training manual for conflict management
1. create a 18-24 double spaced pages training manual (3 pages per person). Use APA guidelines for internal citations and reference pages (3 external sources per person).
2. Develop and describe in detail a training program you have designed using the concepts discussed in this class. The context and audience for your manual are as follows: You are an expert consultant and you were hired by a corporation to manage conflicts that have been occurring in the workplace. Essentially the corporation wants you to teach them how to manage conflict effectively so after you leave they can manage their own conflict without the assistance of a third party. NOTE: Your manual should cover content material, and include activities, techniques, processes, methods, and procedures to help the employees to navigate and manage conflict effectively.
3. Follow the format below:
Table of Contents
SECTION 1: Introduction to 8-HR Training
1. Agenda ( Name 1)
2. Objectives (Name 1)
3. Description of Problem (Name 1)
** Use research to show prevalence of conflict in organizations
SECTION 2: Strategies & Techniques
3. Conflict Triggers (Name 2)
4. Conflict Management Strategies (Name 3)
** Show how to mitigate/manage/conflict conflict
5. Conflict Management Techniques (Name 4)
** Use case studies, activities, and exercises to implement strategies
6. Understanding Diversity (Name 5)
** Show the importance of considering diversity when approaching conflict management
Managing Social Conflict
The clash of worldviews
Intractable issues (Social conflicts; societal conflicts)- Cannot be solve by communication and negotiation techniques alone because they involve different and conflicting values, beliefs, and rituals.
Central or lies at the core of our worldview (Social/cultural, religious, economic, political).
Fueled by distrust and dislike of other groups.
Self-perpetuating and difficult to resolve.
What is a Worldview?
What is Your Worldview?
The Importance of your Worldview
What is a worldview?
Worldview is the way one interprets the world based on how you were socialized at home, place of worship and school.
Composite of values, beliefs and rituals.
Value- What we hold dear (e.g. Freedom, equal opportunity, home, car, friendship etc.)
Value makes up ethics (moral view), which defines if something is good or bad.
Beliefs- Are related to knowledge and may or may not be true.
Rituals- Symbolic actions that reinforce your beliefs and values.
What is your worldview?
We all have a worldview impacted by school, home, place of worship.
Understanding your worldview can help you to make difficult decisions.
We are rarely aware of out worldview unless it is challenged.
We cant assume everyone thinks like us.
The importance of your worldview
Worldviews drives our behaviors
Question Person 1 Person 2
What is a human being? A human being is a divinely created organism reflecting the image of God A human being is a highly evolved animal
What is the ultimate reality? God is the holder of all time and purpose The universe is moving toward a state of disorder
What happens to people at death? They live eternally, either with or without God They die. Their bodies return to earth
What is the good? Serving Gods purpose Making a good living for oneself
Patriotism vs nationalism
Patriotism- Love for ones country and willingness to defend it.
Nationalism- Love of ones nation once it has exterminated all its enemies, become totally unified, and achieved its grand purpose of world-historical destiny.
Avoid saying Republicans (or Democratics) think __________, because not all members of one party agree.
When worldviews clash: conflicts between you and the other
– The other is a generic term to refer to members of the out-group.
– The term is often used in moral conflicts (conflict based on views of right/wrong).
– Participants in a moral conflict treat each other as mad, sick, stupid, feeling they cant reason with people like that.
– What makes perfect sense to one person may seem ridiculous to another when based on their values.
Each party refuses to listen to the other person.
Conflict becomes more entrenched.
Discourse becomes simplified and shallow- Slogans and simple answer replace arguments and reasoning
As discourse fails, violence becomes more likely
Characteristics of intractable issues
– Actors: Involves states or other actors with long sense of historical grievance and strong desire to avenge these.
– Duration: Usually takes place over long period of time.
– Intangibles: For example, identity, sovereignty, rituals, beliefs.
– Relationships: Involve polarized perceptions of hostility and enmity, and violent/destructive behavior.
– Geopolitics: Buffer states exists between power blocks or civilizations.
– Resist management: Resist conflict management effort and have history of failed peacemaking efforts.
Intractable conflict often revolve around these beliefs
– One person/group seeks to deny another person/group their sense of self, or denies the legitimacy of their identity.
