Conflict Competency December 1, 2017 Hope is Not a Strategy Conflict is commonly perceived as unpleasant and unwelcome. As a result, we avoid or ignore it. Unfortunately, unaddressed conflict rarely disappears. Conflict Can Be Costly Research shows that even low levels of disruptive behavior in the workplace impact performance:
38% intentionally decreased work quality 47% intentionally decreased time at work 48% intentionally decreased work effort 66% said their performance declined 78% said that their commitment to the organization declined 80% lost time worrying about the issue. Managing Difficult Employees and Disruptive Behaviors, Teresa A. Daniel, SHRM Online (April 2012). What Causes Conflict
In a word, DIFFERENCES. But not necessarily substantive differences. Differences in values, interests, perception, and communication style can all contribute to conflict. Layer on differences in lived experience, social identities, cultural affinities, and personal abilities, and we have an environment in which conflict is inescapable. And Then Theres Email Use of communication technologies is associated with reduced adherence to social norms. Suler, J. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 7, 321
326. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295 Emails or texts also provide fewer nonverbal cues and no instant feedback to assist the reader. Byron, K. (2008). Carrying too heavy a load? The communication and miscommunication of emotion by e-mail. The Academy of Management Review, 33, 309327. http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMR.2008.31193163 Reframing Conflict The tension of difference is a necessary part of human interaction. Accepting conflict as a functional part of our relationships allows us to better see our differences as an
opportunity for growth and learning, rather than the source of discomfort and awkwardness. Common Sources of Workplace Conflict
Stress Excessive Workload Differences in VIPS Scarce Resources Personality Clashes Hurtful Humor/Sarcasm Poor Communication Fear of Change Disrespectful Behavior Gossip
Poor Performance Passive Aggression Ingrained Behaviors Lack of Recognition Inadequate Training Cultural Differences Ineffective Leadership Inconsistency Non-Constructive Criticism
What stops us from addressing conflict effectively? Discomfort with difficult conversations Lack of training/preparation Role modeling/workplace norms Our own needs/motivations/self-confidence The perception that it is not our responsibility Fear
Not being taken seriously Being blamed for making trouble Hurting someones feelings Retaliation Deconstructing Conflict Adapted from Patterson, K., Grenny, J., Maxfield, D., McMillan R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Crucial Accountability. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. See & Hear Narrativ e Feeling
Action Effective Responses to Conflict Active Listening/Perspective Taking Reflective Thinking Delayed Response
Respectful Language Expressing and Recognizing Emotions Assertive/Non-Reactive Statements Creating Solutions A Practical Approach to Addressing Conflict Ask yourself: 1. What really happened? Am I seeing the situation objectively? 2. What was my role in what happened? 3. Is it worth my attention? 4. What is the impact on my work/our work? 5. What is my goal in the conversation? 6. Am I prepared? When would be the best time and place? What is my attitude?
7. Should I seek assistance before addressing? Assertive, Non-Reactive Statements I see, I feel, I hope & expect, I will. When youI feelbecause. In the future, it would be great if. I wish that. I will/will not. I notice thatand I assume that. Is that true? Why v. What, But v. And You should v. I would like you to. Reading List Patterson, K., Grenny, J., Maxfield, D., McMillan
R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Crucial Accountability. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Sutton, Robert I. (2007). The No Asshole Rule. New York, NY: Business Plus. Mayer, Bernard. (2015). The Conflict Paradox. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Thank You Julie Hagen Showers Interim Associate Vice President, Office for Equity and Diversity 432 Morrill Hall 612-625-4068 [email protected] Bruce Grosland Interim Director, Office for Conflict Resolution
- Jamie O'Keeffe, John Willinsky, Lauren Maggio, "Public access and use of health research: an exploratory study of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy using interviews and surveys of health personnel,"
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