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Conflict Communication

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1 Conflict Communication
Part II

2 Chapter 8 Anger

3 Anger What is Anger? Anger is important—large effects on social relationships Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure Antagonism and rage are synonymous Different from hurt or irritated May lead to revenge and/or violence Anger can sometimes be used constructively

4 *Misconceptions We are not capable of controlling destructive anger
Uncontrolled and destructive anger expression is natural Uncontrolled and destructive anger expression is a force that must be “released” E.g. “venting,” “letting off steam,” ”blow your top” Others cause our anger

5 Anger Most common between close ties More contact
More caring about the actions/feelings of the other Greater interdependence Relationship success matters more More confident that expression is acceptable Greater predictability

6 Anger Anger manifestations:
1. One type occurs instantly with no malice or forethought Even in people not generally viewed as hostile or aggressive. 2. Another form festers away over time Revenge. 3. A third type is attached to one’s personality: trait-like Beneath the surface Can quickly manifest when individuals feel pressured, defensive, attacked, told what to do (control)

7 Anger Type 3: trait-like anger:
Enduring disposition to experiencing anger more frequently, more intensely, and for a longer Often tuned to anger-related words Responds to anger words more quickly than to other emotion words People who have low-anger trait tend to spontaneously reframe the circumstances in ways that deflect or inhibit their anger

8 Anger Different sources of anger: loss of control, frustration, fear, insecurity, loss, sadness Men and women experience it differently Men: anger is empowering—they have power and it gives them more Women: emerges out of feelings of frustration and powerlessness As people age: Less likely to exhibit trait anger. Anger for older adults (~50s and up) is less frequent and less intense Less overt displays of anger

9 Anger Managing Anger: Three Different Ways of Expressing or Not Expressing One’s Anger: “Anger-Ins” (hold it in) “Anger-outs” (express it) “Anger controllers” (manage it)

10 Anger Anger-ins: Difficulty in admitting that they are angry
Know that they are angry but don’t want to tell the other person Tell others about their anger Generally passive aggressive.

11 Anger Anger-outs: Automatic reactions, quick to criticize, blame, and accuse Minor aggressive acts such as bickering Verbal aggression Physical aggression, force

12 Anger Anger controllers: Think positively about conflict
Use techniques to better manage it Collaborate and work together toward mutually satisfactory solutions Use the S-TLC system Negotiate rather than compete Manage the conflict climate and stress levels Use assertive communication behavior Employ the steps of the interpersonal confrontation ritual

13 Anger Interpersonal confrontation ritual:
Identify problem(s)/needs/issues Be honest, be complete Many people can’t remember what they were fighting about Signal the need to talk In a way that doesn’t threaten face or inflame Confront: talk about your problem Be assertive, not aggressive Listen to feedback Resolve: seek mutual agreement Seek compromise as a last resort Follow up: set a time/place

14 Anger What to do before expressing (or withholding) anger
*Take time out Use relaxation exercises *Engage in self-talk Seek alternative ways to release anger *Uncover the emotion that is disguised as anger *See your part in the problem *Mentally switch places with the other

15 Anger If you must expressing anger: do it effectively
Don’t: yell, make threatening gestures, curse or swear, threaten, mock, or use alcohol as a means of courage Express after cooling down Direct at the target Restore a sense of justice Regain control Don’t invite retaliation Anticipate the effect of your words and actions Try to keep the other focused on the here and now

16 Anger If another is the one in anger: Remain calm
Acknowledge the source of anger Listen and reflect Walk away if necessary But promise to engage later

17 Managing “Face” Chapter 9

18 Conflict and Face Issues
What is it? Impression or “image” people have of themselves *Based on the approval and acceptance of others “Looking glass self” Isn’t necessarily very accurate One of our most valuable possessions Often very fragile Heavily guarded; well defended All this is “impression management”

