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"Recognizing and working with high conflict behaviors in mediation" PRESENTED BY DEBRA DUPREE, MA, LMFT FOR THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION WORKPLACE.

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Presentation on theme: ""Recognizing and working with high conflict behaviors in mediation" PRESENTED BY DEBRA DUPREE, MA, LMFT FOR THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION WORKPLACE."— Presentation transcript:

1 "Recognizing and working with high conflict behaviors in mediation" PRESENTED BY DEBRA DUPREE, MA, LMFT FOR THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION WORKPLACE SECTION

2 Working with Emotional Intensity June

3 What we will learn today… June a. What are some key features of high conflict behavior b. When and how to interrupt while setting boundaries around emotional venting c. How to listen through the moment of emotional intensity d. Understanding their Fear-based logic while not getting hooked: using reality testing and indirect confrontations e. Creating action plans to establish structure, emphasize their strengths and manage their emotions f. Learn and use a four-step process for analyzing situations that employees can take back to the workplace Using CPR Credibility, Professionalism & Respect

4 Four Clusters of Personality Disorders DSM IV Borderline: marked by extreme mood swings, fears of abandonment, frequent anger and manipulative behavior Histrionic: emotionally intense, similar to Borderline but often with less anger and more drama; sometimes fabricates events Narcissistic: extreme preoccupation with self, a disdain for others, and preoccupation with being treated superior Antisocial: extreme disregard for the rules of society, little empathy, and a willingness to hurt others for personal gain

5 Key Traits of High Conflict Personalities Borderline Narcissistic Fear of abandonment Idealistic Devaluation of others Impulsive behavior Suicidal behavior or threats Chronic emptiness Sudden, intense, extreme anger or change in mood Paranoia Lack of empathy Inflated sense of self- importance Demands special treatment Demands admiration Sense of entitlement Exploits relationship Envious Arrogant March '12 OC Mediation Conference 2012

6 Key Traits of High Conflict Personalities Histrionic Anti-social Demanding of attention Inappropriately seductive or provocative Physical appearance draws attention Shifting & shallow emotions Dramatic, theatrical & exaggerated Suggestible Believes relationships are deeper than they are Repeated violation of social norms/laws Lying and conning Impulsive and fails to plan ahead Irritable & aggressive Reckless & Irresponsible Lack of remorse Onset of conduct disorder by Age 15 March '12 OC Mediation Conference 2012

7 HCP CORE FEATURES Why they are the way they are How they contribute to their own problems Or, how to change Aaron Beck (1990) Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders Behavior becomes rigidly patterned Social impairment evolves Rigid behavior evokes responses from others that validate their inflexible beliefs Efrain Bleiberg (2001) Treating Personality Disorders in Children & Adolescents March '12 OC Mediation Conference 2012 Lack of self- awareness Lack of adaptation

8 PRIMARY FEARS DRIVING BEHAVIOR Fear of being wrong / being ignored Fear of losing / being inferior Fear of not being liked / being abandoned Fear of emotional discomfort / being dominated March '12 OC Mediation Conference 2012

9 High Conflict Behaviors Rigid & Uncompromising Difficulty accepting loss Difficulty healing from loss Emotions dominate thinking Inability to reflect on own behavior Difficulty empathizing with others Preoccupied with blaming others Avoids responsibility for the problem or the solution Depends on others to solve problems March '12 OC Mediation Conference 2012

10 Understand the Three-step Cycle of High Conflict Thinking Mistaken Assessment of Danger (M.A.D.) Internal distress thats perceived as external danger E.g. being abandoned, treated inferior, ignored, dominated Behavior becomes Aggressively Defensive (B.A.D.) HCP attacks the perceived source of danger Negative Feedback HCPs perceive ANY feedback as negative HCP then escalates Bill Eddy, High Conflict Institute 10

