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

Issue focused, not

personal

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

Destructive to group

performance and
cohesion

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.