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Once & For All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work

Posts Tagged ‘Conflict Management’

The Decision to Get Involved – 4 Things to Consider

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Conflict Management TrainingConflicts occur in our workplace daily.  And when they do, the conflict rarely impacts just the two people involved. The question is—when is it appropriate for a third party to intervene?  It’s always best for the two people to work the conflict out on their own, but sometimes they simply can’t…or won’t.

Anyone who begins to try to help other people in a conflict situation must first come to grips with their own internal conflict about whether or not to intervene. These factors have proven to be important indicators as to the appropriateness of intervening. (more…)

Conflict Resolution – Six Steps to Manage Disagreements Successfully

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Author: Bill and Joann Truby

A man at the airport was very emotional, actually, quite livid. He was shouting about missing his plane because the monitors were wrong in giving the gate information. He was big, tall and angry as he ran up to the counter. My wife and I were sitting by one of our clients at an airport watching as he ran up to where two female agents stood behind the counter. He slammed his books down on the counter top and began furiously ranting about missing his flight. His voice loud, his body shaking, and his fists were clenched. The two women were obviously frightened. We could see them physically shrink from this aggressive man. They were in conflict.

I got up and began to walk the thirty feet into the scene. Within approximately thirty seconds after engaging with this man, he was calmed into dealing with the situation more rationally. Using the principles in this article a furious, ranting, rather childish man, in aggressive conflict with two ticket agents, was changed back into a rational adult, able to come to resolution over the conflict. What was the magic? The natural principles and laws that promote effective conflict resolution. (more…)

Activity: From Conflict to Collaboration

Friday, September 17th, 2010

In solving conflicts, one of the best things you can do is to strive for collaboration. When collaborating, each person in the conflict works to uncover the other person’s underlying concerns so that everyone understands what is really behind the conflict and the resolution can address most (if not all) of both parties’ concerns.

Common communication tools used in collaboration are: active listening, questioning that reveals a willingness to understand (such as “What is it about this situation that bothers you the most?”), expressing your own concerns without being overly emotional, sticking to the issue at hand and taking responsibility for your role in the conflict.

Here is a quick role play activity you can use to help people practice using collaboration as a conflict resolution method.

Group Activity: Collaborating (35 minutes)

1) Before the exercise, prepare envelopes for each pair of participants. On the outside of the envelope, write a conflict situation that could conceivably occur within an organization (or within your organization, specifically). Inside the envelope, place two slips of paper. On Slip #1, list a job description for Employee #1, as well as an underlying concern for them in the conflict. On Slip #2, list a job description for Employee #2, as well as an underlying concern for them in the conflict.

2) Remind the participants that the skills of active listening and open communication play a key role in helping to uncover underlying concerns in a conflict.

3) State that the goal of the role playing exercise is to get the other party to move past his or her position, and into collaboration. To achieve that, they will need to discover the concerns that are fueling the conflict.

4) Ask the participants to pair up for the role playing exercise. Then pass out the envelopes that you have prepared ahead of the session. Before they begin, ask them to reflect on their positions. They should think about the level of assertiveness they need to bring in defending their position and how willing they will be to cooperate when it comes to meeting the other person’s needs.

5) Have the group begin the role playing exercise. Set a time limit of 15 minutes.

6) After the role playing is completed, ask the group to discuss their experiences. Were they able to identify the position of the other party? Were they able to reveal the underlying concerns? How? Were they successful in moving toward a collaboration? Why or why not?

Excerpted from the Leader’s Guide for the CRM Learning video, Dealing With Conflict.

Training Resource: Dealing with Conflict shows why “collaboration” – which includes getting to the heart of what’s most important to the other party — is typically your best conflict resolution strategy.

Training Success Story: Being Prepared When Conflict Happens

Monday, November 9th, 2009

The Need: A major manufacturer of large vehicles and equipment with over 7500 employees was looking for a conflict management module to train their managers and leaders. The training department saw a need for conflict management skills to be taught in the event that conflicts were to arise in the company.

