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Communications and Conflict-Management, K. Knox 09

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1 Communications and Conflict-Management, K. Knox 09
Ideas from Getting to Yes, Choosing Civility, Fierce Conversations, First Things First, Difficult Conversations, Verbal Judo Parts 1, 2, and 3

2 To a significant extent…
Life is what our relationships make it. ..We exist and we perceive our identity not in a vacuum but rather in relation to others. Life is relational whether we like it or not. No action of ours is without consequence.

3 What happens when… Someone tells you you “have to” do something or gives you a “little threat?” “The conversation is the relationship. Incremental degradation is a compromise in authenticity in our conversations and it’s a slow and deadly slide” (FC) Handout for basic COVA conversations

4 The art of verbal persuasion
Part 1 Rhetoric The art of verbal persuasion Perspective (the way you see things) Audience (empathy; seek 1st to understand) Voice (use the mirror; record your voice) Purpose (no interruptions; be clear) Conscious organization (begin with the end in mind) Handout of scripts to practice with a partner: situational roleplays

5 Example of organization for a call
Greeting and attention Identification of self and reason for call Notes to maintain focus and avoid birdwalks or repetition Paraphrase what you heard; refocus your attention Speak consciously with attention Ask; seek fact finding and complete understanding Listen more than speak; don’t interrupt Ethical presence Reassurance Summarize the action plan

6 Remember… The more you clarify your position and defend it under attack, the more committed you become to it. Your ego becomes identified with your position. The more attention that is paid to positions, less attention is devoted to meeting the underlying concerns of the parties. Positional bargaining becomes a contest of wills Assignment: review handout on positions

7 More thoughts Don’t be ruled by adrenaline Daughter’s photo and mirror
Remember that feelings are the heart of every conversation. Distinguish between severe and reasonable resistance Make that 41st caller feel like the first call of the day Always check your own assumptions Respond don’t react with ego Flexibility equals strength Common sense is uncommon under pressure. If someone gets under your skin, they control you. Don’t see the “other” as the adversary. Use “And” more than “but”

8 Unexpressed feelings ARE the conversation
When people are having a hard time listening, often it is not because they don’t know how to listen well. It is paradoxically, because they don’t know how to express themselves well. (DC p. 89) Emotions are not a single feeling We tend to translate our feelings into judgments, attributions, or characterizations

9 Instead of trying to control the other’s reaction,
Prepare for it with a mirror Practice what you will say, and listen to yourself; opening lines, tone, choice of words, too soft/cushioned?, confusing, too much talking…? Create a learning conversation with specific, mutually-agreed upon outcomes; Invite don’t impose Assignment: use the DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS CHECKLIST to prepare for your next DC A dc is any conversation it’s difficult for you to participate in

10 Civility is liberating
It frees us from slavery to self-absorption, impulse and mood. I am not just talking with a person; I am talking with this person. “I honor your worth.” We can gain a victory over carelessness, indifference, anger and inertia.

11 Part 2 Some Principles of Fierce Conversations
Master the courage to interrogate reality seek win-win Seek first to understand are we avoiding the “too hard” basket? there is a huge cost (economical, emotional, intellectual) with not identifying and tackling the real issues) what is impossible to do that if it were possible, would change everything? “Are my truths and frustrations in my way?”

12 Separate the people From the perceived problem
Focus on interests not positions Create a variety of possibilities before deciding what to do (options for mutual gain) The result should be based on an objective standard Evaluate your position and hard or soft stance (see handout on positioning)

13 Negotiate it and frame it
Frame it “so what’s important to you is…” Differences are defined by the difference between your thinking and theirs. Ultimately conflict lies not in objective reality but in people’s heads. Be prepared to withhold judgment for a while as you “try on” their views p. 22 GTY

14 And vs. But Without laying blame, catch yourself: replace “and” with “but” Really know that the answers are “in the room” Be aware of “ground truth”—what’s happening on the ground vs. in official tactics and requirements (The official truth is that we’re higher scoring than all other online schools in Colorado. The “ground truth” is…)

15 Principles of Fierce Conversations, cont’d
2. Come out from behind yourself into the conversation and make it real Know that “all conversations are with myself, and sometimes they involve other people.” Know that the emotions roiling within you are how you are showing up to others. “Mineral rights” evaluation sheet handout What is going on? How long? How bad are things? How is this issue currently impacting me? How is it impacting others? What results are being produced for me by this situation? What results are being produced for them by this situation? When I consider the impacts on myself and others, what are my emotions? If nothing changes, what’s likely to happen? What’s at stake? What are my emotions when I consider the outcomes? How have I contributed to the issue? When this issue is resolved, what difference will it make? When I imagine the outcome what are my emotions? What is the most potent step I could take to move this issue toward resolution?