19 Conflict and Face Issues
Fundamental assumption: People are motivated to create and maintain impressions of themselves (core of many conflict situations) Demands of “face”: Create and sustain self-identity; create, protect, and maintain others’ identities When people lose face: shame (self-focused) and/or guilt (behavior-focused) May also seek retaliation

20 Conflict and Face Issues
Positive face: A positive and consistent self image that is accepted by the group, peers, others We want to feel that others approve and agree with this (somewhat fictional) self image Desire to be liked and admired Relates to self-esteem issues

21 Conflict and Face Issues
Face-threatening act: acts that conflict with the face wants and needs Autonomous face (also “negative face”): I’m in control of my fate, responsible; mature I’m self-sufficient, independent, reliable May be seen as “silent leaders” “I’m part of the team, but I lead by example” Impose on my freedom to be in control: face threat (respond with defensiveness) Psychological reactance

22 Conflict and Face Issues
What triggers negative face threats? Threat, order, warning, request, reminder, suggestion, advice, promise, expressions of admiration, envy, hated, lust We can signal that we have weak negative face: Expressing thanks, accepting thanks, accepting an apology, accepting an excuse, accepting an offer

23 Other “Face” Concepts Fellowship face: Competence face
Need to be seen as a valued member of the group Focus on cohesiveness, equal participation, etc. Don’t stand out from the others Competence face Our desire to be identified with a role E.g. I’m the computer expert. I’m very competent I want to be seen as reliable by my peers Threaten: defensiveness

24 Conflict and Face Issues
Protecting others’ autonomy face: Ask open-ended questions Listen without judging Explore options Don’t exclude others

25 Conflict and Face Issues
Facework: Establish/maintain impressions of ourselves to others; support or deny the impressions that others are making "the communicative strategies one uses to enact self-face and to uphold, support, or challenge another person's face" (Masumoto, Oetzel, Takai, Ting-Toomey, & Yokochi, 2000).

26 Conflict and Face Issues
Preventive facework—tactics See the situation from the other’s perspective How does the issue affect the other and the other’s self-image? Initially (at least) accept what the other person says at “face” value Accept the other person’s right to change his or her mind Avoid face-threatening topics; use communication practices that minimize threats to face.

27 Conflict and Face Issues
Preventive facework—tactics Use politeness and disclaimers Hedging: indicate uncertainty and receptivity to suggestions Cognitive disclaimer: asserting that the behavior is reasonable and under control, despite appearances Credentialing: indicating you have good reasons and appropriate qualifications for your statements Sin license: indicating that this is an appropriate occasion to violate the rule; not a character defect. Appeal for suspended judgment: asking the other to withhold judgment until it is explained.

28 Conflict and Face Issues
Supportive Facework helps reinforce the way the other is presenting himself or herself 1. Do I try to make the other feel important? 2. Do I try to make the other look good to other people? 3. Do I try to make the other think that they are winning? 4. Do I try to make the other feel secure? 5. Do I try to make the other believe that I am honest and trustworthy?

29 Conflict and Face Issues
Corrective Facework : statements meant to ameliorate the effect of face-threatening messages 1. People overestimate their own level of cooperation and underestimate the other person’s 2. Scanning: checking out the perceptions created Question the other to confirm 3. Explaining: used when we perceive that the other has not taken our message in the way we meant it

30 Conflict and Face Issues
Repair Sequence (ritual) 1. Offending situation: the other’s behavior is perceived as intentional and hurtful Whether accurate or not Face threatening: hard to continue until addressed 2. Reproach: request for an explanation of an offense from the one offended Verbal, nonverbal, aggressive, passive-aggressive If perception (step 1) is inaccurate, this can be a trigger

31 Conflict and Face Issues
Repair Sequence (continued) 3. Remedy (account): Refuse to act or even note (most unsatisfying) Provide an account (explanation: excuse or justification) Concessions admit the offender’s guilt and offer restitution Apologies are admissions of blameworthiness and regret on the part of the offender supplied by an offender 4. Acknowledgment: evaluation of the account supplied by the one offended We’re even, we’re OK, I accept your reason Or, rejection of the remedy

