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Chapter Thirteen Resolving Conflict and Dealing with Difficult People.

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1 Chapter Thirteen Resolving Conflict and Dealing with Difficult People

2 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 2 Chapter Preview: Resolving Conflict and Dealing with Difficult People Major causes of conflict in the work setting Assertiveness skills in conflict situations Effective negotiation skills The conflict resolution process Contemporary challenges facing labor unions

3 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 3 Views of Conflict Traditional view: a clash between incompatible people, ideas, or interests New view: an opportunity for personal growth Discovering resolutions to conflict may –Clarify a relationship –Broaden thinking about the source –Open people to new points of view Too much agreement is not always healthy in an organization

4 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 4 Finding the Root of Conflict Unless the root cause is identified, it is likely to recur If the root cause… –Stimulates constructive conflict, it can be allowed to continue –Stimulates destructive conflict, steps need to be taken to correct the problem

5 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 5 Organizational Change Most organizations have tension between stability and change Too much stability and the organization may lose its competitive position in the market place Too much change and the mission blurs and employee anxiety develops

6 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 6 Ineffective Communication When different people work closely together, communication breakdowns are inevitable For a misunderstanding –explain your position or provide more details For true disagreements –persuading one or both parties to change positions may be necessary –root problem will persist until someone changes

7 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 7 Value and Culture Clashes Conflict may be due to value differences between individuals Work force reflects cultural diversity Different cultural traditions can easily come into conflict in the workplace Issues range from simple to complex

8 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 8 Work Policies and Practices Conflict may happen when –Organizations maintain confusing or arbitrary rules, regulations and performance standards –Managers fail to recognize that employees perceive policies as unfair –Workers refuse to comply with rules or work their fair share

9 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 9 Adversarial Management Conflict can occur when managers view employees and other managers with distrust and suspicion View others as “the enemy” Leads to a lack of respect by employees Makes teamwork and cooperation difficult

10 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 10 Competition for Scarce Resources Downsizing and cost cutting can lead to destructive competition for scarce resources When decisions are not clearly explained, workers suspect coworkers of devious tactics

11 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 11 Personality Clashes People have differing –Communication styles –Temperaments –Attitudes People may not be able to identify cause of dislike Even people who get along well in the beginning of their work relationship may begin to clash after many years

12 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 12 Resolving Conflict Assertively Conflict is often uncomfortable People who exhibit assertive behavior skills are able to –handle conflicts with greater assurance –maintain good interpersonal relations Nonassertive behavior ignores the problem Aggressive behavior violates the rights of others

13 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 13 Figure Dealing with People You Can't Stand

14 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 14 How to Become More Assertive You can learn to express wants, dislikes and feelings in a clear and direct manner without threatening or attacking others In the beginning, take small steps Use communication skills that enhance assertiveness Be soft on people and hard on problems

15 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 15 Learn to Negotiate Effectively Traditionally supervisors resolved conflict, today empowered workers resolve it themselves Think win/win Beware of defensive behaviors Know that negotiating styles vary

16 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 16 The Win/Lose Strategy Attempts to achieve goals at the expense of others Short-term solution only Doesn’t address the underlying problem Loser feels frustrated which seeds another conflict Use when two factions simply cannot agree or cannot talk to each other

17 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 17 The Lose/Lose Strategy Both parties give up something and may feel frustrated Can be applied when –There is little time to find a solution –Negotiations are at a standstill –The goal is to remove a conflict completely Union-management disputes often fall into this trap

18 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 18 The Win/Win Strategy Fix the problem, not the blame Work toward a mutually satisfying solution Focus on discovering creative solutions Listening is the most vital skill

19 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 19 Figure Top Negotiating Tips

20 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 20 Beware of Defensive Behaviors When one person becomes defensive, others may mirror the behavior Progress is stopped because people stop listening and think about defending Prevent defensive behavior by consciously maintaining a positive image of the other people involved

21 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 21 Total Person Insight Any method of negotiation may be fairly judged by three criteria: It should produce a wise agreement if agreement is possible. It should be efficient. And it should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties. Roger Fisher and William Ury Authors, Getting to Yes

22 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 22 Know that Negotiating Styles Vary Style develops based on –Personality –Assertiveness skills –Past experiences dealing with conflict Five styles combine assertiveness and cooperation

23 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 23 Figure Behavioral Styles for Conflict Situations