16 Principles of FC, cont’d
Be here, prepared to be nowhere else Humans have a universal longing to be known, and being known, to be loved “I see you” You must learn to rebuild the links that connect people and that provide an effective antidotes to cynicism and disaffection. FOCUS without multitasking Assignment: choose one of your challenging parents or students. Apply principle 3 in a conscious way. This will take more than one interaction. Write a journal entry about what you did and said and what’s happening.

17 A dialogue “How’s your work going?” “great.” “Everything working out?”
“yeah.” “Any questions?” “no.” “That’s good—that’s what I like to hear. Have a good day!”

18 assignment: practice these guiding sentences
“What is the most important thing you and I should be talking about?” “How is this issue impacting you? When you consider these impacts how are you feeling?” “If nothing changes, what are the implications?” or “Imagine it is a year later and nothing has changed What is likely to happen?” “How have you helped to create this situation?” (“I don’t Know” triggers “what would be it be you did know?” or “that’s useful to think about.”) What is the ideal outcome? What is the most potent step you can take to being to resolve this issue? When should I follow up with you?

19 Come into the conversation with empty hands; just bring yourself
If you ask for the issue, don’t… --Jump right in and offer suggestions or points --Share stories about yourself (takes the focus onto you) --Put so many pillows around a message that the message is lost all together and there is confusion (softening the message is just trying to protect ourselves) --get into all sorts of birdwalks and extraneous details --tell them right way, the rules they are violating; they know… --don’t let your voice include anger or angst; you may induce profound indifference Instead, Use the 60 second/7 question handout for review and practice Peter falk: “This can only mean one thing, and I don’t have a clue what that is!”

20 Mole whacking vs. grubs Behind each mole is another one…

21 Some principles of fierce conversations, cont’d
Take responsibility for your emotional wake Recognize that everything you say creates an emotional wake --This is where we are going; this is how we are going to get there; this is why we are going to get there Recognize that there are multiple truths Recognize that when your emotions are negative, the more you say increases the likelihood of a negative wake, so I need to say less and listen more Don’t use absolutes “you never” “you always” Assignment: Practice the handout of Conversational Phrases aloud

22 Fierce conversations con’td
5. Let silence do the heavy lifting. Reflect on beliefs and paradigms; let others participate fully; scan your head for ground truths. Don’t be guilty of: --interrupting by talking over someone else --formulating your own response while someone is talking --responding quickly with little thought --attempting to be funny, clever, charming, competent, impressive… --jumping in with advice before an issue has been clarified --changing topics --talking in circles; nothing new emerging --allowing cell or interruptions --cancelling an important meeting with a parent or student --monopolizing the air space and/or talking too fast with “umms” to monopolize the air space. TALKING IS NOT CONVERSATION.

23 Part 3 The three conversations: copy this slide
The “What happened” conversation Includes thoughts about truth, intentions and blame The feelings conversation The identity conversation

24 This translates to Am I competent? Am I a good person?
Am I worthy of love? _________________________ Justify, deny, give up…

25 Roleplay Try speaking with someone you don’t really like or who is angry with you and the school Try calming someone who is angry about the LMS and attacking you personally Use part 1 tools; use script phrases--debrief Use part 1 strategies; debrief Use script phrasing, debrief

26 Debrief what’s happening
Respecting other’s opinions that differ strongly from yours Handling interruptions Body language Mind-set Level of “hard and soft” communications The personal interferences “giving in”

27 Redirection without passion
The first principle of verbal judo is to not resist your opponent. Instead move with him and redirect his energy. p. 43 VJ Difficult people built this country. We need to allow room in our system for them and their questions. When you shift from resisting to appreciating and even welcoming difficult people, things become interesting and less tense. P. 44 MUSHIN (the “still center”)

28 Thinking beyond me Draw a circle with COVA in it
To the right draw a 5 pointed star to represent you To the right of that draw a box with a C in it which stands for your contact point. Now draw a figure 8 which represents your job that begins on the left, passes through you and continues to the right before passing through you again. Continue to trace the figure 8. You serve as a conduit between 2 entities in such a manner as to generate voluntary compliance. Soon, you’ll see you are virtually obliterated by your representational job. If you are a mouthpiece, you don’t represent your own ego. The more ego you show; the less power you have over people.

29 Mediation Saying so doesn’t make it so Tone and modulation
The “ending phrase”..what does she hear? “…you fool” Redirect with WIIFH vs confront Roleplay assignment Assignment: use the Confrontation Model handout

30 Practice it Handouts; include: and/but framing it mirror debrief

31 Ongoing practice Use two new techniques this week
Journaling/self reflection Teacher partners

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