– One person/group seeks to deny another person/group fundamental needs e.g. security or pursuing ones goals.
– One person/group seeks to put themselves ahead of others in the social, political, or economic structure.
– One group seeks to control resources in a win-lose conflict where no expansion of the resources is possible.
Ways of approaching the other: critical and ripeness theories
Critical theory- Analyzes power relations to uncover oppression, exploitation and justice
Core of theory- Unequal distribution of power resulting in oppression (domination or exploitation).
Injustice- Occurs when patterns of exploitation are perpetuated and controlled through dominant social classes.
Power abuse is not always overt- They may restrict access to information or resources without seeming like the perpetrator.
Practitioners advocate for changing situation and social justice outcomes
Approaching conflict from critical theory assumptions
Conflict manager examines his/her own assumptions about the conflict
Look for ways people are allowed to access the expression of their ideas on the conflict
Use communication, mediation and negotiation to analyze problem, and look for solution (though it may be far off)
Ways of approaching the other: critical and ripeness theories
Ripeness theory- Participants seek to reduce pain, and willing to explore alternatives.
Ripeness occurs when participants in a conflict realize that they are involved in a mutually hurting stalemate and recognize mutually enticing opportunity.
Ripeness is based on two core motives: 1) Pain and 2) Opportunities to escape from pain.
Approaching conflict from critical theory assumptions
Look for factors that might strengthen positive attitudes towards alternatives to the conflict.
Recognize the factors that create pain for the participants in the current situation. Realize that continuing with the status quo increases pain and suffering.
Look for factors that make destructive conflict less attractive and peace more so. Training Manual
Enter Names Here or You May Use a Creative Cover Sheet
Florida International University
Table of Contents
Section 1: Introduction to 8-HR Training
1. Agenda (name) .
2. Objectives (name 1)..
3. Description of Problem (name 1).
Section 2: Strategies & Techniques
4. Conflict Triggers (name 2).
5. Conflict Management Strategies (name 3)
6. Conflict Management Techniques (name 4)..
7. Understanding conflict diversity (name 5)
(Remember to include page numbers in table of contents)
Section 1: Introduction to 8-HR Training
Include a detailed agenda of what the manual should cover. This section will be about 0.75 page long; the person writing this section should also write the objectives, which will also be about 0.75 page long.
Identify the objectives of the training manual. Peak the interests of the employees in the room. This section should be at least 0.75 pages long. The person writing this section should also write the description of the problem.
Description of the Problem
Show extent of the problem. Use at least three external sources to show the prevalence of conflicts in organizations and why it is imperative to have training/consultation. Feel free to use bullet points to highlight key ideas. This section needs to be at least 1.5 pages long.
Section 2: Strategies and Techniques
Define and explain at least five triggers that cause conflict. Support with at least three external sources. This section should be at least 3 pages long.
Conflict Management Strategies
Explain how the organization can mitigate/manage/control the conflict encountered. Concepts such as the S-TLC approach, the six-step confrontation process, I-statements etc. If you have a large group, up to two students can write this section; however, it is imperative to delineate the section so that I know who wrote the first and second half of this section. The second student writing this section will, of course address different strategies e.g. using theories to know how to respond to another person, in addition to other strategies. Use the textbook for this section. In addition, use at least three external sources. This section should be at least 3 pages long; if this section is written by two individuals, it needs to be at least 6 pages.
Conflict Management Techniques
Open with a short paragraph on the importance of having activities/techniques when solving organizational conflict. Support points with at least three external sources.
Identify several activities/techniques that organizations can use (at least six). Provide a description of the activity, then tell us step by step how the activity should be done. You may list steps in bullet point format. Use as many bullets as you need, but try not to have too many. Be sure to label the activities. See below for an example.
Activity # 1: Tied Up In Knots
Activity # 2: Get the Memo
Activity #3: Case Study Discussion: _____________ (Name of case study)
Feel free to use the conflict resolution games under student resources in the module tab for ideas. You may also come up with your own. Its a good idea for the group to offer ideas; however, the credit for this section goes to the person(s) who wrote it. This section needs to be at least 3 pages long. If you have a large group, up to two students can write this section; however, it is imperative to delineate the section so that I know who wrote the first and second half of this section. In addition, this section needs to be at least 6 pages long if it is written by two individuals.
