Can You Hear Me Now?
Skill Building
 How Well Do I Listen
Communication
Team Building
Tools for Managing Conflict
Presenters

Belinda Harris- CPSP, CTSOC Lead Parent Advocate
10/7/2015
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How Well Do I Listen!
Listening skills allow one to make
sense of and understand what
another person is saying.
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Listening Skills
Here's Why You Need Good Listening Skills
 Several years back there was a public service announcement that
ran on television. It talked about the importance of good
listening skills and the difference between hearing and listening.
 Hearing is a physical ability while listening is a skill.
 Listening skills allow one to make sense of and understand what
another person is saying. In other words, listening skills allow
you to understand what someone is "talking about".
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ACTIVITY 1
Music-”I Am Light”-India
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Arie
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Why You Need Good Listening
Skills
Good listening skills make workers more productive. The
ability to listen carefully will allow you to:

better understand assignments and what is expected of you;

build rapport with co-workers, bosses, and clients;

show support;

in a work better team-based environment;

resolve problems with customers, co-workers, and bosses;

answer questions; and

find underlying meanings in what others say.
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How to Listen Well
The following tips will help you listen well. Doing these things will
also demonstrate to the
speaker that you are paying attention. While you may in fact be able
to listen while looking down at the floor, doing so may imply that
you are not.

maintain eye contact;

don't interrupt the speaker;

sit still;

nod your head;

lean toward the speaker;

repeat instructions and ask appropriate questions when the
speaker has finished.
A good listener knows that being attentive to what the speaker
doesn't say is as important as being attentive to what he does say.
Look for non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and posture to
get the full gist of what the speaker is telling you.
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Barriers to Listening
Beware of the following things that may get in the
way of listening.

bias or prejudice;

language differences or accents;

noise;

