Active Listening
 Questioning Techniques
 Key Negotiation Skills
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Dealing with Conflict
Part 3
 Activity: Introduction
to Conflict Mapping
 Activity: Critically
reflect on own
conflict situation
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Negotiating Difficult Situations
part 1
 Research your adversary / opponent /
challenger
 Know your own position and
requirements
 Begin with a positive overture
 Build trust
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Negotiating Difficult Situations
part 2
 Address problems, not personalities
 Pay little attention to initial offers
 Emphasise win-win solutions
 Remain persistent about your position
 Be open to third-party assistance
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Negotiating Difficult Situations
part 3
 Brush up on Negotiaton Strategies
– Stampedic Approach
– The Friendly Tactic
– The Dismissive Tactic
– The Threatening Tactic
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Review
 Communicate two way information and ideas
 Value and manage Workplace Diversity
 Develop trust and confidence
 Build and maintain networks and relationships
 Prevent workplace problems
 Identify and resolve work difficulties
 Manage poor performance
 Manage conflict
 Negotiate difficult situations
Faculty of
Business &
Computing
85
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