CM103 Resolving conflict in the workplace | Sharon Xuereb | Skillshare

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CM103 Resolving conflict in the workplace

teacher avatar Sharon Xuereb

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. CM103 Pros & cons of your CM style

    • 2. CM103 Aiming for win win

    • 3. CM103 Informal resolution

    • 4. CM103 The conflict resolution process

    • 5. CM103 Communication techniques

    • 6. CM103 When conflict persists

    • 7. CM103 Mediation

    • 8. CM103 The manager's Ps!

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About This Class

This is the third of a 3-part course on conflict management in the workplace. Ideally you would first complete the project, where you discover your conflict management style. So you can apply the rest of the class to this, and benefit more from the class. You will learn how to achieve a win-win resolution of conflicts, and how to resolve conflicts more informally. There are lessons on practical conflict resolution techniques, including specific communication techniques you would use. You then explore your options when conflict persists, followed by an overview of mediation. Finally, you are presented with the manager's Ps, as important takeaways from this class.

Meet Your Teacher

I am a psychologist, with many years' experience working in a range of challenging environments and with people experiencing various difficult circumstances. I am keen on imparting my knowledge and experience to others, so equipping people with tools to be successful in their relationships. i have been teaching online for the last few years. I love it, especially when students start discussions and we can explore a subject in more depth.

