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Communication Skills - Managing Conflicts

Managing Conflicts
  • What are Conflicts About?
    • The Topic at hand
      • Pay and other compensation
      • Resources
      • Scheduling
      • Job assignments
      • Quality of products and services
      • Budgeting
    • The Process: some disputes are more about 'how' to do something tant what to do. Some common issues are
      • Labor and management - work contract disputes
      • Distribution of task in a project team
      • Choice of event for fundraising
    • Relational Issues: how parties want to be treated by one another
      • Among family members
      • Employer vs. Employees
      • Management and hierarchy
    • Ego/Identity Issues
      • Competence
      • Commitment
      • Fairness
      • Honesty
      • Reasonableness
      • Professionalism
  • Approaches to Conflict
    • Avoiding: one way to deal with confliect is to avoir it whenever possible and withdraw when confronted. 
      • Refusing to take phone call
      • Staying barricaded in the office
      • Psychological : denying that a problem exists or that it is serious, repressing emotional reactions
      • Avoiding may have drawback  and may have unaceptable costs (loss of self-respect, frustration, problem 
    • Consider Avoiding
      • When an issue is genuinely trivial, or when more important issues are pressing.
      • When you have no chance of winning.
      • When the potential for disruption outweights the benefits of resolution.
      • To let others cool down and regain perpective.
      • When the long term costs of winning may outweigh short-term gains.
      • When others can resolve the conflict more effectively.
    • Consider Accommodating
      • When you find you are wrong
      • When the issue is important to the other party and not important to you
      • To build social credit for later issues
      • To minimize loss when you are outmatched and losing
      • When harmony and stability are more imporant than the subject at hand
      • To allow others to learn by making their own mistakes. 
    • Consider Competing
      • When quick, decisive action is vital (e.g. emergencies)
      • On important issues where unpopular actions need implementing (e.g. Cost cutting, enforcing unpopular rules)
      • When others will take advantage of your noncompetitive behaviour.
    • Consider Collaborating
      • To find solutions when both parties' concerns are too important to be compromised 
      • When a long-term relationship between the parties is important
      • To gain commitment of all parties by building consensus
      • When the other party is willing to take a collaborative approach.
    • Consider Compromising
      • When goals are important but not worth the effort or potential disruption of more assertive modes
      • When opponents with equal power are committed to mutually exclusive goals
      • To achieve temporay settlements of complex issues
      • To arrive at expedient solutions under time pressure
      • As a backup when collaboration is unsuccessful
  • Handling Conflicts Constructively 
    • Negotiation strategies and outcomes: a common negotiating strategy is the competive win-lose approach. No one seeks lose-lose outcomes, but they can arise when competitors try to gain an advantage at one another's expense. Sometimes it seems better to compromise than to fight battles in a competitve manner and risk a lose-lose outcome. When negotiators collaborate, they can often - though not always - achieve a win-win outcome, in which everybody involved is satisfied. Examples of win-win solutions:
      • Shorter working hours for teachers
      • Increasing employee compensation
      • Blending business goals and community beauty
    • Preparing to negotiate
      • Clarify your interests and needs
      • Consider the best time to raise the issue
      • Prepare your statement
    • Conducting the negotiation
      • Identify the ends both parties are seeking
      • Brainstorm a list of possible solutions
      • Evaluate the alternative solutions
      • Implement and follwo up on the solution
    • A Case Study of win-win problem solving
      • Identify the needs of both parties
      • Brainstorm a list of possible solutions
      • Evaluate the alternative solutions
      • Implement the solution
      • Follow-up on the solution
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