32 Image Restoration Remedies
Excuse Impairment, diminished responsibility, scapegoat status, victim of sad circumstances, etc. Justification No harm occurred, it was deserved, other people do it, I meant well, I had a responsibility to do it Concession I admit it, let me make it up Apology I admit it, and I truly regret it Weak restore Strong restore

33 Apologies Admission of blameworthiness AND regret
Request for pardon, self-castigation, help Offender wants to restore positive face Appearance of a genuine apology can lessen emotional state of those with high trait hostility

34 Conflict and Face Issues
Conflict And Impression Management In Cyberspace Attractiveness of friends who leave messages on person’s wall in Facebook affects impressions of that person’s attractiveness Comments made by others about a person on his or her profile are more influential in creating impressions than self-made statements Facebook used more by socially adept people to strengthen relationships than by socially anxious people to create them

35 Conflict and Face Issues
Responding to Others Results indicate that apologies and/or offering some corrective action were seen as the most appropriate and effective ways to restore one’s image

36 Conflict and Face Issues
Conflict And Impression Management In Cyberspace In their study of online conflict, Smith, McLaughlin, and Osborne found that few people replied to reproaches and seldom completed the traditional repair sequence Negative conflict behaviors were more frequent in CMC than FTF Higher levels of avoidance and lower levels of forcing in computer-mediated negotiation

37 Forgiveness Chapter 10

38 Forgiveness Is there an event in your life that you find difficult to forgive? Why? What would it take for you to forgive? What are the consequences of forgiving? What have been the consequences of not forgiving?

39 Forgiveness Most important part of conflict management
Only way to transform the meaning of the event Only way to minimize the likelihood of repeating the event Repeats become more destructive with each iteration Not needed in every conflict situation Depends on intimacy of relationship, degree of outcome importance Conscious decision to reduce our focus on the event We decide not to change the future based on the past We decide to move beyond “victimization”

40 Forgiveness Reconciliation:
The process of restoring a damaged relationship (creating a new one, more accurately) Forgiving and reconciling are not the same We can forgive, but choose not to reconcile (or even let them know we forgive) Forgiving and reconciling are not one-time events We tend to return to them cognitively and emotionally We deal with different parts over time Competent conflict managers use forgiveness and reconciliation strategies effectively Develop a repertoire of responses

41 And generate history, feelings, and other effects that persist
Without competence in forgiveness and reconciliation skills, relationships will end And generate history, feelings, and other effects that persist

42 Forgiveness Relational Transgressions Concern core relational rules
Expectations about the way we should behave toward others and the way they should behave toward us We assume a truth bias toward friends and lovers. Deception: deliberately altering information to change a person’s perceptions We assume a helping orientation toward friends and lovers Violations leave strong emotional residues

43 Forgiveness Forgiveness: cognitive process; letting go of feelings of revenge and desires to retaliate. Aids in transforming the meaning of the event, or changing the way we view the event and the person Reframing is key Unforgiveness: cognitive process; not letting go of feeling of revenge and retaliation Revenge: “an eye for an eye.” Reconciliation: behavioral process; actions to restore a relationship or create a new one Distinct from forgiveness.

44 Forgiveness Advantages Of Forgiveness Why don’t we forgive?
Mental Health Raises self-esteem and lowers depression Physical Health Unforgiveness creates stress; harsh long-term effects Higher levels of pain for trait-based unforgiveness Widely demonstrated links to cardiovascular health Why don’t we forgive? Other hasn’t admitted wrongdoing, apology insincere, desire to be a victim Empathy skill leads to higher levels of forgiveness Age—younger (college age study) = harder Don’t know how, no support

45 Forgiveness Working through forgiveness Levels of Forgiveness
Can be taught: it’s a skill Levels of Forgiveness Forgiveness for own sake (it’s healthy, feels better) Forgiveness because of empathy: understanding that the other needs forgiveness, or… Forgiveness for the sake of the relationship (not necessarily the other or self) Higher level of empathy: he/she is “like me” (difficult) Even higher level of empathy: “I am like him/her” (most difficult) I could do this to others, too

