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PSY 126 Week 6: Dealing with Conflict

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Dealing with Conflict
Matthew L. Eisenhard, Psy.D.
Week 6: Psychology for Business & Industry
Main Topics
◦ TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS
 A way for determining how people interact.
 It is common for people to disagree.
...
Transactional Analysis (T/A)
• Is a method of understanding behavior in
interpersonal situations.
▫ International Transact...

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PSY 126 Week 6: Dealing with Conflict

  1. 1. Dealing with Conflict Matthew L. Eisenhard, Psy.D. Week 6: Psychology for Business & Industry
  2. 2. Main Topics ◦ TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS  A way for determining how people interact.  It is common for people to disagree.  Dealing with emotions - your own and others – is part of Emotional Intelligence. ◦ ASSERTIVENESS  Is standing up for your own rights – without pushing others around. ◦ CONFLICT MANAGEMENT  Is a critical skill in being successful and productive.
  3. 3. Transactional Analysis (T/A) • Is a method of understanding behavior in interpersonal situations. ▫ International Transactional Analysis Association: www.itaaworld-org. • Developed by Eric Berne – 1960 used in psychiatry and social psychology – and carried over into human relations. ▫ Ego States. ▫ Types Of Transactions. ▫ Life Positions And Stroking.
  4. 4. T/A Ego States • Self-assessment exercise 6.1 According to Berne there are 3 MAJOR EGO STATES that effect our behavior and the way we communicate. You may have one preferred style…but They can fluctuate during a day, or even during the course of a single communication transaction – depending on the purpose – the other person – the situation – etc. ◦ PARENT ◦ CHILD ◦ ADULT
  5. 5. T/A – Ego States PARENT EGO STATE ◦ CRITICAL PARENT  Makes responses that are critical, judgmental, opinionated, demanding, disapproving, etc.  Use lots of “dos and don’ts” in conversations.  Autocratic managers use this style because they are high in task-directive communication. ◦ SYMPATHETIC PARENT  Makes reassuring responses that are protective, permissive, consoling, nurturing, etc.  Managers using the consultative and participative styles use this type of communication because they are high in supportive-relationship behaviors.
  6. 6. T/A – Ego States CHILD EGO STATE ◦ NATURAL CHILD  Responds with probing style showing curiosity, intimacy, fun, joy, fantasy, impulsiveness, etc.  Successful managers tend not to operate from this state on a regular basis. ◦ ADAPTED CHILD  Responds with aggression, confrontation, rebelliousness, pouting, anger, fear, anxiety, inadequacy, procrastination, etc.  Managers need to avoid this style.  It results in emotional responses and similar behaviors.  If a manager encounters this style they need to respond with the adult ego state style.
  7. 7. T/A – Ego States ADULT EGO STATE ◦ Responses are rational, logical, and unemotional. ◦ Adults gather information, use critical thinking skills. ◦ Remains calm, cool, and collected. ◦ Adults avoid becoming the victim by controlling the situation ◦ This is generally the most effective style of communication. ◦ It is always good to assess the style of others when communicating with them – it will help you understand their actions – and make the right type of response accordingly.  Adult = adult.  Child = parent.  Sometimes it’s okay to let go and have fun from the child ego state – it depends on the situation!
  8. 8. Types of Transactions  Within The Ego States There Are 3 Types Of Transactions ◦ COMPLEMENTARY (SUPPORT EACH OTHER)  When the sender of the message gets the intended response from the receiver.  Generally the most effective communication with less hurt feelings and confrontations. ◦ CROSSED (MISSES THE MARK)  When the sender does not get the expected response from the receiver.  Generally result in surprise, disappointment, and hurt feelings for the sender. ◦ ULTERIOR (HIDDEN AGENDAS)  Hidden messages – the words seem to come from one ego state, but in reality they are coming from another.  Sometimes people don’t know how to ask for what they want directly, so they use ulterior methods to get their message across.  Usually best to avoid this style – they waste time and cause problems.