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1. CM103 Pros & cons of your CM style: Now that we have worked out what your preferred conflict management Stein is, it's time to understand these times in more detail. We are using the very well known Psalmist Kilman model, and there are two main points to consider in this model. The first continuum is from assertiveness to corporation. When you're on the assertive and off the continuum, your priority is to make sure that your voice is head on, that the actions that you'd like to implement are actually implemented. Whereas a D cooperative end of the continuum, the priority is on working together, doing things together, taking everyone's point of view on board. With regards to the second line, we have a continuum from me focused to others focused as the me focused, and it's all about me, what I want to get from the situation and what my preferences are where, said the others focused. And the priority is the others get what they want to get and that they are happy at the end off the situation. So here are the main types off conflict management style, according to the Thomas Killman model, and you'll fit in one off them Now it's very important to bear in mind that we don't always use the same conflict management style in all situations. Sometimes you might be a shock. On other time you might be on our, but maybe you're more often a shark, so we all have our preferred styles, but those are not the only stars we use. So if you look at competing a shark, these people are high and Assertiveness and Lo Inc they want to make sure that their point of view is hurt and that their preferred actions are connected. The collaborating owl. Their focus is on working well with others while also ensuring that their points of view are hurt. The compromising folks, his kind of middle off the road with regard to assertiveness on corporate iveness, we'll have the avoiding turtle. These people are very low on assertiveness and also on corporation. They tend to withdraw and avoid conflict altogether on then we have the accommodating teddy bear. These people want others to be happy and to feel satisfied after the conflict is resolved, but are low on assertiveness, so they put others needs before their own needs. So if you look at a detail continuum, we discussed earlier. The competing person is quite forceful, high on assertiveness, low on corporation. The collaborating person is high on both. Compromising person is middle of the road disperse in shares. The avoiding person, which is the turtle, is low on both assertiveness and corporation on the accommodating teddy bear. It's high on corporate iveness but low on assertiveness. Take the time to go through the slide, which described in more detail the perception and experience off each type of conflict management style. In this light, we seek to understand for each conflict management style when they are best used, because none off thes conflict management styles are good in all situations or bad in all situations, starting with the competing shark. This style is most useful when you need to make quick decisions because action is needed, and also when you need to make decisions on important issues where a consensus is not appropriate. Looking at the collaborating our this is most useful when your objective is to learn or test your assumptions when it is important to collect information from other colleagues before you make a decision, and when you want to work through issues as a team looking at the compromising folks. This is useful in situations where both parties have strong views on where the reality is. If I get what I want to get, you will feel completely disappointed on. If you get what you want to get, I will feel terribly disappointed and therefore, this is a middle of the road way to achieve temporary settlements on complex issues. The avoiding turtle is useful when you believe that there are more important or pressing issues to consider. So when you think there's no chance off satisfying, your court says, there's no where you going to leave the situation happy. But it's not really an important decision, so in just ignore it and go with the flow and finally, the accommodating teddy bear. This is a useful conflict management style when you realize you're wrong and you want to share to your colleagues that you can be reasonable or when the issue is more important to other as Dan it is to you on. So you're happy to let them make the decision that they prefer, even though there's not your preferred decision. So the next task is to complete the action document, which you can download now so that you can further reflect on your conflict management style 2. CM103 Aiming for win win: In this lecture, we focus on learning how to generate win win solutions during conflict. There are three potential outcomes toe any conflict. The 1st 1 is lose lose where both parties involved in the conflict leave the situation disappointment and feeling long they've lost out. The second possibility is win lose where one party feuds that they've got what they wanted . But the other part of heat is that they haven't on. The third outcome is win win, where both parties leave the situation feeling positive that they got what they want it or most of it. This is the outcome that we aim for off course. If both parties feel they've lost out, then the conflict is not really resolved on the only one part of feels that they've got what they wanted on our positive about situation, the other parties resentful and really in the conflict. This has not Bean effectively resolved in order to achieve a win win resolution. It's important that both parties go to the situation with this particular stunts so that the situation the discussion is going to be as confidential as possible, that we will do our best to resolve this. But there is like a gentleman's agreement that we won't leave. The conversation entered everyone else all the gory details of what was discussed, that we try to be objective. It's important, as we've said a number of times previously, to go to conflicts with a cognitive stunts, that we're going to be neutral, so trying to leave emotions out of the situation as much as possible. Andi. This particularly applies when a search party is mediating the situation. They are neutral and how they interpret the reality off. Both parties involved stands