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Dynamic Leadership Essential Four: Conflict Management for Leaders

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT FOR LEADERS


Dynamic Leadership Essential Four Dynamic leaders know that conflict is a natural part of working in groups. They learn and practice effective strategies for managing conflict, including ways to:

Manage their own emotions Address their own conflicts Address others' conflicts Practice assertiveness Aid negotiation Promote mediation.

**Remember: Use any of the FCCLA national programs to practice your Dynamic Leadership skills!

Leadership Achievement
Dealing with Conflict Conflict is a natural part of working in groups, because different people have different ideas and viewpoints. Sooner or later, every leader will have to deal with a conflict between two or more people. What matters is how the leader and group members address the conflict. Dynamic leaders know that conflict usually doesn't go away by itself. It may seem to disappear, but then it pops up again in an unexpected place or time. Dynamic leaders help members learn to:

Practice "cooling off" before speaking Reverse roles to see the other person's point of view Realize it's only fair for both parties to tell their side of the story Look at conflicts as problems, then solve them together Ask for help if they cannot resolve the conflict.

Manage Conflict for Leadership Achievement You can be a dynamic leader who deals with conflict in positive ways. By learning to handle your own conflicts well, you can be a role model and guide other young people to healthy conflict management. A first step is to Learn the Lingo (Attachment 7) using a matching game. Then, complete projects to build conflict management skills. Practice your skills during FCCLA activities and learn to be a dynamic leader in families, careers, and communities. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Inc. | www.fcclainc.org

Dynamic Leadership Essential Four: Conflict Management for Leaders

Conflict Management Projects for Leadership Achievement Here are 10 things you can do to build conflict management skills. See how many you can complete. Ask your adviser about earning recognition for your conflict management projects.

Develop and present lessons to teach elementary children to handle their anger in appropriate ways. Send them home with a flyer that shares the same tips with parents. Optional: Develop this activity into a STAR Events project. Volunteer to help present an antiviolence program in your school or community. Refer to the STOP the Violence materials for good ideas and resources on this topic. Recruit fellow Family and Consumer Sciences students to help. Write a news release about your involvement. Lead an activity in your Family and Consumer Sciences class. Ask all students to write three different kinds of conflicts on slips of paper. These might be conflicts within themselves, in families, the school, the community, or world. Put all the slips into a bowl. Divide the group into smaller teams. Have each team draw one conflict slip. For each conflict, the team must identify the problem, think of as many solutions as possible and try to choose one that would work. Ask teams to share their ideas with the rest of the class. Discuss tips for managing conflict. Write a set of "ground rules" members will follow when dealing with conflict in your FCCLA chapter. Ask members to adopt and sign a pact to follow the ground rules. Set a goal to handle your own anger better. Find anger management tips in books and videos. Practice the tips for two weeks. Report to your FCCLA adviser about what you learn. Optional: Create a Power of One "A Better You" project with this activity. Write a skit that shows young people how to use "I" messages and active listening during conflicts. Videotape the skit and have it shown on the school's TV system. Sometimes conflict occurs when people don't understand their own emotions or what other people are feeling. Ask family members to complete a game of "emotion charades" with you. Prepare slips of paper with the names of many kinds of emotions or feelings (anger, joy, fear, worry, warmth, stress, etc.) Each family member draws one of the slips, then acts out that emotion without words. Others guess the emotion being shown. After the emotion has been guessed, family members each describe a time he or she has felt that way in the past 10 days. Talk with your family about how emotions affect the ways you interact and the conflicts you experience. Stress often leads to conflict. Research how to manage stress, then write a series of school newspaper articles to share the information with other students. Find out what help is available for young people who can't resolve their own conflicts. Information and support might be offered by school guidance services, peer mediation programs, worship communities, student organizations, community-based groups, and others. Create and distribute a flyer telling peers where they can find help with conflicts. Participate in a class or student organization debate. Tell your adviser what you learn about considering all "sides" of an issue or conflict.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Inc. | www.fcclainc.org

Dynamic Leadership Essential Four: Conflict Management for Leaders

Leadership Excellence
Building Strength Through Conflict Management "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein Dynamic leaders know that disagreements are bound to occur whenever people work together. Sometimes the resulting conflict is uncomfortable or even harmful. Dynamic leaders learn about conflict and use strategies to help members resolve conflicts in creative, nonviolent ways. Dynamic leaders learn how to help others address the basic issues that underlie conflict:

Limited resources, like time, money, and property Unmet basic needs; like belonging, power, freedom, and fun Different values, like beliefs, priorities, and principles.

