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INTERPERSONAL

AND CONFLICT
MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Conflict
Is a struggle between two opposing
forces.
It is merely the existence of competing
or incompatible options.
It comes up because of differences in
perception, interest, needs, goals and
personalities.

COMMUNICATION PIE

WORDS
7%

NON-VERBAL
55%

TONE OF
VOICE
38%

Barriers to Effective Communication


Semantics
Attitude/Emotions
Status
Hostility
Past Experiences
Charisma
Physical Environment
Fear
Distrust
Poor Listening Habits

Listening Skills
Hearing vs. Listening
Hearing:
The physiological sensory process by which
auditory sensations are received by the ears
and transmitted to the brain.

Listening:
A more complex psychological procedure
involving interpreting and understanding
the significance of the sensory experience.

Empathic Listening
Is listening for understanding
It requires seeing the other persons
world and experiencing his or her
viewpoint without making value
judgments.

Purpose of Listening
To obtain information
to enjoy
to evaluate
to understand

What makes a Good Listener?


Patient
Eye Contact
Summarize to clarify
Put you at ease
Short prompts given
Have empathy
Ask open-ended questions
Dont interrupt
Supportive of body
language
Ask about his/her feelings
Pass few judgments

Common Poor Listening Habits


Not Paying Attention
Listeners may allow themselves to be distracted or to think of something else.
Also, not wanting to listen often contributes to lack of attention .
Pseudolistening
Often people who are thinking about something else deliberately try to look as
though they were listening. Such pretense may leave the speaker with the
impression that the listener has heard some important information or
instructions offered by the speaker.
Hearing but not listening
Sometimes a person listens only to facts or details or to the way they were
presented and misses the real meaning
Rehearsing
Some people listen until they want to say something; then they quit listening,
start rehearsing what they will say, and wait for an opportunity to respond.

Common Poor Listening Habits


Interrupting
The listener does not wait until the complete meaning can be determined,
but interrupts so forcefully that the speaker stops in mid-sentence.

Hearing what is Expected


People frequently think they heard speakers say what they expected them to
say. Alternatively, they refuse to hear what they do not want to hear .

Feeling Defensive
The listeners assume that they know the speakers intention or why
something was said, or for various other reasons, they expect to be
attacked.

Listening for a Point of Disagreement


Some listeners seem to wait for the chance to attack someone. The listen
intently for points on which they can disagree.

Tips for Effective Listening


Paying Attention
If people really want to be good listeners, they must, on occasion, force
themselves to pay attention to the speakers. When speakers are dull
conversationalist, a listener must sometimes use effort to keep from being
distracted by other things.
Listening For The Whole Message
This includes looking for meaning and consistency or congruence in both the
verbal and nonverbal messages and listening for ideas, feelings and intentions as
well as facts. It also includes hearing things that are unpleasant or unwelcome.
Hearing Before Evaluating
Listening to what someone says without drawing premature conclusions is a
valuable aid to listening. By questioning the speaker in a non-accusing manner,
rather than giving advice or judging, a listener can often discover exactly what the
speaker has in mind -- which many times is quite different from what the listener
has assumed.
Paraphrasing What Was Heard

LISTENING SKILLS
Attending
Appropriate Environment
Following skills
Reflective Listening

Key Interaction Principles


Key Principle No. 1

Key Principle No. 2

MAINTAIN OR
ENHANCE
SELF-ESTEEM

LISTEN & RESPOND


WITH EMPATHY

Interaction
Principles

Key Principles No. 3


ASK FOR HELP IN
SOLVING THE
PROBLEM

PRINCIPLE NO. 1: MAINTAIN OR ENHANCE


SELF-ESTEEM
Self-esteem is defined as having a good opinion of
oneself. People who feel good about themselves are more
motivated, productive and cooperative.
BE MORE SPECIFIC - it will avoid doubts
BE SINCERE - it shows how true it is
Examples :
I appreciate your thoroughness in double-checking the
reports
Your ideas in the meeting was excellent. Thanks for your
suggestions
I am glad that you are not late today. Keep it up.