off answers are those found not given is very helpful. What I mean is that you work to achieve in the ancestor together rather than Here's the answer. Here's what needs doing No, we discuss it and then we identify the onset together and, like I've said, is very important to keep its cognitive. Let's look at the first off. Two case studies hotter on Jamal Hot A man Jamal have worked together in the same company for several months on used to get on quite well. Hatem recently got promoted to team leader. He realizes that Jamaal takes longer breaks and allowed one day as Jamaal is coming back to work hot. Um calls him to his office and asks him very sarcastically, What time do you call this? Jamaal replies. The same time I used to call it before you became all high and mighty. So if we have to achieve at lose lose outcome in that particular conflict, it will probably be a situation where there is an argument. Jamal feels disrespected and demeaned by hot, who's no understanding that it's okay. Sometimes they have a longer break than you should on Hot um, also feast this the situation where he's being disrespected on the Jamaat is looking no looking up to him as the manager that he is. So nobody's happy Onda boat are frustrated and more resentful. A possible win lose situation is if hot, um lays Dondero. So you are an employee and I am the manager and you do as I say. You need to come back at that particular time. Otherwise I will report you to Hey, Char. Yes, Hatem has got what he wanted Jamaat we were back on time, probably by Jamaal is so resentful and annoyed that he's not gonna be a very engaged employees on it he might start conflict within the team, starting gossip about hot him, or perhaps look to leave the team. A win win outcome would be when both people discuss the issue and hot and understands that sometimes Jamal needs to make long course to his family, who are far away or very well, etcetera. And Jamal also understands that Hot and now has responsibility to see that everything is done on time on the every member off the team puts in the hours that they should be. And so they agree that Jamal will do his best to stick to the time limit for the break. But if there are emergencies, help call Hot M so hot it knows to be prepared that Jamaat is going to be late. Another case study is the one off Georgia, and Marcia Georgia works as a shop assistant in a high end fashion store. Master is a regular customer. She spends a lot of money at the store Every month. Marcy comes in and throws a shared on the till. Where George I stood saying, This is rubbish. I want my money back. Georgia asks her what's wrong with the product, and Marcy are looking annoyed, say's look at it. The quality is rubbish. She swears on says, I want a refund immediately. Go on, hurry up! Georgia replies. Perhaps you can express that with some more respect. Conflicts between employees. Our customers are classic situations where outcomes can be win lose because of the manager who intervenes. Will think I don't want to lose this customer, especially with someone like Marcy who spent a lot of money at the store and therefore makes sure that the customer leaves the situation feeling like they've won but ignores the fact that employee is feeling like they've lost. So a possible win lose situation is if the manager comes and apologizes tomorrow so that you know being fast enough and does the refund for her. Says Sorry it took so long and then says to Georgia afterwards, You need toe, always treat customers with respect and with a smile. Even though Georgia has been respectful, basically asking Georgia T to have the attitude that the customer is always right in that situation next time around, Georgia will be bitter and resentful that it feels like customers because they have money are respected more than she is, whereas a possible win win outcome to this situation is where the manager listen. So Marcia highlights that Georgia is very busy on that. She needs to ask a few questions. And perhaps because Marty Awas so annoyed George, I didn't understand her clearly. Onda then resolves the situation by during the refund for her. But they highlighted and emphasized that Hey would like his employees to be treated with respect, that it's more a win win outcome in their situation as Marcia gets her refund. But Georgia also feels like her manager is standing up for her in the next lecture will look at informal resolutions on how valuable they can be. 3. CM103 Informal resolution: Ideally, conflicts are informally results that is, with around the need to bring in managers or human resources, etcetera. So in an ideal world, stuff have kills to resolve conflicts effectively informally. So an informal resolution is an early resolution. So things have not escalated and at this stage is actually much easier to resolve conflicts because they're still quite simple and straightforward. Informal resolutions are proactive on preventative that an issue which is arising on the people involved immediately deal with it, thus preventing serious conflict. Possibly it's another calling, or a manager who hired eyes that you're being quite sarcastic towards each other, and therefore those two people discussed the issue and worker through because conflicts are still early on. I'm quite simple. They are less emotionally laden, and so it's much easier to resolve them in a cognitive way and also win when solutions are more likely, as people still have overall control off the situation. It's not been taken over by managers or HR or disciplinary hearings, and people like it when they feel that they have control, because they feel that they are managing to issue themselves on that, they agreed. Outcome is one that they actually agree with, and it's not being imposed upon them. Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship on deepening it. That factor is attitude. If people have the right attitude with regard to the value off resolving conflict effectively and early on, then those conflicts will lead to positive outcomes, such as better relationships. More creativity rather tend to more destructive outcomes, like we have discussed earlier. In the next picture, we will look at it the six step process that is effective in managing conflict at work. 4. CM103 The conflict resolution process: we will now examine the six step conflict management style that would be effective at work . On the metaphor is Imagine you are going to dinner. What are the steps that you will go through, So the process is that you get there. You say hello to the other people that you meeting for dinner you have opening drinks on. Then you decide what you are reading. You have the main meal, and then you decide where to go next. And these are the steps of the process to manage conflict effectively at work. So the first step in getting there by appointment with enough time shot dude. So at this point, it's not an informant resolution anymore. It's We're having a former conversation about it, so you need to make sure there's not just five minutes by the coffee machine. But there's enough time to discuss the issue more thoroughly. You prepare a basic script off what you want to say under questions you want to ask and what you want to find out more about. You leave preconceptions about the room that the other person is not good enough for their job or that they've always had it in for you or that your promotion depends on this. You just focus on the issue at hand. You also leave your emotions out of the room because if we are frustrated, then is very easy for the situation to escalate on your focus on the behavior or the issue that you want changing or addressed. And then you say hello to the people you having dinner with, and it's a similar in conflict resolution. So you take a moment to think you don't just dive in into the issue that's bothering you on . Then you clear about the aim off the meeting. I wanted to have a bit of a chat about how the phone messages that customers are leaving me are not getting to me, because this means that my boss is criticizing me for not setting enough meetings with prospective clients. So that is the aim, and it's also important to express it in a neutral way rather than I want to discuss how you have not been passing on. The message is that customers have left may emphasize that your girl is to together agree on a positive resolution. You can very clearly say I just want this to be a win win outcome for each of us. That way the person is less defensive about what is going to happen. You don't have opening drinks where you share your perspective, What it looks like to me. Correct me if I'm wrong from where I'm sitting are very good phrases to use. It just again reduces the defensiveness. Both the other person service it of saying because I'm sure that yesterday Mr Smith called me and used not tell me about it. You can go correct me if I'm wrong. But I thought that Mr Smith call yesterday and I didn't find a message about that. You are saying the same thing, really. The message is the same, but the way you say it makes it more likely that the other person listens to what you're saying before getting involved in the emotion off. You're accusing me off something here and completely ignoring what you actually said, invited the other pits until shares their perspective. Continue asking what else? What else happened? Toe. Identify the rial, underlining issues, especially if you are a manager on having this discussion with an employee, keep asking what else to find out what is actually happening in the office or on the shop floor, etcetera, that is making them behave in this particular way, which is causing conflict is very important to listen. Yes, you ask the questions. What you done. Don't speak again until it is very clear that the other person has finished answering a question. And when you listen, you listen with an open mind. If in your mind afforded decided that disperses not passing on messages because they want to out Chinese in the end of month report, then you're only listen to that part of what this person is saying that fits in with your preconception. So it's important to listen with an open mind. Minimal encourages are really helpful, interested non words like Oh wow, it's not what happened, which it's more of a phrase than at non word. So, you know, interrupting the person with a new question, for example, or your point of view. But you're very clearly showing that you're actively listening to what they're saying when they finish talking paraphrase, which is basically your summarizing and bringing everything together, which helps demonstrate that you have listened to them and also if you've misunderstood anything, that person will say No, hang on a minute, Snow, I said. Or it's not what I meant on. You can both be clear that your understanding each other and they've, you know, sure about something, and then you decide what you're eating. So the main issues, you just summarize our your agenda and you communicate this So these are the burning issues . But you can ask also other other burning issues that you want to discuss today, and then you come to the main meal. So the main body off the conversation, this guy just one issue at a time, especially if India agenda. You have a number of issues, explore how the person feels and acknowledge these feelings, even if you disagree with the behavior. So you might completely disagree with the fact that dispersant is not passing on client messages, but you might actually validate the fact that the person is feeling ignored at work and unappreciated identify the personal need. So in this example, the person's need east to feel respected and validated and appreciated our sir as an employee with a lot to offer generate options as to how you can meet this and evaluate these options, making sure that they are win win outcome options where next? This is where you establish ago that all parties are happy with again and win win outcome. So it can be a simple list ending the conflict, especially in conflicts which are quite mundane really about. Well, you could call them silly issues like misunderstanding weeks ago or even longer than that, and both parties can agree that Okay, we'll just forget about it and continue as if nothing happened. It's not word feeling unhappy at work about that particular issue, and then you agree on a way forward. You first brainstorm as to what you're going to do next, and then evaluate each option that you came up with again making sure that it's win win for everyone. So when you're evaluating the options, you need to think, will this be effective in the long term? Oh yeah, it can solve the problem and free do it next week. But six months down the line is it's still effective. Is this