11 Four Key Issues in Managing HCPs Bonding – this is a big issue for HCPs. Pay attention to your relationship – they seek a dependent relationship and agreement with their thinking through a secure relationship and intense emotions. Structure – acknowledge emotion and then focus on tasks. Emotional distresses dominate the HCP, making it hard to think clearly, but they can switch out of these feelings with help. Make lists, gather information, get external help, assign 2-3 things to get done before next meeting. Reality Testing - remain skeptical of the accuracy of their information given their cognitive distortions. Let the HCP know that you may never know the full story but that decisions can be made with what is known! Consequences - HCPs tend not to connect realistic CONSEQUENCES to their own ACTIONS…explore various outcomes, what if no agreement, build consequences into agreement, prepare for breach, address fear of loss. March '12 OC Mediation Conference 2012

12 Common Snags in Communication Controlling emotions BiasFear Body language Whats your snag? June Skillpath Seminars

13 13 Structuring your Listening ACTIVE LISTENING Ways to structure your listening skills to listen through the moment of emotional intensity! Listen for the sounds of the BEACH Beliefs Expectations Assumptions Concerns Hopes

14 A Five-Step Process to Setting Boundaries around Emotional Venting #2 Set Boundaries Ask for high level overview Set timeframe #3 Listen For feelings as well as content #4 Interrupt by asking questions Check in for Clarity Paraphrase for understanding #5 Brainstorm & Summarize Generate options Reality test Next steps #1 Create common ground Connect June REMEMBER …Listen for the sounds of the BEACH!

15 Paying attention to a Persons Feelings helps de-escalate the venting Address their emotions Listen to their concerns Ask questionsRemain objectiveTalk about next steps. E.A.R Method Empathy Attention Respect June Wm. Eddy Its All Your Fault

16 Active Listening… Show them you understand #1 That they feel strongly #2 What they feel strongly about #3 Why they feel strongly about it June

17 What can WE do to settle the Nervous System Down De-escalate Tone of Voice Plan ahead Empathize, dont argue Acknowledge fears Demonstrate respect Adult Time-outs 17

18 Analyze the Conflict…Establish Structure What is it about? Values Goals Priorities Methodology Information (facts, data) June

19 Determine the Source of Conflict Internal Interpersonal Organizational June

20 What are some likely Causes of Conflict Interdependence Differences in style/personality Differences in background Differences in leadership June

21 Managing the Situation Break things down according to… o What do we FACTUALLY know? o What EMOTIONS do we have about the situation…how do we feel…how are we impacted? o What do we VALUE in this situation, i.e. what is important to us…the other person…the organization? June

22 Listening using your E.A.R. Demonstrate Empathy Pay Attention Display Respect Recognize that its easy to become frustrated with their emotional sensitivity & cognitive distortions Recognize that its easy to get emotionally hooked & want to withhold positive responses Recognize that its easy to want revenge and attack or criticize in return Bill Eddy, High Conflict Institute 22


24 Ten TIPS for Managing Emotional Intensity Lower expectations for change Listen to highly insistent emotions (w/o getting hooked) Understand their logic is fear-based Focus on tasks – create action plans…next steps Emphasize their strengths Reality Test Use indirect confrontations Educate about consequences Include a positive advocate Make recommendations Bill Eddy, High Conflict Institute 24

25 What to do if you are HOOKED Take a deep breath…or a few Take an adult time-out Acknowledge their concerns…arrange to meet at another time to resume discussion Go to the balcony…get some perspective Reach back out…focus on behavior, not the person Use I language…not You language Remember…the issue is not the issue…the issue is the behavior being demonstrated 25

26 CONCLUSION USE IT OR LOSE IT! WHATS ONE THING YOU LEARNED TODAY THAT YOU WILL LEAVE THIS CLASSROOM & TAKE ACTION ON? "Recognizing and working with the high conflict personality in mediation"

27 Its not YOU…its ME! Taking responsibility for effective communication & conflict management at work & at home PRESENTED BY DEBRA DUPREE, MA, MFT I GO LOOKING FOR TROUBLE! PROVIDING SOLUTIONS THROUGH COACHING, GROUP FACILITATION, MEDIATION & TRAINING THANK YOU!

28 Resources March '12 OC Mediation Conference 2012 Eddy, William, Grant, B., et al, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 7/2004, 4/2008, 7/2008. Kvols, K.J. Redirecting Childrens Behavior McIntosh, J., et al, Family Court Review 1/2008. National Institute of Health (NIH), 2002 and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA). Skillpath Seminars

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