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The Nature of Conflict.

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Presentation on theme: "The Nature of Conflict."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Nature of Conflict

2 Performance Competencies
After you have finished reading this chapter, you will be able to: Describe the general nature of conflict Describe the costs of unresolved conflicts in organizations and among individuals Articulate a definition of conflict Differentiate between positional and interest-based approaches to addressing conflict

3 How Does Conflict Affect Us?
The win/lose paradigm of conflict is pervasive in our culture, as evidenced by: Global Conflict Politics Depictions in TV, movies, games, other media Lawsuits Neighbor disputes Employment disputes Uncivil discourse Social Media Strained relationships

4 Is Conflict Bad? These responses, though appropriate under some circumstances, are often not wholly constructive in resolving conflict: Avoidance – generally out of fear Accommodation – conceding often at the sacrifice our own interests Competition – often at the cost of maintaining positive relationships Compromise – we win some, but also lose some

5 A Better Response: Collaboration
Collaboration encourages a focus on both: Achieving the best outcome for both parties; and Supporting the on-going relationship between the parties

6 Is Conflict Bad? We often fail to engage in collaborative approaches because of our perception that achieving both positive outcomes and supporting relationships is possible Change this perception and we change our outlook about what may be achieved Conflict is neither good nor bad; instead, conflict can offer opportunities for change and positive outcomes

7 A Deeper Look at Conflict
Conflict involves Interdependent parties – we are often in conflict because one party needs something from the other Incompatible interests – perception that one party’s wants, needs, values and goals cannot be met except by exclusion of other party’ s interests Competition – perceive conflict as win-lose proposition

8 The Solution: Communicate!
If parties dig deeper into why they are in conflict, they may uncover underlying interests that have not been addressed They may also learn that their interests are more compatible than they initially realized

9 Two Approaches to Addressing Conflict: Positional & Interest-based
Parties hold firm to positions No concern about exploring underlying interests Typically, a contest of wills Not effective if on-going relationship with other party matters

10 Two Approaches to Addressing Conflict: Positional & Interest-based
Takes into consideration underlying needs, wants, values and goals of the parties More efficient than positional approaches because it eliminates game playing Focuses on:* Preserving, even improving, parties’ relationship Meeting legitimate interests of both parties Resolving conflicting interests fairly Durability, i.e., lasts beyond the hand shake Taking account interests of others affected by agreement *(Based on: Fisher, Ury, Getting to Yes)

11 Challenges about Managing Conflict
Not all organizations look to their managers to address conflicts because: Over-reliance on “professional” conflict management specialists and formal processes instead of reliance on managers “on the ground” who are equipped and empowered to resolve conflicts as they arise Failure to adopt current management paradigms where managers must take facilitator and/or mediator roles when managing teams

12 The Good News about Managing Conflict in Today’s Organization
There is a clear need for informal, internal conflict resolution specialists who serve in such roles as part of their regular duties The aspiring manager who demonstrates effective conflict management skills and competencies has a “leg up” for hiring and advancement opportunities You are capable of mastering the concepts, tools and strategies to effectively manage conflict in your organization

13 Class Quiz Describe five examples in today’s society demonstrating conflict as typically involving winners and losers Describe the four ways individuals typically respond to conflict that are less effective and the one way that is more effective List and describe the three components defining conflict Compare and contrast interest-based and positional approaches to resolving conflict

14 Case: Confrontation vs. Cooperation (Class Discussion)
Overview: Joe (manager) observes conflict between Tina (customer service rep.) and Maria (customer) and must step in to restore a damaged customer relationship Read Case and Role Profiles Case questions: Should Joe take a positional bargaining approach by apologizing for Tina’s rudeness and inconvenience but holding firm on the store’s policy? Or should he seek a win/win by accepting the return, even though it goes against store policy, in exchange for restoring Maria’s goodwill and the hope of gaining repeat business? Is there a third approach? Which approach would you use? Why? Defend your answer

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