PRINCIPLE NO. 2: LISTEN AND RESPONSE


WITH EMPATHY
Listening is the key to be open. To respond with empathy you
should understand a persons feeling. This would lead to open
communication.
ANALYZE THE CONTENT
UNDERSTAND THE FEELINGS EXPRESSED
Examples :
I know you are disappointed about the change of plans.
Ill bet you are happy of your promotions.
You should very excited about your new job.
NOTE : Responding with empathy does not mean agreeing with
what the person is saying.

PRINCIPLE NO. 3: ASK FOR HELP IN SOLVING


PROBLEMS
The person doing the job knows it better than anyone else.
asking for help not only taps valuable resources, it also builds
commitment and self-esteem.
SEEK AND DEVELOP IDEAS
GIVES SUPPORT WITHOUT REMOVING RESPONSIBILITY

Examples:

What ideas do you have for improving this system?


Do you have any suggestions on what to do with this reject
materials?

Assertiveness
Is the degree to which peoples behavior is seen as forceful and
directive. Assertive people are more energetic and quick to
action than less-assertive people. They move faster, talk faster,
decide faster, address problems faster, and arent afraid to take
risks.

Responsive
Responsiveness is the degree to which people are seen as
showing emotions or demonstrating sensitivity. Responsive
people express feelings more openly, appear more friendly, use
anecdotes, enjoy working with people, and are concerned about
the human aspect of issues.

Behavior Characteristics
Assertive
Has clear boundaries
and does not allow
other to restrict or
violate them.

Non-Assertive
Allows boundaries
to be restricted or
violated

Aggressive
Invades others
boundaries

Lets others know


clearly thoughts or
desires

Fails to express
honest feelings,
beliefs or thoughts
at appropriate times

Expresses feelings or
beliefs in a way which is
often dishonest,
inappropriate,
overbearing or pushy.

Express affection and Seeks permission to


appreciation
do something or
give opinion

Blames, accuses, and


puts other down.

Strong eye contact,


erect posture, firmly
plated feet, natural
gestures.

Cold stares, finger


pointing, hands on hips,
clenched fists, tense
posture

Slumped posture,
shifting weight,
evasive eye contact

THE FOUR STYLES OF PEOPLE


Analyticals are people who are less assertive
and less responsive.
Amiables are, like analyticals, less assertive,
but more responsive.
Expressives are, like amiables, more
responsive.
Drivers are, like expressives, more assertive

ASSERTIVENESS PROCESS
Step 1 - Preparation
1. Set your objectives
2. Write what you have to say
Step 2 - Assertion
1. Central idea
2. Describe feeling in regards to that idea
3. Describe consequences to yourself
Step 3 -Listen
Step 4 - Repeat 2 and 3 as necessary
Step 5 - Strategies, options, & solutions
1. Plans to achieve the objectives
2. Range of options
3. Solutions

Feedback
Is a useful response from others which gives us an
indication of how accurately our message are received
It helps the sender and the receiver reflect each others
messages in order to modify any distortions in what is
heard or expressed.

Uses of Feedback
Provides us with learning opportunities
Makes us become more aware how we do it, and how we affect others
Helps us consider and alter behavior based on information from others.
Reduces interpersonal tensions and creates a sense of trust and
credibility

Feedback Process
K - kiss
K - kick
K - kiss

TYPES OF CONFLICT
Internal Conflict - It is the disturbance that rages within oneself
Approach-Approach - both options are attractive but only one option must be
chosen.
Approach-Avoidance - Wanting something but tries to avoid it.
Avoidance-Avoidance - Two unattractive options are given but a choice must be
made.

Interpersonal Conflict - Is that which exists between individuals


Substantive-issue based, a conflict about decisions,ideas, directions, actions
Personalized- personality-based, fueled by emotion, questions motives and
character
Communication problem- inaccurate or incomplete

Intrapersonal Conflict - conflict among groups of people

PROCESS OF CONFLICT

Perception of conflict
Realization
Avoidance
Flashpoint
Intervention

Strategy Selection and implementation


Evaluation of outcomes

Conflict Management Styles and General Application Guidelines

COMPETE/FORCE
The unilateral use of power and influence to gain compliance with your
views

ACCOMMODATE
Even though you disagree with the other persons views, you unilaterally decide
to offer no resistance, and to support diligent implementation of required action.