worry, fear, or anger; and

lack of attention span.
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ACTIVITY 2
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Getting
to know me
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Getting To Know Me
Directions: Fill out individually, then pair up; discuss yourself using information
from sheet. Tell person 2 lies and 1 truth; see if person can guess which one is the
truth. Change places.
What is your favorite season? And why?
___________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
How many siblings do you have? _________
What color are your eyes? _________
What’s your shoe size? ___________
What’s your favorite color? __________
What’s your favorite food? ___________________________
What’s your favorite fruit? ____________________________
What’s your favorite sport? And why?
___________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
Who is your favorite music artist or band and why?
___________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
The thing about me that makes me special and unique is…….
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
If I could change one thing about the world it would be……
___________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________
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Developing Good Listening Skills
Listen, Listen, Listen
Reframe What You Hear
Ask About Feelings
Keep The Focus On Them
Help Brainstorm
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ACTIVITY 3
Illusions
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ILLUSIONS
Things are not always as they seem
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Tips
Stay Present
Don’t Give Advice
Trust The Process
Let Things Even Out Over Time
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Communication Styles
Activity: Month/Birthdate
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Passive, Aggressive, and
Assertive Communication
Understanding Communication Styles
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Basics of Effective Communication
 It matters not so much what you say as it does how
you say it.
 Your communication style is a SET of various
behaviors and methods of relaying information that
impact all facets of life.
 The goal should always be to understand – not to be
right.
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Basics of Effective Communication,
cont.
 Get the facts before you pass judgement Some
styles lend themselves better to this than others.
 Learning all communication styles is important in
order to avoid communicating in less effective
ways and in order to recognize those styles in
others so as to be able to deal with them.
 People are not difficult. They only seem difficult
to the extent that we do not have the skills to deal
with what they bring to the table. It is our lack of
knowledge that makes the situation difficult.
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Passive Communication
 Allowing our own rights to be violated by failing
to express our honest feelings.
 The goal of being a passive communicator is to
avoid conflict no matter what.
 Little risk involved – very safe.
 Little eye contact, often defers to others’ opinions,
usually quiet tone, may suddenly explode after
being passive too long.
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Examples of Passive
Communication
 “I don’t know.”
 “Whatever you think.”
 “You have more experience than I. You decide.”
 “I’ll go with whatever the group decides.”
 “I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me.”
 “Yes,
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yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. . . NO!”
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Aggressive Communication
 Protecting one’s own rights at the expense of
others’ rights – no exceptions.
 The goal of the aggressor is to win at all costs; to
be right.
 Does not consider actions a risk because this
person thinks they will always get their way. It is
risky in terms of relationships, however.
 Eye contact is angry and intimidating; lots of
energy; loud and belittling; never defers to others,
or at least does not admit to; manipulative and
controlling. Often uses violence or verbal abuse.
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Examples of Aggressive
Communication
 “I don’t know why you can’t see that this is the
right way to do it.”
 “It’s going to be my way or not at all.”
 “You’re just stupid if you think that will work.”
 “That kind of logic will sink the company.”
 “Who cares what you feel. We’re talking about
making things work here.”
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Passive-Aggressive
Communication
 Forfeiting your own rights initially, followed by
manipulation and vengeance later.
 The goal of this style is to avoid conflict and then
make the other party wish they had seen it your
way.
 Avoids risk initially, risks relationships later, then
acts surprised when people are mad.
 Behaves passively to people’s face, then
aggressively when they are not around. Often
uses sarcasm.
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Examples of Passive-Aggressive
Communication
 “Sure, doctor. I’d be happy to write that verbal
order,” but back on the unit the order is
“forgotten.”
 “I love your hair. Most people probably can’t
even tell it’s a wig.”
 “I hear what you’re saying, and I wouldn’t want to
make waves, so I’ll do what you say even though
someone will probably get sued.”
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Assertive Communication
 Protecting your own rights without violating the
rights of others.
 The goal of the assertive person is to communicate
with respect and to understand each other; to find
a solution to the problem.
 Takes a risk with others in the short run, but in the
long run relationships are much stronger.
 Eye contact maintained; listens and validates
others; confident and strong, yet also flexible;
objective and unemotional; presents wishes clearly
and respectfully.
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Examples of Assertive
Communication
 “So what you’re saying is. . . .”
 “I can see that this is important to you, and
it is also important to me. Perhaps we can
