PACS 3700/COMM 3700
Communication & Conflict
Management
Sept 4, 2014
Conflict Communication
Announcements:
Add deadline past; drop deadline continues.
Course reservation program
http://www.colorado.edu/registrar/coursereservation-program-0
Announcements:
• Office hours this week changed to
Thursday 11:-1
• Complete Tom Sebok handout on D2L in
additional readings folder.
Assignment #1
• Actually USING Active Listening & I messages
• TWO appropriate conversations (at least one
conflict)
• Do sometime from now on (not in the past)
• Due 9 am Oct 7—but don’t leave it to the last
minute!
Assignment #1
• Write a 1-2 page report on what happened
– Describe what the situation was (briefly)
– What you did (so I can tell if you used the
techniques properly)
– What happened
– How it felt (natural, unnatural, challenging [how])
– (Exact questions are on the assignment details on
D2L. Be sure to read those!
For all assignments:
• Format in MS word, rtf or pdf. NOT pages!!
• Put your name and assignment number on the
filename (burgess-A1.docx)
• Put your name on the first page of the
document also.
• Put both reports in the same document (2
stories, but one file to open)
• Turn into dropbox and get a receipt!
Questions?
PowerPoint Summary of: Improving
Conflict Communication
Question:
What were your
“take aways” from
Tom and Jessica’s
presentation?
The things that resonated most
with me were:
• Bad conflict communication is “natural” (“folk
behavior”)
• Good conflict communication can seem awkward,
hard, even inappropriate.
• Good conflict communication takes lots of
practice and continued vigilance.
• Is it worth it? Look at the alternatives!
PowerPoint Summary of: Improving
Conflict Communication
• The only person you can change (reliably) is
yourself.
• So if you want to change the outcome, then
change yourself
– the way you think about the problem,
– the way you respond to the problem
PowerPoint Summary of: Improving
Conflict Communication
• Strategies to know:
– Active listening (also called empathic listening)
– I-messages
– 3-part messaging (facts, impact request)
– Describing the [expectation] gap (expectation,
facts, explanation of what happened)
PowerPoint Summary of: Improving
Conflict Communication
• Things to know about each skill:
– What they are
– How and why they are used
– Advantages, disadvantages
– When to use them
– When NOT to use them
– Other caveats (Tom calls them “banana peels”)
Active Listening “Banana Peels”
Neal Katz’s diagram of active listening traps.
I message “Banana Peels”
– Other person doesn’t care about what you
think.
– It comes off self-centered, uncaring about the
other.
– Can be interpreted as manipulative.
PowerPoint Summary of: Improving
Conflict Communication
• “Banana Peels” for Gap
– Phrase facts as “you message”
– Accusatory “what happened”
– Sometimes – if you’re in crisis situation
because of someone’s failure to keep a
promise, etc., finding out the answer to “what
happened” is less crucial than solving the
immediate problem.
PowerPoint Summary of: Improving
Conflict Communication
• More on three part messaging:
Mary Rowe suggests writing a letter (or email).
11. What are the advantages of this?
12. Disadvantages?
13. What about conflict (resolution) by phone?
(Advantages/disadvantages)
14. Text? (Advantages/disadvantages)
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Question:
What is the
relationship
between
communication
and conflict?
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Comm & Con Exercise, Part I:
COMMUNICATION -- CONFLICT
List the ways in which comm. affects
conflict.
•Is effect primarily positive or
negative?
•If both, what makes comm. + ?
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Exercise, Part II:
CONFLICT -- COMMUNICATION
List the ways in which conflict affects
communication.
•Is effect primarily positive or
negative?
•If both, what makes the effect + ?
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication and Conflict
Key Points
• In one sense, conflict IS a form of
communication
• In which….
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
One person says
something….
That another person
doesn’t like
•
because…
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
It threatens his or her:
• Interests
• Needs
• Values
• Power
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
`
Communication
The “challenged” person answers by…
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
`
Communication
The “challenged” person answers by…
• Ignoring the challenge
• Giving in (and giving
the other person what
they want) or
• Challenging back
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
And this starts the
“conflict conversation.”