46 Forgiveness Working Through Reconciliation (optional)
Levels of Reconciliation No reconciliation: repression, victim status, low trust, bitterness Possible reconciliation: Usually after admission Conditional reconciliation After expression of regret and apology Processual reconciliation Some attempt at a remedy Restoration

47 Forgiveness Working Through Reconciliation (cont.)
Steps toward Reconciliation 1: Account and apology (we usually need these to proceed) 2: Acceptance of account and apology or its absence We must reframe the other and the event 3: Forgiveness may or may not be verbally communicated We may simply act as though it’s forgiven 4: Transforming the relationship, if desired Less intimate, more intimate, different type of relationship 5: Actions confirm forgiveness and reconciliation Beware negative self-fulfilling prophecies: we can create the behaviors in the other we expect to see Create positive self-fulfilling prophecies

48 Forgiveness Working Through Reconciliation (cont.)
Forgiveness and reconciliation feed each other in ongoing relationships: After forgiving one another, we tell each other that the act is forgiven, which allows us to act without reference to the offense In turn, we feel better about our relationship and can talk about our relationship without reference to the offense. In turn, actions confirm words which creates the reality of our forgiveness.


50 Forgiveness Moving Beyond Victimization:
We tend to want to find someone to blame (not ourselves) Sometimes, we must forgive without communication When reconciliation is not safe, not possible, not desired by you. Not desired by the transgressor, etc. In these cases, any expression of anger, hurt, etc. may make it worse: we can’t risk the vulnerability We learn to “move on”; drop the baggage Seeking revenge hurts us more We MUST do this if we want to continue interaction Sometimes realize that, like us, the other is doing the best that he/she can

51 Forgiveness Seeking forgiveness (offender initiated)
Offender experiences feelings of shame and guilt for the offense Offender makes a decision to seek forgiveness Offender expresses remorse and repentance Victim should recognize that this is humbling, it puts the offender in a vulnerable position Final stage of seeking forgiveness: waiting Difficult Tell ourselves that we did all we could

52 Mediation Chapter 11

53 Mediation Shift from dealing with our own conflicts to helping others resolve theirs When should we (do we) intervene? When people can’t/won’t do it themselves Mediator/mediation is not: Conciliation, ombudsperson, arbitration, and adjudication/litigation Mediators are unbiased third parties who facilitate communication between conflicting parties Parties work out their own agreement

54 Dispute When those involved cannot work out the conflict by themselves
A conflict does not necessarily result in a dispute

55 Why Mediation or other ADRs?
High case load in the courts Less expensive than litigation Often compulsory Greater level of confidentiality Greater level of control of those involved in the process

56 Mediation Typical mediation;
1. One or both disputants seek mediation or a mediator talk them into it. 2. The mediator brings the disputants together and makes an opening statement. 3. Following the opening statement, each person takes a few minutes to describe the dispute from his or her point of view without interruption. 4. The mediator finds common ground on which to build agreement. 5. The mediator writes up the final agreement. 6. The mediator ends the mediation.

57 Mediation Terms: ADR: alternatives to dispute resolution
Adjudication: neutral judge and jury hear both sides and decide (ADR) Either side can appeal Arbitration: neutral third party hears both sides and makes the decision (ADR) More binding that adjudication (can’t appeal) Ombudsperson: an ADR where one side has a person that “cuts through the red tape” (usually when dealing with governmental agencies) Caucus: when the mediator talks to one side alone

58 Mediation Conciliation: (ADR) neutral third party practices “shuttle diplomacy” by traveling back and forth between conflicting parties unable to meet Mediation: (ADR) neutral third party facilitates communication between the conflicting parties; they work out mutually acceptable agreement Mediators have no decision-making power

59 Mediation Mediation reduces the BATNA of the disputants
Mediators help to restore communication and normalize relations Mediation allows for full participation by the conflicting parties Mediation has a high success rate (80%) Formal versus Informal Mediation Formal: satisfactory agreements are often worked out at a single session lasting 1–3 hours Informal: people can help others without their being formally trained and certified.