The Solution: After previewing different programs, the company chose CRM Learning’s What to Do When Conflict Happens and implemented it into their management/leadership course. The trainer felt the video program provided them with exactly what they were looking for as it addresses conflict from different perspectives, both in office environments and on the shop floor.

The Success Story: All manufacturing management and team leaders will be required to complete the training. To date 70% of management has attended. The training is being done in a classroom environment, with discussion before and after the video is viewed. Discussions center around the topic of workplace conflict and how to spot and handle situations that may arise.

The trainer wrote his own curriculum for the class and uses the video and materials as a centerpiece to show examples of conflict situations and how to work through them. The training module that was developed includes several practical simulations where the potential for conflict is present. During the exercises, participants work together as a team to dispel and solve the conflict. The C.A.L.M. Model from the video is utilized as a tool and a solution for dispelling and resolving conflict when it happens.

The C.A.L.M model is a four-step process of: Clarify the situation, Address the problem, Listen to both sides and Manage your way to resolution. When used in this order, the C.A.L.M. model gives a process that is easy for everyone to understand and use to work through their disagreements.

Handouts of the C.A.L.M model are distributed for future reference. The managers and team leaders can refer back to them when they see a conflict arising on the floor or in the office. Participants are also to develop their own plan of how they will manage conflict resolution, and to follow up with individuals after they have had to step into a conflict situation.

In all, after they have gone through the training, managers and team leaders are giving more thought to the subject of conflict, how it occurs, how it can escalate, and how they can play their role as leaders in solving conflict between their team members.

Watch the trailer, full-length preview or learn more about What To Do When Conflict Happens.

How Interpersonal Conflict Hurts Organizations

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Interpersonal conflicts can wreak havoc on an organization. Whether it’s a silent war between departments, a hostile relationship between two co-workers, or a damaging relationship with a vendor, when two or more people are caught in an interpersonal tug-of-war, the organization pays
the price.

In fact, it is estimated that 20-50% of work time is routinely wasted on bickering, backstabbing, vying for approval and other forms of emotional inefficiency. 

Instead of focusing on the work at hand, employees spend time recovering from interactions with a bullying boss, or griping with their colleagues about an irritating co-worker. Sometimes, the most capable employee becomes the least productive worker because he or she is burnt out from months of compensating for less motivated members of the work team.

Emotional inefficiency can develop from something as simple as a constant noise distraction whereby one loud, talkative person eats up hours of other people’s concentration. It can also occur between departments–one team becomes resentful of another team’s inability to meet deadlines. Instead of resolving the problem, a cold war ensues. Both sides quietly sabotage the other.

One approach to solving this problem is to offer individuals concrete skills for managing their workplace relationships.

Ø      If your workplace consists of cubicles and open workspaces where there is little privacy and plenty of pressure, you can hold workshops in setting boundaries and teach co-workers how to respect each other’s space so that optimal productivity takes place.

Ø      If employees have trouble understanding what is expected of them from their bosses, they can be taught the skill of Managing Up – taking concrete steps to meet with, report to, and get direction from the people who supervise them.

Ø      If you have four generations of employees with distinctly different experience levels and values, you can prevent cross-generational rifts by building awareness and tolerance through diversity training and instructing people in the soft skills of team building and communication.

The ability to resolve personal conflicts ultimately rests with the individual. Yet, companies are in a unique position to assist their employees in this area. Learning soft skills is the toughest part of any job. To improve the bottom line and guarantee a happier workforce, organizations must consider investing in the people side of making work work.




Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster are co-authors of the nationally best-selling book, Working With You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work. For over twenty years, they have helped people within corporations, government agencies and universities manage workplace relationships. To see the CRM Learning training video based on their book go to: www.media-partners.com/conflict_resolution/working_with_you_is_killing_me.htm




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