specific? So is this option. Do we know what we are doing here? It will say, Oh, we'll talk about it is that specific enough? Or do I have to say we're going to talk about it in three weeks time and we're going to talk about ABC? Is it feasible? If the option is not feasible, you need to identify these road blocks on agree how to work around them. So maybe one option is to install voicemail on people's phones, which is quite feasible. But if you want option that you came up with this to recruit a receptionist, that might not be very feasible. What's the time limit? Always give yourself a time limit to make sure that the decision is actually implemented and who does what and then very helpful, especially in more complex conflicts. But you agree when to meet again, to see and evaluate how things are going on. If the conflict has bean effectively resolved for both parties in the next section will look at important communication techniques to use to ensure that these conversations are effective 5. CM103 Communication techniques: We will now consider specific communication techniques you can use when trying to resolve conflict at work. With regard to the communication style, it's important to communicate in a motivating way. So the other person freaks motivated to resolve the conflict. So you empower them, we can solve this, let's chat about it, and then I'm sure it will be okay and use approach goals. This is what we need to do, rather than it is what we shouldn't do. Because when you use approach goals, the other person knows what to work towards. For example, I need to work towards speaking in a lower tone of voice rather than I shouldn't shout and do what the specific again in this example. Off the tone of voice your to general, when you say you need to speak in a more respectful way, what does that mean? Whereas if you say police speak in a lower tone of voice, it's very clear and specific. Encourage people to use phrases such as I agree to or I have responsibility to etcetera so that they are thinking ownership off the way forward. That is agreed during this conversation on if agreement is difficult identify what's essential on what's desirable on, then focus on the essential to resolve the conflict off course. You'll be asking quite a few questions during such conversations to resolve conflicts, try and use open ended questions such as Tell me more about what happened or what happened This way. The person is encouraged to explain what happened in their own words, focusing on what was important to them. Another open ended question is eso How did that make you feel? What are you thinking about that where D onset is quite a long sentence or a long paragraph as opposed to questions to avoid, which are close questions. Are you happy with this? Is this okay for you? Did you feel annoyed where the answer is? Yes or no? Because then the conversation is not opened up. Therefore, you might miss out on important information or important ideas to use to help resolve the conflict. Also avoid leading questions. So you thought that she was being mean as an example? So you thought I was doing this to annoy you? Because here you Why presuming what the answer is they might don't agree with you on day. Therefore, it hinders the flow off the conversation, and it leads to people feeling annoyed and frustrated. It also makes the conversation more personal. And so you're moving away from cognitive conflict management style before moving on to the next topic on the agenda, etcetera summarised the main issue. So what we've agreed upon is that the other I will do this. You will do this. I agree to do this. You're saying that you're taking responsibility to do that, etcetera, in summarizing. You need to be one size on neutral and you're not blaming your constructing 1/3 story. So the summary isn't that I agree that all you did was wrong and all I did was right. I mean, I'm oversimplifying this, but you're constructing 1/3 story. So I agree that perhaps I should have given your feet back more respectfully and in future , I will ensure that I give you feedback in a private space. And you're saying that this is what you will do, etcetera. Some more communication stuff. Very important to focus on the problem, not the person. If you don't take anything with you from this lecture, just take this point again. This keeps the problem resolution process Maura Cognitive and therefore it's more likely to be effective. Use I messages. So I think that rhythm or I noticed rather than this is what you did because again the person becomes defensive. Replace yes, but with yes and when we say yes. But we're basically saying Yes, I agree with what you say, but really, I don't agree. Whereas if you use yes and that's a really good way to construct the third story and therefore you are replacing blame with a new third story. In the next lecture, we will look at strategies you could use when conflicts persist. 6. CM103 When conflict persists: there might be cases where even though you try really hard to resolve a conflict, it's not happening, possibly because the other person is not really interested in resolving the conflict. Or maybe it has really escalated some conflicts. You can just let go, perhaps because they are minor. They're not escalating. They're not affecting how you work with the rest of the team. They're not affecting the atmosphere in the team. And they're just minor has is that we all have to endure in life. For example, someone who keeps dumping their paperwork on your desk instead off their own desk because they're discuss closer to the door, for example, or someone making snide remarks about the football team that you support, which really annoys you. And when they have lost an important match over the weekend on these occasions, you might decide that it's not worth really bringing up the conflict to try and resolve it because you wanted to actually make things bigger than what they actually are. There are other occasions where you want to address the conflict because you feel it's important on it's having a negative impact by the other people. The other party is not interested in addressing it. In this situation, you could explore how the conflict is affecting them on the effects of not resolving the conflict so you could still have a chat about. But how is the fact that we barely talk having an impact on you? How does it