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Coordinators, Team Building and Conflict. Recognizing conflict THE TEAM MEMBERS YOU ARE COORDINATING are different people with different social and psychological.

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Presentation on theme: "Coordinators, Team Building and Conflict. Recognizing conflict THE TEAM MEMBERS YOU ARE COORDINATING are different people with different social and psychological."— Presentation transcript:

1 Coordinators, Team Building and Conflict

2 Recognizing conflict THE TEAM MEMBERS YOU ARE COORDINATING are different people with different social and psychological realities. They see the world differently and want different things as measured in: Beliefs, values, interests and principles. Frankly, you will be dealing with part time and full time faculty and will be the main person on the line to represent management to faculty. The desire and willingness to work on a Team and to understand how a team works will vary considerably. So will teaching philosophies: attitudes towards students and perceptions of common good in regard to your institutions.

3 What actually causes Conflict? -Rubin, Pruitt and Kim in their text Social Conflict state when underlying interests formulate into aspirations that are incompatible with those of another, we have a conflict. - Differences alone do not create conflict where differences are tolerated with respect but where one opinion or set of interests seeks or needs to dominate to the exclusion of another, you will have conflict to work through.

4 As Coordinators think of: - Forces operating in the college system due to current economic and educational needs, philosophies and values. - Consider examples of: - 1) Situations where differing interests can coexist; - 2) Situations where interests and values are actually incompatible, or - 3) Situations where they are simply perceived to be incompatible but may in fact coexist.. -The act then of naming potential conflicts is crucial, to bring them into awareness, to discuss risks and to begin the search for mutually acceptable alternatives. - The act of naming, claiming and blaming moves the conflict to the level of a dispute

5 John Paul Lederach in his book, Preparing for Peace, states we can: Understand conflict to be a natural, common experience present in all relationships and cultures. Understand conflict to be a socially constructed event which we create as part of our search for shared meaning. As coordinators how do you find the limits of your power, the extent of each team member’s cooperation, the presence or absence of mutuality of direction in the development of courses.

6 Lederach continues by saying: Understand that culture is rooted in the shared knowledge, and schemes created and used by a set of people for perceiving, interpreting, expressing, and responding to social realities around them. Therefore understand as a coordinator that your program, faculty or group represent just such a culture and that the pursuit of shared meaning and joint activity is going to be constant and- The conflict you experience is normal and natural.

7 Responses to Conflict can be from: - 1) Ignoring or yielding - To - 2) Contending:  A) Through Power based approaches and  B) Rights based approaches - To - 3) Cooperating through Interest based approaches. - Consider your most common responses when conflict arises within your team. What are the results?

8 Positions versus Interests Power and rights processes are based on perceived strength against the other party-they are both adversarial. A position is a fixed and rigid response to a conflict which leads to a process of attack and defend and a win/lose result. Interests are each parties legitimate needs, hopes, aspirations, fears or concerns. If clarified and shared these can lead to win/win solutions.

9 Getting to win/win Recognizing there are different types of conflicts and that each of these require different interventions; Understanding process; Developing skills.

10 Different types of Conflict- Chris Moore 1) Structural Conflicts: Unequal control, ownership, or distribution of resources Unequal power and authority Time constraints Possible interventions: Clearly define and change roles Establish a fair and mutually acceptable decision- making process Change negotiation process from positional to interest-based bargaining

11 Data Conflicts: Lack of information, misinformation Different views on what is relevant Different interpretations of data Possible interventions: Reach agreement on what data are important Agree on process to collect data Develop common criteria to assess data

12 Interest Conflicts: Perceived or actual competition over substantive (content) interests; Procedural interests; Psychological interests. Possible interventions: Focus on interests, not positions Look for objective criteria Develop integrative solutions that address needs of all parties Search for ways to expand options or resources Develop trade-offs to satisfy interests of different strengths

13 Value Conflicts: Different ways of life, ideology, or religion Possible interventions: Avoid defining problem in terms of value Allow parties to agree and to disagree Create spheres of influence in which one set of values dominates Search for super-ordinate goals that all parties share

14 Relationship Conflicts: Misperceptions or stereotypes Poor communication or miscommunication Repetitive negative behaviour Possible interventions: Clarify perceptions and build positive perceptions Improve quality and quantity of communication Block negative repetitive behaviour by changing structure Encourage positive problem-solving attitudes

15 In short, sometimes it is important to know what type of conflict exists to know what may be an effective means of intervention.

16 Understanding simple process- Coleman Raider T0 avoid going adversarial try: 1) Setting out all initial positions flexibly and positively and create clear goals from the beginning of a session; 2) Seek and invite clarity of underlying interests involved in the potential conflict - as opposed to defending your position and attacking the others. 3) With a complete list of clarified interests reframe by asking the question “How can all interests be included in the outcome?” 4) Invite problem solving to seek most beneficial win/win results.

17 Developing skills Create a Positive Approach- be optimistic and use some simple ground rules. Create a Future Orientation, past orientation creates blaming, future orientation creates possibilities for next time. Knowing and agreeing on goals from the outset. Questioning Listening Reflecting Reframing Problem solving.

18 Exercise In groups of four hold a session in which you come to an agreement on strategies you will employ on your return to your respective schools. The issues you are considering should deal with: Gaining your group’s up front commitment to participating throughout the year. Balancing and defining roles and expectations particularly in regard to full and part time faculty. Establishing ground rules for ongoing use and reference with your team. Look at the kinds of conflict you are likely to confront and come up with four strategies that could empower you in holding your meetings and assignments next fall.


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