Building Bridges of Understanding Through Constructive Communication By Helma Rosenthal & Lynda Strohl CONFLICT RESOLUTION “The strong man is the man who can stand up for his rights and not hit back.” Dr. Martin Luther King CONFLICT RESOLUTION Why Conflict Resolution? No Child Left Behind Creating a Safe School Climate Conflict happens everywhere, in all settings Interesting Stats… According to Robert Bolton, author of People Skills, “Eighty percent of the people who fail at work do so for one reason: they do not relate well to other people. 65% of voluntary terminations are the result of unresolved workplace conflict 42% of a manager’s time is spent addressing conflict in the workplace. (Watson, C. & Hoffman, R., Managers as Negotiators, Leadership Quarterly, 3/17/96.) Job stress is a key driver of health care costs. According to the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, health care expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers reporting high levels of stress. (Corbitt Clark, Mary, [online], The Cost of Job Stress. Chronic unresolved conflict acts as a decisive factor in at least 50% of departures. Conflict account for up to 90% of involuntary departures, with the possible exception o f staff reductions due to downsizing and restructuring. (Dana, David, [online], The Dana Measure of Financial Cost of Organizational Conflict, 2001.) Conflict Universal experience Natural and Normal Differing Points of View Destructive or Constructive Sources of Conflict Resources Goals/objectives Miscommunication Attitudes/values Personality Conflict Outcomes Positive Involvement Cohesion Creativity Growth Clarification of issues Clarification of values Negative Unresolved anger/concerns Reduced morale Personality clashes Low self-esteem Unfinished business Stephen Covey Habit 4: Think Win-Win Win-Win Lose-Lose Win-Lose Lose-Win Win No Deal CONFLICT RESOLUTION Conflict Management Styles Survey How do you respond to conflict? What’s your conflict style? CONFLICT RESOLUTION Conflict Resolution Styles Avoiding Competing Accommodating Compromising Collaborating Avoiding Pros Cons Petty or unimportant Problem remains Cool down Lose respect Little leverage Unaware of problems and perceptions Disruption > issue Anxiety = ineffective Gather info Own needs not met Wrong person Stay behind the scenes Competing Pros Cons Important and right Unyielding Good natured Ignore others Cut ties Alienate others Dealing with competitive people Blinders on Overconfident Pressure! Audience perception Love competition Accommodating Pros Cons Good will > Issues Taken advantage of Concern for others Own needs not met Back pocket Less leverage Not your responsibility Happy co-workers Volatile parties Happy but not productive enough Decide too soon Compromising Pros Cons Last option Lose sight of big picture Outcome most important Precedents Small steps Misses the point Time is of the essence Shared ideas Collaborating Pros Long term cooperation Strong emotion Cons Resources Lengthy process “How” rather than “what” Agreement is hard Options Interpersonal relationships High impact Time and attention No easy answers Conflict is normal! Conflict should be an expected part of the work culture! Consider your own work environment and ask yourself the following questions! 1) What causes the conflicts? 2) When do the conflicts occur? Are there any patterns? 3) How do all respond when conflict occurs? 4) Are solutions long term or quick fixes? 5) Are procedures in place for addressing dayto-day issues? WHY WE AVOID CONFLICT ?! Fear of others’ reactions Maybe it will go away on its own? Why should I make the first move? Don’t want to be seen as a problem Societal norms and expectations FEAR OF THE PROCESS and OUTCOMES What not to do… ) Do not avoid the conflict, hoping it will go away. 2) Do not meet separately with people in conflict. 3) Do not believe the only people who are affected are the participants. Cross-Culture Conflict You may notice: Denial or downplaying Inaction Misdirection of blame Face-saving tactics Long resolution time Sensitivity to feedback Communication Verbal Words Nonverbal Wordless Messages Haptic Body Language Posture Facial Expression Eye contact Paralanguage Listening Communication Good Communicators send non-verbal and verbal messages that exactly match their thoughts and feelings I love you! Communication Skills and Techniques Perspective Taking Active Listening I Messages CONFLICT RESOLUTION PERSPECTIVE TAKING Is the ability to understand how a situation appears to another person and how that person is reacting cognitively and emotionally to the situation. Shift your point of view Emotions Anger Frustration Disappointment Fear Anxiety Stress *Recognition *Management CONFLICT RESOLUTION ACTIVE LISTENING Is a way of responding to the speaker which implies that the listener is trying to understand what the speaker is saying, feeling, and doing. Active Listening Eye contact Pay attention Nod Facial expressions Ask questions Encourage the other person to tell more PARAPHRASE Make comment Listening with Empathy What to Do Encourage Clarify Restate Reflect Feelings Validate CONFLICT RESOLUTION Roadblocks to Communication Ordering, Directing, Commanding Warning, Threatening, Preaching, Moralizing Advising Judging, Criticizing, Blaming, Name Calling, Ridiculing, Shaming, Interpreting, Psychoanalyzing Teaching, Instructing Final thoughts and overview Resolve the conflict Be clear about the causes Validate differences in perception and point of view Decide on a process and get agreement Listen actively Document! Document! Document!