Dynamic leaders have the inner strength that comes from good character, clear vision, and positive attitude. They use their strength and knowledge to recognize and manage conflicts before disagreements get out of hand. They use conflict management to learn and grow as leaders in families, careers, and communities. Key Elements of Conflict Management

Self-Understanding. Before you can lead others through conflict, you need to understand your own emotions and reactions. Recognize the "triggers" that provoke an emotional response. Once you know what sets you off, learn how to address your emotions and needs without hurting others. Practice settling arguments by talking it out, working it out, or walking away until the issue can be calmly addressed. Assertiveness. Learn to be an assertive, not aggressive, leader. Assertiveness involves being strong without being mean. Learn to express your needs and point of view forcefully, but without putting down the other person or that person's feelings. Problem-Solving Skills. Help others approach conflicts with a problem-solving mindset. Most conflicts involve both what people say they disagree about and underlying issues in their relationship. Help them separate out the real problem. Once people recognize a problem that can be solved, they may realize they don't have to like each other to work out a solution. (Use the Problem Solving for Leaders essential in Dynamic Leadership to polish your own problem-solving skills.) Mediation. As a dynamic leader, you may be called on to be a mediator; "invited guest" in a dispute. The mediator's role is to help people in conflict talk with each other, without taking sides or giving a solution. Learn mediation basics so you can lead members through conflict. Give Peace a Chance. Use your dynamic leadership abilities to create cooperative, supportive interactions in the groups you lead. Make it clear that you consider everyone's participation

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Inc. | www.fcclainc.org

Dynamic Leadership Essential Four: Conflict Management for Leaders

and input important and will do all you can to ensure every group member has a fair chance to express ideas and feelings. (See Keep the Peace for a list of attitudes and abilities that will prepare you for your role as a peacekeeper. Check the STOP the Violence materials for additional resources.)

Manage Conflict for Leadership Excellence


You can be a dynamic leader who excels in conflict management. Conflict management skills make you a strong leader and contribute to self-understanding and success in all areas of life. Undertake a Dynamic Leadership project that showcases your skills in:

Managing your emotions Addressing your own conflicts Addressing others' conflicts Assertiveness Negotiation Mediation

Use the FCCLA Planning Process to create a project that strengthens conflict management skills for dynamic leadership. Try one of the following ideas, or create your own. Campaign for Peace Organize a school-wide emphasis on conflict management and antiviolence initiatives. Hold an antiviolence summit among student leaders and challenge each student organization to carry out an antiviolence focus. For example, the school newspaper might run stories about how students can keep the peace. (Give them Do YOU have what it takes to Keep the Peace? (Attachment 8) for a start.) Computer interest groups might set up a Web site with conflict management tips. Sports teams could address ways to reduce violence that's not part of the game plan. Ask leaders to work together on an antiviolence rally and "peace pledge" campaign for all students. Check the STOP the Violence materials for ideas and resources to help with this project. Over the Rough Spots Serve as a mentor to help a younger student succeed in school and adjust to "rough spots" in his or her school, family, and community life. You may be able to receive training and participate in an existing mentoring program. Learn about elementary students' needs and issues and what sorts of support help them develop into healthy, welladjusted young adults. Continue your mentor relationship for several months. Lead FCCLA members to create individual and chapter projects that teach children to manage their emotions and conflicts. Speaking Up at Work Practice assertiveness and conflict management skills at work. First, research assertiveness and conduct role-plays with fellow students or family members. Identify situations in which you want to be more assertive at work. Use your know-how in that situation. Keep a journal about what happens. Continue to practice assertiveness, address conflicts, and write your journal for several weeks. Then, prepare a summary of what you did, how you changed your actions and what you learned. Train other Family and Consumer Sciences students to practice assertiveness and conflict management at work. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Inc. | www.fcclainc.org

Dynamic Leadership Essential Four: Conflict Management for Leaders

Peer Mediator Become involved in a peer mediation program at your school or community. If one does not yet exist, work with the school counselor to explore whether one might be started. Research information about programs, survey student interest, and ask for administrators' support. Use the FCCLA Planning Process to develop and carry out a plan to create or expand a peer mediation program at your school. Check the STOP the Violence materials for ideas and resources to help with this project. Conflict Comes Home Lead an FCCLA chapter project that addresses domestic violence in your community. Involve members in finding ways to educate families about the effects of violence and where they can get help. Support agencies that help families build conflict management skills. Write newspaper articles about the domestic violence problem and personal and community solutions. Check the STOP the Violence materials for ideas and resources to help with this project. Submit your chapter's project for state and national FCCLA Families First, Community Service, or STOP the Violence recognition. Self-Management Complete an in-depth Power of One "A Better You" project to strengthen conflict management skills in your personal and school relationships. Start by rating your "foundation abilities for conflict management" using Do YOU Have What it Takes to Keep the Peace? (Attachment 8) Identify weak areas and research ways to improve. Put your new knowledge to work for a month. Report results to your Power of One evaluation team or FCCLA adviser. Next, identify and strengthen your conflict management skills in groups through a "Take the Lead" project. Make a presentation to your chapter about both projects and how they can benefit by participating in Power of One.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Inc. | www.fcclainc.org