  9. 9. T/A – Life Positions & Stroking • LIFE POSITIONS ▫ Your attitudes toward yourself and others. ▫ “OK” = positive attitudes. ▫ “NOT OK” = negative attitudes.  Exhibit 6.3 - what is the best position to be in? • STROKING ▫ Any behavior that implies recognition of another’s presence – we all need validation.  It costs nothing to give people positive strokes and helps create win-win communication which is the goal of human relations. ▫ Strokes can be…  Positive = praise, awards, raises, etc.  Negative = tearing someone down, ignoring their value and contributions – being hurtful.
  10. 10. Assertiveness • Self-assessment 6.2 • Is the process of expressing thoughts and feelings while asking for what you want in an appropriate way. • We need to avoid the traps and pitfalls of inappropriate styles of behavior ▫ PASSIVE BEHAVIOR – inappropriate. ▫ AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR – inappropriate. ▫ PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR – inappropriate. ▫ ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR – APPROPRIATE.
  11. 11. Passive Behavior ◦ Passive behaviors come from an “I’m not OK” life position. ◦ Used to avoid doing something or to accommodate someone else without standing up for yourself. ◦ Nonverbals = looking down, speaking very soft, helpless gestures, slouched posture. ◦ Self-denial and sacrifice attitude. ◦ Rationalizing = “it doesn’t matter anyway.” ◦ Usually internally distressed & in pain - increases one’s stress levels. ◦ Others tend to take unfair advantage of passive people. ◦ When a passive person does speak up – others usually don’t pay any attention to them – and interrupt them frequently. ◦ Poor self-esteem and unhappy. ◦ Passivity often based in fear: of rejection, retaliation, of hurting or being hurt. ◦ It is often a result of life-long learning patterns. ◦ It is unproductive behavior.
  12. 12. Aggressive Behavior ◦ These people are rude, tough, demanding, pushy - just not nice. ◦ Nonverbals include = glaring, frowning, talking loud, using threatening gestures and intimidating postures. ◦ Others often just try to avoid aggressive people. ◦ They seem to be high in self-confidence – but in reality the aggression is just a facade for a poor self-concept. ◦ They are in an “I’m not OK” life position. ◦ But try to prove to others they are by controlling them. ◦ They violate others’ rights to gain their own self-worth. ◦ Aggressive behavior on a regular basis is self-defeating and destructive to others, and yourself. ◦ Violence is clearly aggression at its highest level.
  13. 13. Passive-Aggressive Behavior The most difficult to understand and deal with - say one thing and do another! ◦ Displayed In 3 Major Ways  SPORADICALLY  Aggressive one time – passive the next .  You never know who is there… Jekyl or Hyde.  SITUATIONALLY  Passive during the communication.  Then aggressive later.  Displacement of hostility – meek and submissive then goes home and kicks the dog.  STUFFING HOSTILITY  Being passive by not addressing the issue of concern.  Allowing the anger to build…then exploding.
  14. 14. Assertive Behavior ◦ Comes from the adult ego state. ◦ “I’m OK – you’re OK” life position. ◦ Assertive people protect their rights without violating rights of others. ◦ Nonverbals = smiling, eye contact, pleasant voice, firm gestures, and erect posture. ◦ Have a positive self-image – are not threatened by others. ◦ Do not let others control their behavior. ◦ Being assertive wins the respect of others. ◦ It is the best way to get what you want without hurting others.
  15. 15. Steps to Being Assertive SET AN OBJECTIVE ◦ Be specific about what you want. DETERMINE HOW TO CREATE A WIN-WIN ◦ Assess the situation – determine what the other(s) want. ◦ Decide how you can accomplish both. DEVELOP ASSERTIVE PHRASES ◦ Practice in advance by using some of the assertive phrases on pg. 239. IMPLEMENT YOUR PLAN PERSISTENTLY ◦ Use your plan and be consistent and persistent – don’t quit or give in.