talk more respectfully and try to solve the
problem.”
 “I think. . . I feel. . . I believe that. . . .”
 “I would appreciate it if you. . .”
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Assertiveness Skills
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I - Persistence
 Stay focused on the issue – do not get distracted,
defensive, or start justifying yourself.
 Repeat the “bottom line” to keep the conversation
on track and your issues on the table (e.g., “I
understand that, however we are talking about. .
.”).
 Alternative styles would withdraw or would
escalate this to a battle of wills that would override
compromise.
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II - Objectivity
 Focus on the problem, not on the emotions
that often accompany and cloud problems.
Postpone discussion if emotions cannot be
contained.
 Use the validation skill (next) to handle
others’ emotions so you can focus on
objective issues.
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III - Validation
 Allow people to have their experience, but try to
move beyond it to a discussion about the problem.
 You do not necessarily have to disagree or agree –
people’s perspectives are important, but they are
not the heart of the issue, so don’t make a battle
over them. Validate them and get to the issue.
 “If that’s how you see it, that’s fine.”
 “I can see that this upsets you, and from your
perspective, I can see why. Now, what can we do
to make this better for both of us?”
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IV - Owning
 Being assertive means you also must own what is
yours to own. If the other person has a point about
your behavior, own it (this is the “. . .without
violating the rights of others” part). Bulldozing
over that is aggressive.
 Accept someone’s criticism as feedback rather
than an attack. (e.g., “You could be right about that. . .”,
“That is entirely possible, knowing me. . .”) Where is
the value in fighting another’s negative opinion
about us? Perspective is hard to change when
directly challenged. This shows that IF their
perspective were true, you’d own it.
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V – Challenging False Information
 When attacked with false and negative statements,
do not fall prey to defensiveness. That only
escalates emotions.
 Look for the grain of truth and validate it. This
knocks barrier walls down and opens the door for
discussion about the real problem.
 At times people are rigid and a more forceful
stance is needed. E.g., “I’m sorry, I simply do not
see it that way, but you are more than entitled to
your opinion.”
 Disagree, using factual information. E.g.,
“Actually, I was at work, so that could not have
been me.”
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VI – Pumping the Negatives
 When criticized, ask for more negative feedback –
do so assertively, as though you are trying to learn
more about how to be better in that area (and in
fact, that should be your goal). E.g., “Tell me
more about what is bothering you about my
report.”
 Stay task oriented!!! If you slip into emotions and
get offended, you lose. Pump practical negatives
(not baseless criticisms) and how your actions can
be improved to help solve the problems.
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VII – Humor
 Humor breaks down negative emotions.
 Humor can put tense situations at ease.
 When grain of truth is found, joke about it while
owning it.
 Be careful to use humor appropriately and
professionally.
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When Aggression is
Appropriate
 In an emergency
 When there is not time to spend on a
compromise.
 When your opinion is based on several
facts, you therefore KNOW you are right,
and there is not time to utilize assertiveness
skills.
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When Passivity is Appropriate
 When the results of pushing the issue would cause
problems that outweigh the benefits.
 When issues are minor.
 When there is a power differential that is not in
your favor and the other party is getting agitated
by your assertiveness.
 When the other individual’s position is impossible
to change. (E.g., the law).
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What is “Okay” in Assertive
Behavior
 It is okay to say “I don’t know.”
 It is okay to say “No,” or “I cannot do that.”
 It is okay to make mistakes as long as
responsibility is taken for them.
 It is okay to disagree and to verbalize that.
 It is okay to challenge others’ opinions or actions.
 It is okay to not accept another’s opinion as factual
or accurate (e.g., getting criticized).
 It is okay to ask for a change in behavior.
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Summary
 Every time we decide to communicate with
another person, we select a style of
communication. Notice yours, and notice
theirs.
 Being assertive is not synonymous with an
anger management problem – it is
protecting your rights without violating
others’.
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Summary, cont.
 Get ALL the facts you can before you pass
judgement.
 Assertiveness allows you to face confrontation in
a healthy way and without getting overly
emotional.
 People are not difficult. They only seem difficult
to the extent that we do not have the skills to deal
with what they bring to the table. It is our lack of
knowledge that makes the situation difficult.
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Team Building
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Building Consensus
 When
working in a group it is important that all
members of the group play a role. While the simple
majority rules concept works for our nation, in
smaller groups it could leave members feeling
slighted or out of the loop.
 Consensus is a strategy that involves everyone
playing a role in the decision making of the group.
 In order for this to be successful it is important to be
open to compromise!
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Building Consensus
According to the Merriam-Webster
dictionary the definition of consensus is:
 a: general agreement
 b: the judgment arrived at by most or all of
those concerned
 group solidarity in sentiment and belief
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Building Consensus
Guidelines

