You are on page 1of 28

When Things Dont Work: Recognizing and Resolving Conflict

L EA D E RS H I P P RO G R A M 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3 S p o n s o re d by t h e P ro vo st s O f f i c e J o h n s H o p k i n s U n i ve rs i t y
Catherine J. Morrison, JD A s s o c i a t e Fa c u l t y Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health cmorrison@createagreement.com

Learning Objectives
2

Understand the fundamental concepts of conflict

management
Acquire specific tactical approaches to conflict

situations
Apply that understanding to more effectively assess

and manage two-party and multi-party conflicts

CONFLICT HAPPENS
3

Conflict is a normal, inescapable part of life


a periodic occurrence in

any relationship
an opportunity to

understand opposing preferences and values


ENERGY

How can we manage the energy of conflict?


4

Use cognitive conflict


5

Disagreement about ideas

and approaches
personal

Issue focused, not

Characteristic of high

performing groups

Amason, A.C., Thompson, K.R., Hochwarter, W.A., & Harrison, A.W. (1995, Autumn). Conflict: An Important Dimension in Successful Management Teams. Organizational Dynamics, 24(2), 22-23.

Avoid affective conflict


6

Personal antagonism

fueled by differences of opinion performance and cohesion

Destructive to group

Ibid., 24.

How can we keep conflict cognitive?


7

1. Make the approach 2. Share perspectives

3. Build understanding
4. Agree on solutions

5. Plan next steps


Mediation Services. (2003). Foundational concepts for understanding conflict. Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Step 1. Make the approach


8

Reflect before you begin Invite the other party to

a conversation
Be clear about your

intentions
State your goal - a

positive resolution
Ibid.

Step 2. Share perspectives


9

Ask for the other

persons perspective
Paraphrase what you

hear
Acknowledge your

contribution
Describe your

perspective
Ibid.

Understand why your views differ


10
(Read from bottom to top)

I take action
I adopt beliefs I draw conclusions

I add meaning
I select data Observable data
Clark, W. (October 17, 2005). People Whose Ideas Influence Organisational Work - Chris Argyris. In Organisations@Onepine. Retrieved March 8, 2009, from http://www.onepine.info/pargy.htm

Name the issues


11

Identify topics that the

parties view as important to address


Use concise neutral

language
Avoid pronouns

Use issues to create the

agenda
Foundational Concepts for Understanding Conflict.

Step 3. Build understanding


12

Discuss one issue at a

time
Clarify assumptions Explore interests and

feelings

Ibid.

Step 4. Agree on solutions


13

Reality test

Is this

doable?
Durability test Is this

durable?
Interest test Does this

meet all parties interests?


Ibid.

Step 5. Plan next steps


14

Jointly

create action

plan
What needs to happen?

Who needs to do what?

By when?
How will interaction

take place if problems occur?


Ibid.

Tools for Conflict Management


15

16

What doesnt work


Thats true but

17

What does work


Thats true and

18

What doesnt work


BLAME

19

What does work


The third story

20

What does work


Contribution Mapping

21

What doesnt work


You get the picture

22

What does work


Match and lower, match and raise

Faced with the choice between changing ones mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.

John Kenneth Galbraith

Sources and Recommended Reading


24

Sources
25

Amason, A.C., Thompson, K.R., Hochwarter, W.A., & Harrison, A.W. (1995, Autumn). Conflict: An Important Dimension in Successful Management Teams. Organizational Dynamics, 24(2), 20-35. Clark, W. (October 17, 2005). People Whose Ideas Influence Organisational Work - Chris Argyris. In Organisations@Onepine. Retrieved March 8, 2009, from http://www.onepine.info/pargy.htm

Sources
26

Garmston, R.J. (Summer 2005). Group Wise: How to turn conflict into an effective learning process. Journal of Staff Development, 26(3), 65-66. Mediation Services. (2003). Foundational concepts for understanding conflict. Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Recommended Reading
27

Conger, J. A. (1998, May-June). The Necessary Art of Persuasion. Harvard Business Review, pp. 84-95.
Eisenhardt, K., Kahwajy, L., & Bourgeois, L. J. (1997, July-August). How Management Teams Can Have a Good Fight. Harvard Business Review, pp. 77-85. Robinson, R. J. (1997, February 6). Errors in Social Judgment: Implications for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Harvard Business School Publishing, Case Note 897103, pp. 1-7.

Recommended Reading
28

Sussman, L. (1999, January 15). How to Frame a Message: The Art of Persuasion and Negotiation. Business Horizons, pp. 2-6. Tannen, D. (1995, September-October). The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why. Harvard Business Review, pp. 138-148.