  16. 16. Anger & Violence in the Workplace Anger can…. lead to violence. Desk rage and customer rage. ◦ Yelling – verbal abuse – physical violence. PSYCHOLOGICAL issues that cause anger. ◦ Frustration – fear – stress – personality problems. ◦ Unresolved interpersonal conflicts.  Violence is often a retaliation.  It can also be used to sabotage others by back stabbing, spreading false rumors.  Can even result in property damage to the org. PHYSICAL issues. ◦ Crowded work spaces – noise – odors – temperature – ventilation. ◦ A hostile work environment – called “toxicity” leads to violent behaviors. ◦ People tend to copy or model others actions. ◦ Some say drugs contribute to the growing problems.
  17. 17. Dealing with Anger DEALING WITH YOUR OWN ANGER ◦ Buddha said: “you will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.” ◦ Don’t dwell on it…let it go…be more assertive. ◦ Develop a positive attitude. ◦ Use rational thinking. ◦ Seek the positive – look for the good in everything. ◦ Look for appropriate humor. ◦ Practice being assertive. ◦ Count to 10 – and use positive affirmations. ◦ Keep an anger journal – self-awareness is the key.
  18. 18. Dealing with the Anger of Others DEALING WITH THE ANGER OF OTHERS ◦ Don’t respond to anger with anger – STAY CALM. ◦ Don’t ever use put-down statements – it only adds fuel to the fire. ◦ Don’t give orders or issue ultimatums. ◦ Watch your nonverbal communication carefully.  Stay calm – speak softly – don’t get too close – or make sudden moves. ◦ Realize anger is natural – encourage people to ventilate it in appropriate ways. ◦ Validate the angry person’s feelings – use reflecting responses. ◦ Get away from the person if needed or call in a third party (security if available).
  19. 19. Preventing Workplace Violence Workplace violence is rarely spontaneous. It is usually a result of escalating steps due to unresolved issues. It can be prevented if you watch for these warning signs. ◦ Verbal threats – take them seriously. ◦ Watch nonverbals – gestures and body language. ◦ Watch for stalking and harassment – nip it in the bud! ◦ Watch for damage to property – kicking a desk – punching a wall, etc. ◦ Watch for drug and alcohol use – get tx. ◦ Include the isolated employee – alienation causes anger & can lead to retribution. ◦ Look for presence of weapons or objects that can be used as weapons… like a baseball bat. ◦ If you don’t feel safe talking to someone, get security.
  20. 20. Organizational Prevention of Workplace Violence Number one prevention is training all employees to deal with anger and how to prevent violence.  It starts with a written policy and procedures in the orgs. Manual. Orgs should have a zero-tolerance policy.  Taking immediate disciplinary action is vital or it may spread.  Don’t allow managers to model violence.  The org. should have a set policy for dealing with grievances & it should be used. Screening potential employees for past or potential violence. Developing a good work environment decreases violence. Demotions, firings, layoffs, should be handled in a humane way. Outplacement services should be offered.
  21. 21. Individual Prevention • Prevention is the key – police can’t come until after a violent event has taken place. ▫ Keep in mind there is always a potential for violence – don’t be naïve. ▫ Never be alone with a potentially violent person – or if you must, keep an exit between you and them. ▫ Know when to get away from them. ▫ Report any troubling behavior.
  22. 22. Conflict Management Styles  CONFLICT ◦ Exists whenever two or more people disagree. ◦ It is inherent in any team or organization. ◦ Dealing with conflict is part of your emotional intelligence. ◦ Your ability to manage conflict is critical to your success.  REASONS FOR & AVOIDING CONFLICTS ◦ Conflict arises when our expectations have not been met.  We don’t let others know what we expect.  We don’t bother to find out the expectations of others.  We assume that everyone has the same expectations as ours .  BENEFITS OF CONFLICT – NOT ALWAYS NEGATIVE… ◦ Challenging the status quo can lead to conflict but can ultimately lead to improved performance. ◦ Sometimes it’s okay to upset the apple cart as long as it is done without anger – violence – or malice. ◦ Confrontation gets a bad rap – but sometimes it’s a good thing. ◦ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xCkhV7zhuw
  23. 23. Conflict Management Styles • Self-assessment 6.3 ▫ FORCING ▫ AVOIDING ▫ ACCOMMODATING ▫ COMPROMISING ▫ COLLABORATING
  24. 24. Forcing ◦ User attempts to resolve conflicts by using aggression.  PRO = if forcer is correct the decision may be better than a compromise.  CON = overuse can lead to hostility and resentment..  APPROPRIATE USE  If the conflict is about personal differences.  Maintaining good relationships is not important.  A resolution is needed immediately - no time to discuss or figure out what others are feeling.