· Trust each other. This is not a competition; everyone
must not be afraid to express their ideas and opinions.


· Make sure everyone understands the topic/problem.
While building a consensus make sure everyone is
following, listening to, and understanding each other.
· All members should contribute their ideas and knowledge
related to the subject.
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Building Consensus





Stay on the task.
You may disagree, that is OK and healthy.
However, you must be flexible and willing to give
something up to reach an agreement.
Separate the issue from the personalities. This is not
a time to disagree just because you don't like
someone.
Spend some time on this process.
Being quick is not a sign of quality. The thought
process needs to be drawn out some.
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Building Consensus
Procedure
 Agree on your objectives for the task/project,
expectations, and rules (see guidelines above).




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Define the problem or decision to be reached by
consensus.
Figure out what must be done to reach a solution.
Brainstorm possible solutions (see Brainstorming
Guide).
Discuss pros and cons of the narrowed down list of
ideas/solutions
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Building Consensus
Adjust, compromise, and fine tune the agreed upon
idea/solution so all group members are satisfied with
the result.
Make your decision. If a consensus isn't reached,
review and/or repeat steps one through six.
Once the decision has been made, act upon what you
decided.
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Activity: Handouts





Air Crash
Lost at Sea Exercise
Lost on the Moon
Nuclear Holocaust: Who Should Survive?
Survival
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TOOLS FOR MANAGING
CONFLICT
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Conflict versus Disagreement
•Conflict
–Escalating emotions
–Unclear and shifting
arguments
–Marked by needing
to “win”
–Typically
underwritten by
unspoken positions and
interests
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•Disagreement
–Marked by
reasoned arguments
–Filled with
intentional messages
–Supported by
proposing solutions
–Typically
underwritten by an
effort to develop
understanding of both
positions
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Types of Conflict
•Relationship Conflicts
•Data Conflicts
•Value Conflicts
•Structural Conflicts
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•Interest Conflicts
•Procedural Conflicts
•Psychological
Conflicts
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Five Conflict Resolution Styles
•Directing:
•Collaborating:
•Accommodating:
•Compromising:
•Avoiding:
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“What I say goes”
“Two heads are better
than one”
“Whatever”
“Half a loaf is better
than none”
“Conflict. What
conflict?”
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Basic Responses to Conflict
•Soft Responses
–Protect from immediate risk, lead to anxiety about the
future
•Hard Responses
–Premised on victory, lead to lose - lose outcomes
•Principled Responses
–Seeks a wise agreement, required specific skill
responses
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Position vs. Interest
•Position:
–The surface issue
–What you or someone else says they want
–Typically includes a specific non-negotiated solution
–“I think you are wrong about this classroom for Johnny and you
should let him be in the other one”
•Interest
–The underlying intent and concern
–Describes what you hope will be possible
–“I hope that we could help Johnny be better in school, can we
talk about how that might happen”
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Reasoned Arguments
•Contain:
–A statement of the underlying interest you are
seeking to serve
–Present the reason why in non-judgmental
terms
–Invite others to join you in developing a
solution
•Do not contain
–“You” statements
–Threats or implied consequences
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Conflict Resolution Skills
With most conflicts, it’s important to find a
resolution. This seems like a statement of the
obvious, but many people suppress their anger
or just ‘go along to get along.' They think that
by addressing a conflict, they are creating one,
and simply keep quiet when upset.
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Guidelines:
Get In Touch With Your Feelings
An important component of conflict resolution involves only you -- knowing how
you feel and why you feel that way.
Hone Your Listening Skills
When it comes to effective conflict resolution, how effectively we listen is at least
as important as how effectively we express ourselves
Practice Assertive Communication
Communicating your feelings and needs clearly is also an important aspect of
conflict resolution.
Seek a Solution
Once you understand the other person’s perspective, and they understand yours, it’s
time to find a resolution to the conflict -- a solution you both can live with.
Know When It’s Not Working
In friendships that are unsupportive or characterized by ongoing conflict, letting go
may be a great source of stress relief. Only you can decide if a relationship can be
improved, or should be let go.
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Conflict Resolution Mistakes To
Avoid
1. Avoiding Conflict Altogether
2. Being Defensive
3. Overgeneralizing
4. Being Right
5. "Psychoanalyzing" / Mind-Reading
6. Forgetting to Listen
7. Playing the Blame Game
8. Trying to "Win" The Argument
9. Making Character Attacks
10.Stonewalling
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Activity
 Conflict Mediation Scenario 1
 Conflict Mediation Scenario 2
 Conflict Mediation Scenario 3
 Conflict Mediation Scenario 4
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FINAL THOUGHTS
Since conflict is sometimes unavoidable, trying to avoid it when it
already exists can result in serious consequences. Keeping things to
yourself when a problem arises will not only make you crazy but
offers little to no chance of coming to a solution. By speaking up
and communicating the cause of your stress, you are opening up the
lines of communication which can then open up room for
negotiation. If problems are left to simmer rather than addressing
them in a calm and respectful manner, they can easily escalate into
nasty remarks and heated arguments which may cause irreparable
damage to an otherwise salvageable relationship.
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THANK YOU
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PARENTS AS ADVOCATES TRAINING