Written by: Connie Huber SHRM-CP PHR
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine
Conflict is inevitable to occur in our personal and professional life. Few of us enjoy conflict! Our common reaction is avoidance. A number of factors influence our reasons to do so such as self-doubt, lack of assertiveness, inadequate communication skills, fear of rejection, disapproval, criticism, loss of security and more. Dealing with conflict makes us uncomfortable. Avoiding it minimizes perceived threats to our self esteem and sense of well-being. We may elect to ignore the problem, change the subject or shut down. Conflict avoidance is an unhealthy way to deal with problems. It is important for us to deal with the challenge, not doing so has a negative impact on our emotional health, increases our fears, and missed opportunities. Dealing with conflict is a chance for change and growth.
“Courage is what it takes to stand up & speak, courage is also what it takes to sit down & listen.” – Winston Churchill
Loretta Love Huff, Speaker, Author, Marketing Strategist, Coach
Loretta shared her expertise in conflict management and our guide to conflict management. She began by highlighting how expensive conflict can be to an employer. It is burning a hole in companies’ bottom lines!
IS IT WORTH ADDRESSING?
Managers are spending 50% of their time in dealing with conflict while employees are dedicating 85% of their energy. Managers need to decide if dealing with conflict is worth addressing. Reinforcing this point, the average manager salary = $50K times the managers in your firm =10; times ½ of their time is $250K.
US employees spend approximately 2.8 hours each week involved in conflict.
That’s about $359 billion paid hours focused on negative issues rather than positive productivity.
About 385 million days on the job are focused on arguing vs. collaboration.
60% of employees have never received any training to help navigate conflict and arrive at mutually beneficial outcomes.
- Conflict Management-46%
- Understanding Others -20%
- Motivating Others -18%
- Learning on the fly -5%
- Priority Setting -4%
UPSIDE OF CONFLICT
• Have more options than we generally see and more control than we tend to take.
• Conflict skills can be taught and learned.
• Developing productive conflict resolution skills is a profitable investment for an organization.
• Conflict can have positive outcomes.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE
All of us have beliefs, actions and results. These comprise what is known as the BAR theory. Thoughts influence our actions and results in our professional and personal endeavors.
Your comfort zone is a “Kill Zone”. This happens when you are trapped by your beliefs, fears, and comfort zone.
Need to establish a roadmap that will assist you in achieving the life you desire.
The four steps to implementing change are…
- Aspire. What is it you desire or your dream destination?
- Assess. What are your biggest communication, conflict and influence challenges?
- Act. Put your action plan into place for results.
- Account. Designate someone to hold you accountable to reach your destination.
People are different in their thinking, values, drives, motives and emotions.
ELEMENTS OF CONFLICT
• Two or more interdependent parties.
• Expressed/perceived struggle.
• Perception of scarce resources.
• Perception of interference.
• Perception of incompatible goals.
SOURCES OF CONFLICT
Many things cause conflict including ….
• Lack of information.
• Values & beliefs.
• Communication problems.
• Shared or scarce resources.
• Incompatible goals.
4 POSSIBLE STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH CONFLICT
- Change the other party.
- Alter the conflict conditions.
- Change your perception & change your life.
- Deepen understanding of the person/situation.
METHODS FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT
• Collaboration: Requires parties willing to talk with each other. Solution based on facts & interests of all parties. Relationship preserved. Parties able to move forward.
UNDERSTANDING SELF & OTHERS
Determine who you like.
I like people like me, but they often aren’t.
Misunderstanding leads to missed communication; unvalued rewards & recognition; frustration.
Study & understand self-first, then others. We’re all multi-faceted.
Fatal flaw is assuming people are just like you and ‘buy’ for the same reasons you do. Behaviors & needs vary.
RECOGNIZING BEHAVIOR STYLES
• Fast & outspoken.
• Accepting & warm.
• Cautious & reflective.
• Questioning & skeptical.
IDOL: Behaviors to use in influencing the Idol
Goal: People involvement, recognition. Fear: Rejection, loss of approval. Buying Basis: Who is using the service. Selling Strategy: Service’s appeal to others. The benefit to him/her.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Behaviors to use in influencing the Supporting Actor
Goal: Security, stability. Fear: Sudden change; losing security. Buying Basis: How the service will stabilize his/her world. Selling Strategy: ‘Support’ provided by service. The benefit to him/her.
CRITIC: Behaviors to use in influencing the Critic
Goal: Accuracy, order. FEAR: Criticism of performance, lack of standards. Buying Basis: Why the service is a logical investment for him/her. Selling Strategy: ‘Track record’ of the service. The benefit to him/her.
Does your way seem like the only ‘right’ way?
Do you always resort to the same style regardless of the situation or players?
What enduring or not-so-enduring terms do people use to describe you?
EFFECTIVE WAY TO OPEN A CONVERSATION
• But maybe NOT with a recruiter or your potential boss.
• When you…
• I feel…
• Here’s what I’d like instead…
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Jessica Pierce, Founder & CEO, Career Connectors, closed the meeting by thanking Highlands Church & the volunteers. The next Career Connectors meeting will be a virtual event on March 24, 2020; “The MINDset Game™” presented by Vered Kogan. For additional information on this event & future events, please visit the Event Schedule.