24 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 24 Negotiating Styles Vary Avoidance style –Uncooperative/Nonassertive Accommodating style –Cooperative/Nonassertive Win/lose style –Uncooperative/Aggressive

25 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 25 Negotiating Styles Vary Problem-solving style –Assertive/Cooperative Compromising style –Moderately assertive/Moderately cooperative

26 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 26 Conflict Resolution Process The conflict resolution foundation requires –Application of assertiveness skills –Understanding how to deal with difficult people –Supporting the win/win approach –Learning how to negotiate The conflict resolution process consists of five steps

27 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 27 Follow These Steps Step 1: Decide whether you have a misunderstanding or a true disagreement A misunderstanding is the failure to accurately understand another’s point A disagreement is a failure to agree in spite of accurate understanding

28 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 28 Follow These Steps Step 2: Define the problem and collect facts Everyone needs to focus on the problem, not what happened as a result Establishing the problem can expose real cause of conflict Separate facts from opinions or perceptions

29 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 29 Follow These Steps Step 3: Clarify perceptions Interpretation of the facts surrounding the situation you encounter Attempt to see the problem as others see it

30 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 30 Follow These Steps Step 4: Generate options for mutual gain Generate options that will fix the problem People often want to negotiate for a single solution Use brainstorming –Process that encourages generation of a wide variety of ideas and possibilities

31 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 31 Follow These Steps Step 5: Implement options with integrity Finalize a solution or agreement that offers a win/win strategy Establish timetables for implementation Avoid the temptation to implement quick-fix solutions

32 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 32 Alternative Dispute Resolution Some conflicts between workers and employers cannot be resolved Alternative dispute resolution programs, or ADRs can involve –An open door policy –Toll-free hot line –A peer panel review –A third-party mediator –An arbitrator

33 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 33 Labor Unions in Conflict Resolution Disputes escalate when employment contracts expire and need to be negotiated Procedure that defines the rights and privileges of both sides involved and establishes the terms of employment and length of contract

34 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 34 Collective Bargaining If labor and management cannot come to an agreement, they may submit their disputes to: –Mediation –Voluntary arbitration –Compulsory arbitration

35 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 35 Collective Bargaining As a last resort, unions may recommend that their members vote to strike Generally lose/lose situation Virtual strikes: wages and salaries go into an escrow account –Neither side gets money unless they settle –Customers and suppliers experience no change –Especially viable for public services

36 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 36 Contemporary Issues Facing Labor Unions The percent of Americans who are members of a labor union has declined The future of unions depends on union organizers’ ability to attract new members Many employers actively strive to keep workers happy and productive so they don’t want to unionize The “card-check neutrality” process allows eligible unions to negotiate the employees’ next labor contract

37 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 37 Contemporary Issues Facing Labor Unions As labor unions strive for survival, they must address the needs of the current and future work force –Adopt global mentality –Address executives to employees pay gap –Provide affordable health care –Re-train to create higher paying jobs –Provide membership to temporary and contract workers

38 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 38 Chapter Review Major causes of conflict –Poor communication –Values and culture clashes –Confusing work policies –Competition for scarce resources –Adversarial management –Coworkers who refuse to do their share of work or have a difficult personality A difference of opinion may force people toward a creative solution

39 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 39 Chapter Review Assertiveness skills in conflict situations –Assertiveness skills are necessary but avoid being overly aggressive –Build assertiveness skills by tackling relatively minor issues first –Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements –Focus on fixing the problem rather than attacking the person

40 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 40 Chapter Review Effective negotiation skills –You can improve your human relations skills by learning five negotiation styles: Avoidance style Accommodating style Win/lose style Problem-solving style Compromising style

41 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 41 Chapter Review The conflict resolution process –When people cannot solve their conflicts informally many organizations create solutions through a conflict resolution process –The five-step process is dependent on a clear outline of the steps to resolve the conflict –Often an ADR program can resolve conflicts that might otherwise lead to legal action

42 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 13 | 42 Chapter Review Contemporary challenges facing labor unions –Finding new ways to cooperate –Flexible, innovative styles are effective –Each side may submit their disputes to mediation, voluntary arbitration or compulsory arbitration –Labor unions today must respond to Executive to employee wage gap Health care cost Retraining to high-paying jobs Containing jobs competition Temporary and part-time workers


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