60 Mediation The Role of the Mediator The “principle of three” effect
Two parties: encourages win/lose. Third person signals the public/social attention (face pressure) A mediator has no decision-making power regarding the outcome of the mediation The mediator should develop a “subjective neutrality” Honors the validity and truth of each person’s story without deciding who is right or wrong Mediators must maintain confidentiality Mediators must give equal time/treatment Mediators should not be close with either party

61 Mediation Mediators must be competent in communication
Be descriptive, not judgmental (e.g., “It seems like you are raising your voice,” versus “It sounds like you are angry”) Be specific (e.g., “You say you are bothered you are by your colleague’s work habits. What specific habits?”) Focus only on behaviors that one can change Give timely feedback when it is requested, as close as possible to the behavior being discussed Speak only for yourself (e.g., “I understand you to say…” “I take it that you feel…” “I want you both to…” “I prefer to keep my opinions to myself.”) Check what you see or hear with the other parties

62 Mediation Mediators encourage cooperation and discourage competition between the parties Mediators as Communication Rules Enforcers Rules are obligations and prohibitions (what we may and may not say in certain situations). In opening statements, mediators define the communication rules for the mediation. They enforce those communication rules. They steer the disputants through the steps of mediation. They manage the tone of the discussion. They ask disputants to change focus when needed; keep them on task

63 Typical rules Taking turns to talk without interruptions
Talking without expressing hostility to one another Creating a positive climate; no put-downs Focusing on the future (what the parties will do) rather than the past (what was done) Striving for a win–win solution (no one feeling dissatisfied or agreeing to something unacceptable) Focus on solving the problem rather than attacking or blaming the other person Being honest and sharing thoughts and feelings without fear of criticism or publicity Adhering to time constraints/other rules set by mediator

64 The Mediation Process:
One or both disputants seek mediation, or mediators talk them into it (the intake process). The mediators bring the disputants together and make an opening statement, which includes: Participation in mediation is voluntary and the mediator or conflicting parties may terminate it at any time The mediator is unbiased What is said in mediation is confidential That the goal is a written agreement with which both parties are satisfied or at least comfortable

65 Mediation: opening statements
That the mediator is an unbiased facilitator of discussion and does not make decisions That the parties should talk to and look at one another rather than at the mediator. That the parties will take turns talking without interruptions (nonverbal either) That the parties must adhere to time constraints set by the mediator That the parties strive to solve the problem rather than attack, blame, express hostility

66 Mediation: opening statements
That a positive climate with no put-downs will be enforces That focus will be on the future That they can openly share thoughts and feelings without fear of criticism or publicity That a win–win solution is the target (define as no one feeling dissatisfied or agreeing to something either party finds unacceptable) That the parties agree to abide by additional rules as announced by the mediator during the session.

67 Mediation Following the opening statements, each person to takes a few minutes to describe the dispute without interruption Sometimes it is useful for mediators to caucus Their may be some information that one disputant doesn’t want to reveal in the presence of the other Caucus should be offered to the other side Find common ground (to build agreement on) Use fractionation, framing (posing good questions with no blame language), reframing (mediators restate negatively loaded, biased, or accusatory statements) Helps the disputants look at the issues differently

68 Mediation Final Agreement: Ending the Mediation
A list of behavioral commitments that enumerates specific observable actions each party needs to take to fulfill the agreement Ending the Mediation Each disputant receives a copy of the handwritten, signed agreement. If appropriate, the mediators set up a date for reviewing and evaluating the agreement Mediators thank the parties and wish them well Unlike formal mediation, in informal mediation, no need to file paperwork, have typewritten agreements, etc.

