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An Appreciative Approach to g solvin Re Reframing Conflict
Reframe “conflict” as an opportunity for creating an ideal working relationship: What are the components of an ideal working relationship?
Foundational Paradigms n Often, conflict is a result of miscommunication (misunderstanding) n View “conflict” as an opportunity for personal and/or professional development n Improve work relationships and productivity n To resolve conflict, need to communicate in an effective manner
How Do You Know it is Conflict? People involved are: n n Interdependent, Blaming each other, Emotionally upset, (angry, crying, etc. ) Affecting work relationships and productivity
How Individuals Address Conflict Type A Type B Type C Avoid personal contact Get others to take sides Sweaty palms Write memos instead of talking Shout Nervous gestures Withhold needed information Pre-empting (getting there first) Closed body posture Not return messages Threaten Tense facial expression Delay giving required support Undermine opponent’s reputation Cry Passive Aggressive Unintentional CAUTION: Don’t always follow your initial instinct. Your first reaction may be wrong. The “fight or flight” response is a physiological response to danger. It focuses on what’s wrong in a situation - it is likely to hurt work relationships - and create more situations perceived as danger.
Positive Things that Come Out of Conflict? n n n Increased motivation and energy available to apply to required tasks. Increased innovativeness of individuals and the system because of greater diversity of viewpoints and a heightened sense of necessity. Development of an increased understanding of individuals’ own position - because the conflict forces them to articulate their views and to bring forth supporting agreements. Each party may achieve greater awareness of their own identity. Participants learn methods to manage their own internal conflicts.
Appreciative Approach to Reframing Conflict using the Appreciative Inquiry Process
4 Dimensions of Appreciative Inquiry Discovery Destiny Life-Giving Process Dream Design
Appreciative Inquiry vs. Problem Solving n n Appreciative Inquiry Appreciates – n n what gives life? n Imagines – problem n what might be? n Determines – Creates – what will be? Conducts – analysis of cause n what should be? n Problem Solving Identifies – Brainstorms – solutions n Develops – action plans
st 1 Dimension: Discovery “The Best of What Is” Affirmative Topic: Effective Communication
1 st Dimension: Discovery Effective Communication 1. Deal with the Emotions first 2. Feelings as Data 3. Listen First to Understand - until you are able to experience the other side Gather the facts Hear each person’s side of the story 4. 5. 6. Decide if you need additional help
1 st Dimension: Discovery Examine the Positive Factors in the Relationship: n n n What is working in the relationship? What are the benefits of the relationship? Tell me about a time when you successfully worked together? What do we agree on? What are our individual/team strengths?
nd 2 Dimension: Dream “What it might be? ” “Envision It!”
2 nd Dimension: Dream Envision the Ideal Communication Relationship What does it feel like? n What does it sound like? n What does it look/sound like to others? n What do you really want?
2 nd Dimension: Dream Examine Possible Positive Factors in the Communication Relationship: n n n Rapid Generation of Ideas without clarification or evaluation Quantity - not Quality Be as Creative as possible
rd 3 Dimension: Design What should be the “Ideal” of Effective Communication?
3 rd Dimension: Design 3 Types of Outcomes n Win-Lose n Lose-Lose n Win-Win
3 rd Dimension: Design Look for Win-Win Resolution Fundamental Paradigms: n n n Effective, long-term relationships require mutual benefit Reconciliation & collaboration is not weak – it’s smart ! Win-Lose or Lose-Lose outcomes are counterproductive in the long run
3 rd Dimension: Design Stay Focused on the “Ideal” n Conflict tends to divert our attention from our real interests by creating another interest – surviving, or winning n Basic, instinctive interest (surviving/winning) may cloud our interests & make it harder to resolve conflict n Step away from the conflict, & anybody involved in the conflict, to gain perspective n Think about what you would want if you could have a wish – that’s your true interest
3 rd Dimension: Design Conciliatory Gestures Verbal statements – or parts of statements – made during conflict resolution that expose the speaker’s vulnerability to exploitation by the other (s) Kinds of Conciliatory Gestures: n n n Apologizing Owning responsibility Conceding Self-disclosing Expressing positive feelings/thoughts for the other Initiating a Win-Win approach to the situation
3 rd Dimension: Design Smart Managing Accentuate the Positive, Ignore the Negative Conciliatory gestures are often mixed with some sort of hostile comments. It’s best to disregard the aggressive words & tone and focus instead on the conciliatory. How? Acknowledge the conciliatory gesture by showing your appreciation of it, and reciprocate.
3 rd Dimension: Design Partner on Design n n Collaboration One-sided solutions not imposed – no power plays No walk-aways Need buy-in
3 rd Dimension: Design Good Deal: To effect real change Good Deal An agreement describing how the parties will interact in the future n n n Balanced Behaviorally specific Written
th 4 Dimension: Destiny What should we do to sustain the change?
4 th Dimension: Destiny Sustaining Change Nurture the new relationship n Reward improved performance n Develop & renew resources on a regular basis n Be proactive n
Appreciative Inquiry “ 4 -D” Cycle Revisited n Discovery - The best of what is ü ü Deal with Emotions and Feelings Listen First to Understand Gather the Facts Need help? n Dream - What might be? Envision it! n Design - What should be the ideal? ü ü n Win-Win Stay Focused Conciliatory Gestures Partner on a Good Deal Destiny – Sustain the Change ü Prevent More Challenges ü Don’t Back Out