AVOIDANCE
A unilateral decision to maintain the status quo by avoiding or defering action on
different views. Such non-engagement is usually constructive only as an interim
strategy

Conflict Management Styles and General


Application Guidelines
COMPROMISE
Jointly seeking to exchange something one party wants for
something the other party wants through offers and counteroffers.
COLLABORATE
A joint exploration by participants, aimed at developing a
synthesis of all informed, relevant views. The integration of
views is realized through frank discussion of interests,
probing of assumptions, and by empathetic listening.

STAGES OF CONFLICT
Stage One : Everyday Concerns and Disputes
the least threatening of conflict
real, although low in intensity
can best be addressed with coping strategies

Characteristics
Characterized by day-to-day irritations
Critical variable her is people. Different personalities, coping mechanisms,
and ever-changing life events make it impossible to predict when an
individual has had enough.
Individuals are usually willing to work toward a solution, often with a sense
of optimism that things can be worked out.
Facts and opinions are shared openly with one another once the problem has
surfaced.

Communication should be clear, specific and solution-oriented - focused


on the issues, not the personalities.
The easiest way to discern whether you are in Stage One conflict or a
more intense level is to observe participants ability to separate people
from the problem
Brainstorming and creative problem-solving work well at this stage
because participants are willing to discuss problems rather than
personalities
Listening and participation are essential at this level.
Teamwork and shared responsibility should be emphasized.

STAGE TWO: More Significant Challenges


With long-term consequences and higher emotional involvement
requires more training and specific management skills
Characteristics:
Conflict takes on the element of competition, typified by a win-lose attitude.
A cover yourself attitude can also be observed.
People keep track of verbal victories and record mistakes, witnesses take sides, and
an imaginary debate develops with scores being tallied.
Alliances and cliques begin to form
In this stage the language is less specific; people take in generalizations. E.g.
everyone believes .

A discussion of the issues often proves futile as parties


continually drift into personality concerns.
Puts-down sarcasm.
The atmosphere is not necessarily hostile but it is very
cautious.
A wait and see attitude degenerates into a your prove
yourself to me attitude.
Competing parties are less likely to provide accurate
facts to one another because the trust level has declined.
At this stage, the people are the problem.

Management Strategies for Stage Two


Create a safe atmosphere. Provide an environment
where everyone is secure.
Be hard on the facts, soft on the people.
Do the initial work as a team, sharing in the
responsibility for finding an alternative everyone can live
with.
Look for middle ground but do not suggest compromise.
Competing parties should be next to each other rather
than across the table . A round table also works well.

STAGE THREE : Overt Battles


When volatile emotions are raging
The desire to win is surpassed by the desire to punish
Characteristics:
The objective shifts from wanting to win toward wanting to hurt. The
motivation is to get rid of the other party.
Individuals choose sides on the issues that matter and insiders and outsiders
are identified by the competing parties.
Leaders emerge from the group and act as spokespersons.
Positions are polarized
The merits of an argument and the strength with which positions are held are
greatly exaggerated.
Logic and reason are not effective in dissuading others.

INTERVENTION STRATEGIES FOR STAGE THREE


NEGOTIATION - requires parties to sit across from one
another and work through the conflict in the presence of an
outside agent.
MEDIATION - both sides present their case to the intervention
team and the team facilitates discussion and encourages
movement toward a mutually acceptable solution.
ARBITRATION - Each side its best case; the intervention
team chooses one side over the other. Arbitration, especially
binding arbitration, demands enforcement. All parties must
follow and accept the conclusions of the intervention team.

PROCESS
WRITE OUT A CASE SCENARIO
CLARIFY CRITICAL ISSUES
IDENTIFY STAKEHOLDERS
SOURCES OF DISAGREEMENT
PLAN STRATEGY (What pattern will work)

Ground Rules
Listen to the other team members first, then decide how to
respond.
Recognize that everyone has an opinion about almost everything.
Acknowledge differences of opinion
When in doubt about anything, seek clarification.
Assumptions are risky; make them only when you have to.
Clarify where your responsibility stops and starts, and how it fits
with that of other team members.
Update people who need to know what you know.
Respect each others role in the organization.
If you have an issue or point of disagreement with a team member,
tell them, not others.