69 VIDEO: Typical Mediation
VIDEO: Typical Mediation

70 Managing Conflict from a Theoretical Perspective
Chapter 12 Managing Conflict from a Theoretical Perspective

71 Conflict Theory Understanding theories:
Not the same as having the skills Theories allow us to carry skills from one situation to another Allow us to apply them appropriately within situations A skill is a learnable behavior, a person can improve it

72 Intrapersonal Theories of Conflict
Psychodynamic Theory People experience conflict because of intrapersonal (internal, psychological, emotional, mental) states Helps explain: Displaced conflict: acted out over the right issue, but with the wrong person/thing Often a more socially acceptable or weaker target (if the actual target is highly valued or has greater power) Misplaced conflict: acted out with the right person, but over the wrong issue Often over “safe” rather than suppressed issue Overblown conflict: conflict receives more attention than it really deserves Often to release pent-up energy

73 Psychodynamic Theory The “id”: Contains the libido:
The unconscious aspect that “contains everything that is inherited, present at birth, or fixed in the constitution” Contains the libido: The source of instinctual energy, which demands discharge through various channels Operates on the “pleasure principle”: Tension-reduction process: tension from a bodily need is translated into a psychological wish to reduce the tension Seek pleasure and avoid pain: only satisfaction; no regard for the cost of doing so

74 Psychodynamic Theory The id is in conflict with the superego
Perfects and civilizes behavior Suppress all unacceptable id urges Two components: Ego ideal: the internalized idea of what a person would like to be Conscience: morals and other judgments concerning correct and incorrect behavior

75 Psychodynamic Theory Ego: mediates between the id and the superego
Governed by the “reality principle”: satisfies the id's desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways Weighs the costs and benefits before acting Effects identified by psychodynamic theory Anxiety: tension when people perceive danger Repression: another defense mechanism when we try not to think about the situation Frustration: results from the internal battle between the id and superego that often erupts into conflict with others Sources: tension, stress, insecurity, anxiety, hostility, sexual urges, or depression.

76 Attribution Theory People act in conflict situations because of inferences they make about others based on their behavior Internal attributions about another: E.g.: e.g. he hates, she’s stupid, he’s evil, she’s angry, etc. Often results in name-calling (you cheat, idiot, lazy, good for nothing, etc.) and assigning blame (it’s all your fault) External attributions for oneself A way to avoid blame (it’s my parents’ fault that I am this way, I can’t help that I didn’t go to the right school) Avoid giving credit to others where it is due (e.g. you got the job because you graduated from the right school)

77 Attribution Theory Fundamental attribution error: overestimate the internal factors and underestimate the external factors in perceptions in others’ behaviors E.g.: “Look at what Sue is doing: she’s obviously got no talent talking to customers” Instead of: “Sue having difficulty making a connection with customers today. I wonder is she’s feeling the stress from her recent divorce” Self-serving bias: When we assign our successes to internal factors and our failures to external factors E.g.: I was really good today with my employees; I have great “people skills.” I had no luck reaching Mike, though; “he’s not a team player”

78 Social Exchange Theory
We make decisions based on cost/benefit analyses of outcomes of relationships Benefits and costs: material, social, emotional, intellectual, etc. Relationship viewed as a positive is more likely to progress towards greater depth/breadth OUTCOME = BENEFITS – COSTS Perception issue, not reality CL = comparison level = threshold of perceived happiness from a relationship Depends on our/their history Sequence matters (when the good/bad event occurs) Trends matter (a perceived increase/decrease of good/bad events) SATISFACTION = OUTCOME - CL

79 Social Exchange CLalt = comparison level of alternatives
How attractive are other choices? What will be the outcome of continuing? Optimum situation when both parties find that: outcome > CLalt > CL If so, relationship will become deeper Alternatives: affected by extrinsic and intrinsic factors Extrinsic (outside influences): e.g. where you go to school Intrinsic (internal influences): e.g. you are shy DEPENDENCE = OUTCOME - COMPARISON LEVEL OF ALTERNATIVES Perception issue, not reality

80 Conflict Theory Social Exchange applied to conflict management
Third party intervention may lead a person to examine the current relationship and perceive inequity in it: creating conflict Mediator can reframe issues to “redo the math”

81 Group Conflict Chapter 13

82 How Does Group Conflict Differ?
Group conflicts are unique Type of interdependence among the parties Organizational in nature Workplace relationships (boss–employee, colleagues, department heads, employee–public, etc.) *We are better deception-detectors at work Familiarity, but less truth bias Group conflicts are distinct from: Formal grievances: must be resolved by third parties (e.g.: human resources specialists) Litigation: lawsuits and issues involving regulatory agencies that oversee an organization.