Discuss the importance of understanding diversity. Show how diversity in an organization can be a challenge or opportunity, depending on how the situation is handled. Explain how to deal with conflict when differences as a result of cultural background etc. arise. Show why diversity should be embraced in organizations; remember to integrate research for this section. This section should be 3 pages long.
(At least 3 external sources per person APA format. All sources must also be found within the body of the body using in-text/parenthetical citations. If a source is used by more than one student, additional sources are needed. The goal is to use a variety of sources of support your points. Use hanging indentation and observe all other APA requirements.) Managing the conflict climate
Conflict climate= psychological atmosphere
The climate surrounding us affect the way we manage conflict
Competent conflict managers do what they can to create a climate that facilitates a constructive conflict management.
Harmful conflict climate
**These threats may foster avoidance and accommodation or competition
Nurturing conflict climate
**These behavior result in openness, assertiveness, collaboration and mutually satisfying outcomes.
Factors affecting conflict climate
Imbalance of power versus equity
Competition versus cooperation
Distrust versus trust
Defensive versus supportive behavior
Groupthink versus decision making
Converting power differences in conflict
Power- The ability to influence or control events.
We all vary in capabilities and resources; therefore, power often shifts from one situation to another
Different people having power at different times.
When power is perceived as a threat, it contributes to a harmful conflict climate (power abuse).
Powerful people may be seen as intimidating or threatening.
Those who abuse power create worry, anger and resentment in the less powerful.
Powerless people may respond by avoiding, accommodating, or not asserting themselves.
When power is abused, there is no mutually satisfying outcome.
Dominant people do not have authority power another, unless the person grants this power to him or her.
We have choices in how we respond to others (unless the use of physical violence or weapons are involved).
Dominant people often use threats or thromises.
Threat- Statement that links noncompliance with negative outcomes.
Thromise- Sounds like a promise (e.g. if you do x, you will receive y), but also includes penalty for noncompliance.
Dominant people use powerful speech.
Controlling topic of conversation
Sounding right (Implying the other is wrong).
Strive for middle ground: neutral speech
While dominant speech is too aggressive, powerless speech is not strong enough. Below are characteristics of powerless versus neutral speech:
Talking up to others.
Making requests or asking questions.
Including disclaimers and hedges (It could be that)
Talks to others as equals (not down to them, or up to them).
Seeks input to make decisions.
Treat others like they would want to be treated.
Change in power dimensions must come from the powerful.
If change is demanded by the people without power, they may be perceived as disrespectful and disobedient.
Decisions made with others input is more effective than decisions made without input from others (this includes dissenting views).
People feel better about themselves.
Strategies to sharing power:
Give up power resources and symbols of authority e.g. Hat and Jacket loaded with rank insignia.
Make power resources accessible to everyone e.g. Allow one employee to take command for a day.
Person with less interest could increase level of interest in relationship.
Give power to the relationship e.g. Married person may engage in behaviors due to marital status.
As a subordinate, here are approaches you can take to gain power:
Be assertive, stand up for yourself, and offer your opinion.
Ask for reconsideration or appeal but use a different rationale.
Offer suggestions. Solutions, and your rationale behind them.
Ask for more responsibility and show that you deserve it.
Let your feelings, wants, needs, and interests be known but let it be known you are willing to be a team player.
Ask for another chance but next time try harder to produce results.
Converting competition to cooperation
Parties are positioned against each other.
Emphasis is on winning conflict.
Problematic when losses are seen as a reflection of their personal competence.
Working together rather than against each other.
Emphasis on quality of relationship rather than winning conflict.
Increased sensitivity to common interests rather than on differences or threats.
Openness, honesty and collaboration.
Converting distrust to trust and avoiding unhealthy trust
Trust- The belief that another is benevolent or honest towards the trusting individual.
Distrust- We lack confidence in another person.
Unhealthy trust- Inflexible, rigid, and inconsistent in actions towards others, without regard for the situation.
Healthy trust- Gain trust of others over time.
Trusting individuals- More likely to assume positive implication of behavior.
Distrusting individuals- More likely to overemphasize the importance of negative events.
Begin by trusting others.
Perform cooperative actions.
Avoid suspicious activities.
