DEALING WITH DIFFICULT STUDENTS and CONFLICT RESOLUTION
STUDENT COUNSELING & RESOURCE CENTER Yolanda Harris, LPC, CAC III, Coordinator of SCRC Christine Chavez, PsyD Counselor of SCRC
SCRC PROVIDES Confidential crisis intervention (up to 3 sessions) Supportive listening and problem solving Consultation on student concerns Referrals to college and community resources for support and wellness
WORKSHOP OUTLINE The 10 most unwanted list (difficult behaviors) Strategies for dealing with difficult behavior Dealing with the disruptive student Identify conflict styles Communicate effectively to avoid conflict From conflict to cooperation Listen to understand Speak to be understood How to change your attitude Communication in a digital age Resolve and manage conflict
10 Specific Behavior Patterns 1. THE TANK confrontational, pointed, and angry, the ultimate in pushy and aggressive behavior. 2. THE SNIPER whether through rude comments, biting sarcasm, or a well- timed roll of the eyes, making you look foolish.
3. THE GRENADE after a brief period of calm, the grenade explodes into unfocused ranting and raving about things that have nothing to do with the present circumstances. 4. THE KNOW-IT-ALL seldom in doubt, the Know-It-All has a low tolerance for correction and contradiction. If something goes wrong, they will speak with the same authority about who’s to blame----YOU!
5. THE THINK-THEY-KNOW-IT-ALL can’t fool all of the people all of the time, but they can fool some of the people enough of the time, and enough of the people all of the time—all for the sake of getting some attention. 6. THE “YES” PERSON in an effort to please people and avoid confrontation, “Yes” People say yes without thinking through. They react to the latest demands on their time by forgetting prior commitments, and they overcommit until they have no time for themselves. Then they become respectful.
7. THE MAYBE PERSON procrastinates in the hope that a better choice will present itself. Sadly, with most decisions, there comes a point when it is too little, too late, and the decision makes itself. 8. THE NOTHING PERSON no verbal feedback, no nonverbal feedback. Nothing. What else could you expect from… the Nothing Person.
9. THE “NO” PERSON fights a never ending battle for futility, hopelessness, and despair 10. THE WHINER feel helpless and overwhelmed by an unfair world. Their standard is perfection, and no one and nothing measures up to it. But misery loves company, so they bring their problems to you. Offering solutions makes you bad company, so their whining escalates.
LENS OF UNDERSTANDING people are creatures of habit when our needs are not met, we react the stronger the need, the stronger the reaction people respond predictably during times of challenge, difficulty, or stress - becoming either more passive or more aggressive than normal
LENS OF UNDERSTANDING Danger Zone Passive Danger Zone Aggressive Danger Zone People Focus Danger Zone Task Focus Cooperation Zone Caution Zone Get Task Right Get Task Done Get Along Get Appreciated PERFECTION CONTROL APPROVAL ATTENTION Martyr Grenade Meddler Nothing Person Whiner “No” Person Nothing Person Judge Tank Sniper Know-It-All Grenade Sniper Think-They-Know-It-All “Maybe” Person “Yes” Person Nothing Person
DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR Repeated, continuous, and/or physically, verbally or psychologically harassing, threatening, or acting abusively toward an instructor, staff member, or toward other students in any activity authorized by the College. 1) is disrespectful, offensive, and/or threatening 2) interferes with the learning activities of other students 3) impedes the delivery of college services 4) has a negative impact in any learning environment - including staff offices, the Library, the computing center, the tutoring center, labs, service learning sites, etc.
DEALING WITH DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS Step Back: try to stay focused and NOT take attacks personally, or to become defensive Put Yourself in the Student’s Shoes: every behavior has an intent or purpose and people do what they do based on what seems to be most important for any given moment Listen Actively: identify need, desire, concern, fear Clarify the Situation: use open-ended questions (such as how, what, why, who) and restate the issue to describe your understanding of the situation
DEALING WITH DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS - cont. Acknowledge: offer an apology (if appropriate) and restate their need, desire, concern, or fear Educate: see all conflicts as an opportunity to educate the student(s) involved Use “I” Statements: own the problem and giving the student an easy opportunity to save face and get back on task Be Consistent : as consistent as you can when handling each individual occurrence Use the Power of SILENCE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfC4u5GCy3I
CONFLICT RESOLUTION Another complication to conflict is how people react to it. Conflict is usually riddled with feelings of anger and hurt. John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Relationship Institute, spent years studying how people reacted to conflict. He says that masters and disasters of relationships have distinct patterns of dealing with conflict. Gottman found that people who are ineffective in arguments use what he calls the four horsemen of the apocalypse: 1. Contempt 2. Criticism 3. Defensiveness 4. Stonewalling
RESPONSES TO CONFLICT 1. Contempt : mean, irritated, disrespectful, or when using sarcasm such as rolling your eyes. Contempt is toxic to relationships, and people who use this are most at risk for having unsuccessful relationships— relationship disasters. 2. Criticism : This can easily become a bad habit. It’s especially harmful in an argument, for instance in responding to a person who is upset and mispronounces a word or uses flawed English. 3. Defensiveness : feeling accused usually escalates the conflict 4. Stonewalling : avoiding conflict or anything else by shutting down (examples: the silent treatment, looking away, or not responding to questions)
WHAT IS YOUR CONFLICT STYLE? In the 1970s Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann identified 5 main styles of dealing with conflict that vary in their degrees of cooperativeness and assertiveness. They argued that people typically have a preferred conflict resolution style. However they also noted that different styles were most useful in different situations. TKI (Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument) identifies which style you tend towards when conflict arises.
Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) COMPETITION AVOIDANCE ACCOMMODATION COLLABORATION COMPROMISE ASSERTIVE HIGH LOW HIGH COOPERATIVE
AVOIDANCE 1 of 5 GOAL: to DELAY STYLE: non-confrontational - usually, the original problem is not even directly addressed or resolved MANTRA: Ignore it, and it will go away. BENEFIT: gives you time USEFUL: if used for a “cooling off” period DOWNFALL: weak / ineffective approach & can cause build up resentment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5sBRLZLPTY AVOIDANCE ASSERTIVE LOW COOPERATIVE
ACCOMMODATION 2 of 5 GOAL: to YIELD STYLE: non-assertive, but cooperative – even at the expense of your own goals MANTRA: Smooth things over at all costs. BENEFIT: others benefit more from this style USEFUL: when the other party is the expert or has a better solution also effective for preserving future relations with the other party or collecting on a “favor” you gave them DOWNFALL: meet the needs of others at the expense of your own needs in general, this approach is unlikely to give the best outcomes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_umreW608I ACCOMMODATION ASSERTIVE LOW HIGH COOPERATIVE
COMPETITION 3 of 5 GOAL: to WIN STYLE: force - through power, position, status, expertise, or persuasive abilities MANTRA: I know what I want and I’m going to get it. BENEFIT: get your point across quickly tell people what you want stand-up for what you think is right USEFUL: in emergencies with an unpopular decision defense DOWNFALL: will cause resentment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD8t4BEwz5g COMPETITION ASSERTIVE HIGH LOW COOPERATIVE
COMPROMISE 4 of 5 GOAL: to find a MIDDLE ground STYLE: assertive but cooperative MANTRA: You’ve got to give up something to get something. BENEFIT: find a solution that will partially satisfy everyone USEFUL: when the cost of conflict is higher than the cost of losing ground opponents are at a standstill deadline looming outcome has moderate or little impact http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udfEnC1kJZ8 DOWNFALL: “lose-lose” - neither party really achieves what they want can cause resentment if you feel that you never get your way COMPROMISE ASSERTIVE HIGH LOW HIGH COOPERATIVE
COLLABORATION 5 of 5 GOAL: to find a WIN / WIN solution STYLE: assertive and cooperative MANTRA: Let’s try to meet the needs of everyone involved. BENEFIT: can create ideal outcome everyone feels heard recognize all parties USEFUL: to get the best solution previous conflicts when too important for a simple trade-off DOWNFALL: complex & time-consuming need to get everybody on board need trust to reach a consensus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SzYIpX5qdo COLLABORATION ASSERTIVE HIGH COOPERATIVE
LISTENING SKILLS EXERCISE Divide the group into pairs Select one person as the speaker Select one person as the listener One minute speaking exercise Switch Speaker/Listener
DEBRIEF We communicate our interest while listening by: Verbal responses & Body language
LISTEN IN 3 CHANNELS VERBAL – the actual words used (7%) VOCAL - tone, inflection, volume, speed, tempo, pitch of voice (38%) NON-VERBAL - body language (55%)
LISTENING SKILLS Eye contact No interruptions Attentive body language Not judgmental Repeat some words of speaker Focus on points of agreement No eye contact Constant interruptions Inattentive body language Verbal fillers Distractions Kidnap their story AGAINST FOR
TOTAL LISTENING Just listen Repeat Summarize Check for understanding
NON-VERBAL LISTENING Mirror - body posture, expressions, & degree of animation Private setting (if possible) Match speaker’s volume & speed (**anger is the exception**) ASK clarifying questions Identify what they really want
ATTITUDE Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it!
CHANGE ATTITUDE Emphasize Similarities Finding Common Ground Reduce Differences Communication
DIGITAL COMMUNICATION Misunderstandings are a miscommunication epidemic ;) Read again Second opinion Do not use jokes It is okay to use emoticons.
RESOLVE AND MANAGE CONFLICT Monitor voice’s tone, pitch, volume, pace, etc. Be positive about your response Tactfully interrupt Focus on the issue, not the student Ask clarifying questions Listen attentively Blend and Redirect
WORDS OF WISDOM “Life is simpler when you plough around the stump.” “Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.” “Forgive your enemies. It messes with their minds.” “Don’t corner something meaner than you.” “Remember, silence is sometimes the best answer.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT… Pikes Peak Community College Student Counseling and Resource Center (719) 502-4782 Yolanda Harris, LPC, CAC III firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (719) 502-4689 Christine Chavez, PsyD firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (719) 502-4688