83 The Nature of Conflict in Groups
Types of Conflict Instrumental/task: disagreement between supervisors and subordinates or among members of a team over how to get a job done Relationship: power, trust, supportiveness, competition, and IP relationship rules Including those in task-oriented groups Identity: when face issues are threatened Process: disagreements over the management style Lack of agreement on departmental or organizational process goals

84 The Nature of Conflict in Groups
Information processing perspective: Assumes that conflict has a curvilinear relationship with cognitive flexibility, creative thinking, and problem-solving abilities At low levels of conflict, groups may not experience enough stress to think actively: may ignore important information. At high levels of conflict, groups are unable to process information well: performance suffers

85 Group Conflict Conflict acts as a group developer (e.g.: Tuckman’s stages) Forming: confusion over expectations, uncertainties, power, identity, inclusion, boundary-testing. Conflict is withheld or poorly managed Not much gets done (no productive conflict) Storming: conflict between belonging and independence. Confusion about goals and purpose, leadership model. Can be short or long Some groups never leave (minutia-driven): maturity issue Can be very unpleasant to those averse to conflict Tolerance of others is key to successfully moving on Leaders must not be too restrictive at this stage

86 Group Conflict Tuckman’s stages
Norming: all systems operational: productivity emerges. Members accept roles, purposes, norms Trust and structure stage Unity emerges: start acting like a team, not individuals Performing: rare: Members are very interdependent, yet are very autonomous: little supervision required Dissent is both allowed and welcomed (provided it is presented in the accepted fashion) Conflict focuses individuals on outcome-driven action Termination: mandatory or voluntary dissolution of the group Even the loss of a single member can shift the group into another stage

87 When Conflict Creates Poor Outcomes
Role Conflict Not just a job assignment: the expected characteristics of the person who fills the role. Formal role: from the assigned position in a group or organization Organizational chart or “chain of command” reflects these formal roles; prescribes who is supposed to report to whom. Informal roles in groups and organizations arise from the communication and interactions Both cause conflict

88 Group Conflict Role conflict: Depends of the type of role
Task (usually formal): asking for and giving information, opinions Promotive Maintenance (formal or informal) confirming others, supportive messages Disruptive (informal): self-centered, diverts group off task Could be task and maintenance roles that do not serve the outcome; they are not promotive, they are disruptive

89 Too much cohesiveness: Groupthink
“… when concurrence-seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive in-group that it tends to override realistic appraisals of alternative courses of action” (Janis, 1982, p.9)

90 Groupthink Symptoms Illusion of invulnerability (optimism):
Relieves us of responsibility to make difficult rational decisions. Also, self-esteem and consistency issues Rationalization (especially negative information) Illusion of morality Stereotyping of outgroup members and leaders (us against them thinking) Peer pressure: dissent against the group members that disagree Self-censorship Illusion of unanimity (silence is approval bias) Mindguarding (usually self-appointed)

91 Group Conflict Abilene Paradox
Group actions that no one (members) wanted to take Action anxiety: we often act based on what we believe others expect us to do Even if we disagree, or we’re wrong about the others. Supported by: Negative fantasies (perceived risk): unrealistic visualizations of harmful effects resulting from acting the way we think we should: excuse for not acting. Fear of separation: ostracism is the most powerful punishment Real risk: operates no differently from perceived risk Confusion of fantasies and reality: we make the fantasy reality (self-fulfilling prophecy): Fantasized risk becomes real