Reciprocate in trusting ways.
Defensive behavior- Associated with feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, fear.
Every conflict has some degree of defensiveness and supportiveness.
Nurturing climate- Has more supportive than defensive behaviors.
Harmful climate- Has more defensive than supportive behaviors.
Converting defensiveness to supportive behavior
Defensiveness Arises From Supportiveness Arises From
Evaluation- Praise and Blame Nonjudgmental description- Does not threaten
Control- Attempt to dominate Problem orientation- Focus on issue
Strategy- Motives and agendas Spontaneity- Straightforward; unplanned
Neutrality- Lack of concern Empathy- Taking interest in others
Superiority- Pulling rank Equality- Desire to cooperate
Certainty- Dogmatic e.g. all or every Provisionalism- Tentativeness; Withhold judgment until all the facts are in.
Overcoming groupthink by asserting individual responsibility
Groupthink- People are so committed to the people, goals, and/ideals of a group that they fail to engage in conflict when they should.
The Abilene Paradox- People experience anxiety over choosing a particular course of action.
The Lucifer Effect- Individuals get so caught up in the situation they are experiencing that they begin to act in ways that are harmful or even illegal e.g. Stanford Prison experiment. Responding to Conflict:
A Practical Guide to Managing Your Own Conflicts
The S-TLC System
Stopping: Taking time out
Thinking about the conflict
Listening in conflict situations
Communicating in conflict situations: Asserting yourself
Stopping: Taking Time Out
When you realize that a conflict exists, begin by saying Stop!
Exit temporarily to calm yourself. It is recommended that you advise the other person that you will return, and not abandoning the situation.
Sip a beverage
Count backwards to 100
Change the topic for a while
What other approaches do you use to take some time out?
Think About the Conflict
Consider its causes and possible outcomes before you take action.
Think about doing nothing, or about changing the other person, situation or self.
We can do nothing and try to live with the situation- Not very productive
We can try to change the other person- Sometimes its based on our own needs, and may seem selfish to the other
We can try to change ourselves- Changing our wants or needs?
We can try to change the situation- A major undertaking and usually used as a last resort
Think about your goals
Instrumental goals- Requires opponent to remove obstacle.
Relational goals- Attempt to gain power while still establishing trust.
Identity goals- Concerns how the participants in conflict view each other.
Process goals- How to manage conflict communication
Listening to Conflict Situations
Listening is just as important as expressing your views.
Most people want to justify themselves when they hear criticism, which prevents one from hearing what the other has to say. Instead, one should suspend judgement and listen to the entire message.
Focusing ones attention on the other
Being open to the other persons views
Being patient to hear them out
Defensiveness: A state of emotional arousal when we believe that the other person is attacking us, which in turn affects our behavior.
When sensitive people believe that another has attacked their flaw, they respond by defending themselves.
Listening can reduce our own and others defensiveness.
Listening cues such as head nods show you are interested and encourages them to continue. You can also:
Shift you attention to the other person.
Look at the other person.
Try to understand their feelings, rather than arguing with him or her.
**Listening doesnt mean you agree; you are a only hearing them out before agreeing or disagreeing.
Communicating in Conflict Situations: Asserting Yourself
Assertive Communication: The ability to speak up for ones interests, concerns, or rights in a way that does not interfere with the interests or infringes on the rights of others.
Assertiveness is a means of avoiding a build up of conflict until it gets blown out of proportion.
Surround yourself with people who can handle your assertiveness.
Central to assertiveness is the idea that we all have basic communication rights.
Basic communication rights
Be listened to and taken seriously.
Say no, refuse requests, and turn down invitations without feeling guilty or being accused of selfishness.
Expect that others do not talk to you in a condescending way.
Have your own feelings and opinions.
Privacy- to keep personal matters to yourself.
Change your opinions, feelings, needs, and behaviors.
Ask others to change their behavior when it continues to violate your rights.
Confrontation- An interpersonal conflict communication process in which the parties call attention to problems or issues as they occur between them and express their feelings, beliefs, and wants to one another.
Six-step process recommended (see next slide).
When you find yourself stopped at one-step, backtrack one or more steps to allow for a more thorough discussion before attempting to move forward.