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
Conflict
The relationship between communication
and conflict is bi-directional.
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Conflict conversations can take many
forms. They can be
• Calm and mutually respectful
• Angry and mutually hurtful
• Rational
• Emotional
• Cooperative
• Competitive,
• Retributive and escalatory
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
However, conversation in conflicts tends to be
strained.
Communication
-
Conflict
WHY???
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
-
Conflict
• People say things in anger that they might not
mean
• People hear things that were not intended…
• Or they don’t hear (or listen) at all.
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
-
Damage can go the other way too.
Conflict
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
-
Conflict
• Misunderstanding increases likelihood of
conflict
• Pre-conceptions increase likelihood of
misunderstandings
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
-
Conflict
• Differences increase likelihood of preconceptions – and conflict
•
Different languages, worldviews, cultures,
stereotypes, experiences, expectations, interests,
needs, values, power, status…..
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
-
Conflict
• There are other ways communication
can increase conflict too.
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
-
Conflict
Accusatory or escalatory language can
cause or increase conflict.
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
-
Conflict
Demeaning or humiliating language can
create or increase conflict.
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
-
Conflict
Gottman’s “4 horsemen” can intensify
conflict.
What are they? Why are they called the
4 horsemen?
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
The “Four Horsemen”
1. Criticizing
2. Defensiveness
3. Stonewalling
4. Contempt (humiliation)
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
+
Conflict
Other kinds of communication can make
disputes and conflicts better.
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Communication
+
Conflict
In fact, it is pretty much THE ONLY thing
that can.
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
The “Four Horsemen”
Comm & Con Exercise Part III
1. Can you think of any examples where
someone has used one or more of these
communication modes against you?
(Describe in 1 or 2 sentences)
2. What was your response?
3. Can you think of a time YOU used one of
these modes? What was the result then?
4. Can you think of another approach that
might have worked better?
PowerPoint Summary of: Improving
Conflict Communication
• Practice Exercise 4:
You walked into the kitchen in the apartment you share with
two other roommates and noticed that Chris left her/his
dirty dishes (now being marched all over by a battalion of
ants) on the kitchen counter – despite an agreement
among all three of you that dirty dishes would be put in
the dishwasher.
1) Respond with one or more of the 4 horsemen. Play that
dialogue out.
2) Use one of Tom&Jessica’s strategies for good conflict
communication and play that one out.
3) Compare.
4) What are impediments to doing #2 in real life?
PowerPoint Summary of: Improving
Conflict Communication
• MORE PRACTICE EXERCISES: Initiating discussion about YOUR
concerns . . .
• 1. Two nights ago, you were asleep until the call from your
roommate’s friend on the west coast woke you up. Last night, when
another of your roommate’s friends, Dwayne, knocked on the door to
your room around midnight, it also woke you up. You didn’t say
anything to your roommate either time. You hoped s/he’d get the
hint when you groaned and put the pillow over your head. Both
times, however, you couldn’t get back to sleep. This morning you
overslept, had to skip breakfast, and ran to class. You were still 20
minutes late. Use any combination of the skills above to raise these
concerns with your roommate.
PowerPoint Summary of: Improving
Conflict Communication
• MORE PRACTICE EXERCISES: Initiating discussion about YOUR
concerns . . .
2. You are upset that your roommate has been borrowing your clothes.
Although you aren’t certain, you thought your Roommate Agreement
covered that topic but s/he has been borrowing your clothes without
asking. Use an I Statement or Open-Ended Question to raise this
concern with your roommate.
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Note Tom’s Final Note (mine too!)
• Communicate RESPECTFULLY
– Even when the other person is treating you
disrespectfully
– Even when the other person is wrong
– Even when you have been wronged
• Disrespect might feel good
• But most often it makes things worse.
• Keep your eye on the ball!!!
PowerPoint Summary of: Conflict and
Communication
Useful Link
• How to Stop Fighting A Seven-Step Tutorial for People
Involved in Relationship Conflicts
• http://stopfighting.crinfo.org/special_projects/stop_fi
ghting/index.jsp
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Communication & Conflict Management