92 Group Conflict Lucifer Effect Zimbardo (Stanford Prison Experiment)
Usually in unusual, high pressure situations Circumstances overwhelm the individual The point where we “cross the line“ Often occur when constraints are released Rules are unquestioned: we obey without thinking We cannot separate “me” from the role expected of us Roles we play become so entwined we no longer think about what we are doing or what others expect of us

93 Group Conflict Strategies to Resolve Conflict (chapter 3 issues):
Contend (compete) Collaborate Avoid Compromise Accommodate Bias toward cooperation leads most people to try to collaborate

94 Group Conflict Relationship issue: conflict is best avoided
Research: avoiding responses to relationship-oriented conflicts: higher levels of team performance Contending or collaborating responses lowered team performance overall Avoiding responses better for two reasons: Relationship conflict is difficult to settle to mutual satisfaction Cooperative and understanding unlikely to solve the problem; makes it bigger and intractable Collaborating and contending responses direct team members away from their tasks and teamwork Focus on interpersonal relations: team functioning and effectiveness suffers

95 Group Conflict Best Practices
Develop a habit of cooperation; manage (not maximize) group cohesiveness Groups that trust one another handle conflict in more productive terms. Avoid, at least initially, relationship-oriented conflicts Better resolved over time as team members come to know one another better. Approach process and task-related conflicts in an expedient manner, favor collaborating strategies as a way to explore alternatives for future behavior.

96 Managing Organizational Conflict
Chapter 14

97 Managing Organizational Conflict
Effects of organizational conflict: Lowered productivity Less creativity Less innovation Prolonged, unresolved conflict Negative consequences for team members’ health

98 Managing Organizational Conflict
Organizational Diversity and Conflict: Diversity-based conflict: when personal characteristics (cultural, ethnic, racial, etc.) are the source Social category characteristics (age, ethnicity, gender, etc.) and informational characteristics (work experience, education, values, beliefs, etc.) contribute to diversity-based conflict. Civility as a Response to conflict: Attitude of respect toward others manifested in our behavior toward them; not predicated on how we feel about them in particular How we act, not think or feel

99 Managing Organizational Conflict
Civility: Mindfulness of the dignity of the other person in your sphere at all times The sum of the many sacrifices we are called to make for the sake of living together Rules for civility at work: Best words when caught in an unexpected, emotional-charged situation: no words at all. Use words respectful of the specific listener to whom they are addressed (not some generic “rule”) Respect the reality of the situation: use temperate, accurate, non-inflammatory, words when describing or commenting on ideas, issues, or persons

100 Managing Organizational Conflict
Civility: Use objective, nondiscriminatory language that respects the uniqueness of all individuals. Respect your listeners by using clean language all the time on the job Civility is two commitments: (1)Do no harm to others harm; (2) do good for others. When we disagree, civility requires that we be honest about our differences; manage rather than suppress or ignore them Civility requires that we come into the presence of others with a sense of gratitude, rather than duty and obligation.

101 Managing Organizational Conflict
Work-life conflict A. Work–life conflict: a balance between one’s personal life and the demands of work. Includes: Hours Vacation Childcare Wireless technology Time Roles at work vs. roles at home

102 Workplace bullying: From Playground to Boardroom
A frequent, enduring abusive interaction distinguished by targets’ inability to defend Bullying has four specific features: Intensity Repetition Duration Power disparity. Bullying intends to control or harm others through insults, gossip, criticism, ridicule, etc. Bullying is a pattern of abuse that persists; The longer the bullying, the greater the harm (physical, mental, emotional)

103 Managing Bullies Reverse discourse
Tactics of responding to the bully through communicative means (e.g. turning an insult into a compliment) Use of lawyers, outside experts Formal or informal grievance against the bully E.g. the confrontational ritual presented in chapter 2 Doesn’t always work, particularly at work Subversive (dis)obedience: passive-aggressive behavior (chapter 3) Retaliation: hostile gossip and/or fantasi