affect you? How does it affect the kind of work you produce etcetera? And if you continue to barely talk to each other, what impact will it have on both of us? With regard to getting feedback from our manager at the end of the air, or with regard to how clients see us working together on the figures back, they will give about the kind of organization that we run. So you're trying to highlight that. Actually, the conflict is worth resolving. Unfortunately, sometimes drives you mind to the conflict does not get resolved on. It's an important conflict that you need resolving. Perhaps it's escalating, but whatever is happening, it's impacting how you work, and it's having a negative impact in these cases. It's worth involving your manager, even if you're thinking about the future consequences. If the conflict continues to escalate, it will have a negative impact on your performance on then your manager will definitely get involved to try and understand why your performance this week. Therefore, it's better to preempt this on address it proactively. Your manager might have a conversation with both parties on that being. The third neutral party might be in a better position to resolve the situation or as human resources might get involved in serious cases, professional mediation might be suggested. However, the important thing is that you have done your duty, your responsibility towards your employer and that there is an issue which is impacting your performance and therefore you are trying to address it and the next lecture we will look at mediation in more detail. 7. CM103 Mediation: in this lecture will seek to understand what mediation is. It's an impartial third party facilitating the resolution off the conflict. So it's not just the manager having a chat with both parties who are in conflict. The third party is completely from outside the team on often from also 90. Organization on the usual process is that they first speak to person A and private their experience under girls and then speak to Person B, also in private about their experience and their goals. So they understand what's happening under and Mediator facilitates a session with both person A and Person B, where a way forward is identified, focusing on the essentials that both person A and Person B have identified. Mediation is a very effective strategy, particularly in more complex conflicts which have been going on for a long time and have escalated. Some managers wonder whether they should do some mediating. Like I said, I'm here describing mediation as different from a manager, having a chat with two colleagues to try and resolve the issue. This is a more formal mediation where you have conversations individually with both parties before you have the conversation together, there are several downsides to having managers, actors, mediators. It takes you away from your job, and so is no the best way to spend your time. Managers are probably not strained and experience in it, and if they conflict has become quite complex, the stakes are high, so you want someone who knows what they're doing. If there is, add the satisfied party, it now creates a conflict between you as the manager on them. If Person B is unhappy with how you are leading the mediation process now, not only do they have a conflict with person A, but they also have a conflict with you. Although nervous, a never there might be less serious issues where it's suitable if managers feel confident enough to do it. Attached to this lecture is a video from Jonah Courts, which demonstrates a mediation session and progress 8. CM103 The manager's Ps!: In this lecture, we focus on eight very important peas for managers. The first B is prevent through good culture. This is something managers can have a significant impact on, where you sustain a culture which promotes respect and where certain language or verbal abuse is discourage. And it's seen as very obvious that this is not allowed in this team. Be proactive. If you notice that someone is being disrespectful to someone else, just go and discuss it with them. Is everything OK ideally in a private space such as in your office? So even if the conflict has no actually happened, but you are being proactive to ensure it doesn't happen or is it's nipped and the but be prompt. If you notice issues which need to be dealt with because there is conflict or you think there will go be conflict, probably then you don't leave it till next week or the week after, because it's not really so important at the moment, because if you do, it will become very important because it will have escalated, so deal with it promptly appropriate Follow through is very important. Often we have conversations with people on. We discuss things, and we feel here we're going to change things, etcetera. But follow three is important to see if the promises that have been made to change things have actually happened. And if not, you can encourage the person to behave or do the things they have agreed to do. Be a positive role model. Of course, if you want to prevent conflict or to deal with conflict effectively, then you need to look at yourself how to do this so that other people in your team will follow you. So, for example, if you're in conflict with other people, don't have a long personal conversation during the team meeting, because that's not really positive role modeling. What is more positive role modeling is, if you say, let's have a chat about this in private, proceed as needed. Whether you're having a difficult conversation with stuff or you're referring, the issue to hate are basically you are proceeding your are doing something about the situation, uphold performance standards at all times. These are the standards for the steam or for this organization on. This is what we work towards and speak your peas clearly, so sometimes you need to articulate these peas, so other people are clear about what is required. So, for example, you might remind a colleague that he or she needs to be impulsive role model to the rest of the team because it's helpful if we all try and be positive role models, or you encourage someone who isn't a conflict to be prompt in addressing it or to ensure there is appropriate follow through. There is now an action for which it would be great if you could complete so he could reflect personally on how to implement these peace at your workplace.