The Six-Step Confrontation Process
1. Preparation: Identify your problems/needs/issues.
2. Arrange for a time and place to meet and talk.
3. Interpersonal confrontation: Talk to the other person about your problem.
4. Consider your partners point of view: Listen, empathize, and respond with understanding.
5. Resolve the problem: Make a mutually satisfying agreement.
6. Follow up on the solution: Set a time limit for reevaluation.
Preparation: Identify Your Problems/Needs/Issues
Self-talk is important. This is where you verbalize inner messages (out-loud or to ourselves).
Ask yourself, who, what, where, when, and how can help you to examine many more aspects of a situation.
Self-talk may lead to imagined interactions, where you think about what you might say and how the other person might respond.
Arrange A Convenient Time and Place to Talk
You both need to agree on a time to talk about what is bothering you. Its a good idea to tell them the subject so they dont need to worry about something else that has nothing to do with the meeting.
It is recommended that you choose a time within 24 hours from your request to talk.
Choose a place that is free from distractions.
Tips for asserting yourself:
Stand tall or lean forward slightly (but dont crowd the other person)
Keep at least a couple of feet between you and the other person.
Look at them, but dont stare.
Look serious, but dont frown or glare.
Speak firmly, calmly and slowly.
Use open gestures and avoid threatening gestures.
State your point in terms of needs, wants, concerns; find something you both agree .
Consider Your Partners Point of View
Empathy is the ability to consider another persons beliefs or feelings, so that we can see the situation from the perspective of the other.
You dont have to agree; you just need to understand their point of view.
Put yourself in the others position. Ask yourself how you would feel if you were asked to make the change you requested. Would you be annoyed?
Avoid telling others they have no right to feel how they feel. Instead focus on why others feel the way they do and what role those feelings play in conflict.
Avoid telling them, I know exactly how you feel when you are in conflict since these statements belittle others and negates the uniqueness of their experience.
Manage the Problem
Come to a mutual understanding and reach an agreement.
Simple agreement doesnt need to be in writing; however, complex agreements should be in written form.
Request specific actions.
Each person should have a copy of the agreement.
Follow Up on the Solution
Set a time limit for re-evaluation
Review at a later date to check for effectiveness.
Reward yourself if successful, and revise agreement if not successful.
I-Statements: Avoiding Defensiveness
I-Statements allows for the grieving individual to effectively communicate their desire for change without offending the other person so much that he/she stops listening.
I-Statements personalize conflicts by owning up to our feelings rather than making them the responsibility of the other person.
Specify your feelings about the situation as specifically as possible and link them to behavior in some way.
Components of I-Statements
Feelings statement e.g. I feel annoyed.
Problematic behavior statement e.g. When I have to put gas in my car after you use it.
Consequences statement e.g. because I end up having to take time to get gas.
Goal statement e.g. Id like you to get gas after you use my car. Avoid using words such as demand, require, or else
Complete I-Statement: I feel annoyed when I have to put gas in my car after you use it because I end up having to take time to get gas. Id like you to get gas after you use my car.
** make statement in calm tone of voice.
Advantages of Using I-Statements
Challenges Associated With I-Statements
It is tempting to hit the other.
It requires we form a new habit as we think about asserting how we feel.
Using Creativity in Managing Conflicts
Creativity is the process of making sense of some problem in a new way.
Stages of creativity:
The preparation stage- Use previous learning to address problem
The incubation stage- Giving shape and form to problem
The illumination stage- Idea appears
The verification stage- Test ideas
Trained incapacity (abilities/talents that inhibits thinking):
Task-oriented/Goal-centered leader- Quick and efficient technique can stifle creativity.
Critical thinking- Criticisms can stifle new ideas
Creativity As Thinking Differently
Think of problems differently
Imagine how others might handle the conflict
Vertical thinking- Move through a series of steps, making sure each is completed before the next one is started.
Lateral thinking- Restructuring patterns and provoking new ones. Consider all the patterns. Brainstorming can be used.
Change of entry point and attention point
White hat: Information
Red hat: Feelings
Yellow hat: Values and Beliefs
Black hat: Devils advocate
Green hat: Creativity
Blue hat: Macro approach
Mind-mapping: Use existing ideas to generate new ones.
Central image or graphic representation of a problem.