  25. 25. Avoiding ◦ User tries to passively ignore the conflict instead of resolving it.  PROS = can help keep relationships.  CONS = nothing gets resolved – people tend to walk all over avoiders.  APPROPRIATE USE  If you don’t have a high stake in the conflict.  If confrontation will damage a relationship.  If you just don’t have time to deal with it.
  26. 26. Accommodating Difference between avoiding and accommodating. ◦ Avoiding takes no action – accommodating you have to say or do something. ◦ Attempts to resolve conflict by passively giving in to the other party.  PROS = relationships are maintained.  CONS = simply giving in may be counterproductive especially if you have a better solution.  APPROPRIATE USE  Keeping the relationship is the most important.  The changes aren’t important to you but they are to others.  Time to resolve issue is limited.
  27. 27. Compromising ◦ Attempts to resolve through assertive “give-and-take” concessions.  PROS = conflicts are resolved quickly and relationships are maintained.  CONS = sometimes it can lead to decisions that may not be best in long run.  APPROPRIATE TO USE  When issues are complicated and crucial and there is not a clear or simple solution.  All parties have strong interests in differing solutions.  Time is short.
  28. 28. Collaborating ◦ An assertive attempt to resolve conflict with the best solution agreeable to all parties. ◦ A.k.a. = problem-solving style. ◦ This is really the only style that creates a “win-win” situation. ◦ Difference between compromise and collaboration - in compromise someone wins and someone loses – concessions are made by both – collaborating means both sides win  PROS = tends to be the best resolution.  CONS = takes more time and greater effort than any others.  APPROPRIATE TO USE  Keeping relationships is important.  You have plenty of time.  The conflict is between peers.
  29. 29. Initiating Conflict Resolution – Step 1 • When beginning the collaborative style follow these three steps (this means you are the one to start or initiate the process). ▫ Maintain ownership of the problem using the XYZ model.  X = BEHAVIOR  Y = CONSEQUENCES  Z = FEELINGS ▫ Implement your plan PERSISTENTLY.  It lets the other person know there is a problem .  If they won’t acknowledge it – keep trying. ▫ Make an AGREEMENT for change.  When you finally get their attention, then make an agreement that you can both live with.
  30. 30. Initiating Conflict Resolution – Step 2 Implement your plan persistently. Often people do not realize there is a problem. But when approached properly – they are willing to change. You cannot resolve a problem unless both parties agree there is one to solve. Repeat your planned statement several times. Explain it in different terms if needed. Don’t give up too easily- watch for nonverbal cues. If one party is not responsive to solving the problem appeal to common goals – point out the benefits .
  31. 31. Initiating Conflict Resolution – Step 3 • Try to agree on specific actions both will take. ▫ Remember it is collaborating – NOT forcing. ▫ If possible get a commitment in writing.
  32. 32. Responding to Conflict Resolution • Many times there can’t be an agreement and a third party is brought in to help reach some sort of resolution. ▫ Trained mediators are used in many business situations – in personal conflicts such as marriage and family issues, therapists and psychologists are used. ▫ Mediators only help the resolution process – the parties are not held to the outcome. ▫ Arbitration is a different process where the final outcome is decided by the arbitrator and parties are held accountable to the outcome. • Using the four mediating conflict resolution steps.  Each party states their side using the xyz model.  Agree on the problems.  Develop alternative solutions.  Make an agreement for change and follow up. • APOLOGIZE… ▫ Even if you don’t think you are in the wrong…apologies are the high road to resolving conflicts.
  33. 33. Summary of Key Concepts ◦ The 3 ego states of Transactional Analysis. ◦ The 3 types of transactions. ◦ The difference between passive, aggressive, and assertive behaviors. ◦ The 4 steps to assertiveness. ◦ When and how to use conflict management. ◦ The steps of initiating, responding to, and mediating conflict resolutions.

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