Ideas flow freely (no censorship).
Use 1-2 words to label.
Use color to emphasize.
Use lines to show relationship between ideas.
Visual journaling: Like a nonverbal journal (think of a collage).
Use lots of images.
Place images different and use different arrangement style.
Look at what the images and text are telling you about the conflict.
A fellow employee, Phil, has not been contributing equally to complete the normal weekly work at hand. Phil claims he is contributing, but that he is swamped with other work and the emotional aftermath of a bitter divorce. Some fellow workers are upset that he has been so lax and feel that they should take their complaints about Phil to the supervisor. You are good friends with Phil and know he’s not lazy but feel that he may be overdramatizing his problems a bit. Your brought up the topic with Phil over coffee last night, but he was defensive and maintained his “innocence” he even accused you of not sympathizing with him. Communication Options in Conflict
Intangible Conflict Issues
Intangible conflict issues center on gut feelings like love, respect, and self-esteem as well as other topics like power, cooperation, and other beneficial behaviors such as attention and caring.
Except in cases involving major personality issues, conflicts involving resources that are not scarce are often resolved through interpersonal communication.
Intangible conflicts usually involve personality, relationship, or behavioral issues.
Personality issue: Personality issue conflicts focus on a whole constellation of behaviors such as being dominating, introverted, selfish, or achievement oriented.
Relationship issue: Relationship issue conflicts involve rules, norms, and boundaries that partners have tacitly or overtly agreed on.
Behavioral issue: Behavioral issue conflicts concern specific and individual actions we can observe such as the way we handle money, time, space etc.
Usually specific to a situation (not the personality or relationship state in general)
Conflict Communication Options
It is necessary to know what alternative exists and reflect on different outcomes since our actions have consequences.
Functional and dysfunctional conflicts
Dysfunctional Conflict Cycles
Dysfunctional conflict cycles are scripted (scripts: routinized events that we perform with little deviation each time we do them).
Cronen and colleagues call a negative scripted event an undesired repetitive pattern (URP), or a feeling of being trapped in situation beyond ones control.
One person may say something to another, which triggers an automatic response and the conflict quickly escalates.
This usually occur when the other person thinks they know what will be said next.
Common Dysfunctional Conflict Cycles
Confrontation avoidance/accommodation cycle
Competitive conflict escalation cycle
**Issues are usually not resolved in these dysfunctional cycles, namely because of the negative attitude people have about conflict.
Confrontation Avoidance/Accommodation Cycle (Win-Lose):
Those involved in this cycle try to avoid initiating conflict or to give in quickly (accommodate) when conflict arise.
Avoidance behaviors include choosing to withdraw, leaving the scene, avoiding discussion on the issue, or remaining silent.
Avoidance means people do their best not to engage in conflict.
These individuals allow others to interrupt them, subordinate them.
Sometimes have poor eye contact, poor posture and a defeated air about them.
We may recognize the avoiding/accommodating communicator by his/her indecisiveness.
Confrontation avoidance/accommodation cycle contd:
Some people prefer to avoid conflict situations because they have communication apprehension (anxiety a person feels in response to communication situations).
Accommodating, is similar to avoidance and involves obliging others and smoothing over conflict.
May say what he/she wants but gives in quickly to others, which maintains the illusion of harmony.
Suppresses personal needs, interests, and goals.
Does not get personal growth or satisfaction by giving in, but the other person usually does.
Steps in avoidance/accommodation cycle:
The cycle begins with the belief that confrontation is bad and we should avoid it if at all possible.
Because we would like to avoid confrontation, experiencing one makes us nervous.
Generally, something that makes us nervous is something we put off as long as possible.
Unfortunately, many issues worsen when left alone, so eventually we have to confront them.
Our anxiety causes us to handle the confrontation badly.
Our negative perception of conflict is confirmed, and the cycle starts again.
Effects of Confrontation/Accommodation Cycle
By not addressing their concerns, people engage in gunny-sacking (storing up hurts and anger until they explode).
Gunny-sacking can destroy relationships.
A person who gives in time after time may eventually leave the relationship because they have had enough.
Reasons People Engage in Avoidance
People may have a bad history of dealing with conflict.
May believe conflict is abnormal, and may want to end it soon so that they can return to a normal lif