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Resident Conflict - RDs

Introduction to college , opportunities, resources and college preparations tips.

Justin Poindexter

on 5 August 2013

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Transcript of Resident Conflict - RDs

feel the TEAL

are very Duelistic thinking – Perry stage 2

-knowledge is black and white

students will resist information that challenges their position
More RD Tips
How do residents typically deal with
differences and conflict?
Ways to Prepare
Reach out to graduate schools to schedule an appointment with an Admissions Representative and speak with current graduate students.

Find an internship or job in a field that
interests you to build your experience.

Spend time preparing for the admissions exam.

Get to know your faculty; they will need to write you recommendations.

Get to know the experts in your field by reading articles and attending lectures.

Speak with your college advisors or mentors.

Do your research and learn as much as possible about the graduate programs that interest you.
myth: “if they would just change, then I would be happy”
Resident Directors
conflict happens when disagreements, misunderstandings, differences, annoyances, competition, or inequities threatens something important to one or multiple residents
blame sparks criticism, defensiveness, strong emotion, contempt, interruptions, and arguments

blame inhibits a roommates ability to learn what’s really causing the problem and to do anything meaningful to correct it

blame says not only did you cause this, but it was bad and you should be punished
what does blame do to conflict?
Care, Safety, Success
how is
different than
instead of exploring what information the other resident has and they are missing, residents can argue & assume they know all they need to know to understand and explain things

"I am right - you are wrong, selfish, naïve, controlling, & irrational"
Resident Conflict
Resident Director Training
Justin Poindexter
July 2013
what is...
why do roommates have conflict?
residents have strong emotions, deep values, and different backgrounds which all contribute to conflict

residents can have very different perceptions of how things should be, and have trouble communicating personal preferences effectively
what type of thinking is this -think student development theory?
foster a perception of personal entitlement...expecting resolution to mean having it their way and noway else.
“I expect you to accommodate me”
what were some conflicts in your area last year and how did residents manage them?
a good way to resolve conflict it to simply share feelings and make requests directly.
why is this so hard?
sharing feelings and making requests can make a resident feel uncomfortable, vulnerable, and fearful of consequences.

perceive conflict as difficult
get nervous
fear consequences
things get out of control
handle conflict badly

roommates can easily convert a request into an argument, attack, or sarcastic question

this feels safer, puts the other person in the wrong (justifying actions) and brings less anxiety

avoidance & lashing out offer more control
fact: you cannot change your roommate. you can only change yourself, & share requests in an honest and flexible manner.
living with a roommate in college is a big change from what a lot students are accustomed to.
living with another person is difficult and requires creative cooperation, choosing battles and teamwork.
students WILL encounter discomfort & differences again

how will they deal with it…
argue, blame, avoid & resentment, tell the boss…change rooms/jobs again?
if your roommate was bothered by something you did, how would you want them to deal with it?
what are they good for?
arguments are adversarial, critical, lead nowhere, and damage relationships

why....arguing merely trades conclusions, “bottom lines” of what we think. therefore, core issues are not addressed
arguing inhibits our ability to learn how the other person sees the situation

instead of hearing the underlining feelings or request, the other roommate focuses on their perceptions of what is happening
when blame is the goal, understanding is the casualty
blame is about judging - contribution is about understanding

the real question is not about who is to blame, it is how did we each contribute to bringing about the current situation or what did I do that helped cause this situation?
finding your own contribution does not in any way negate the other’s contribution. it merely adds to understanding
umptions &
residents can assume the worst, treat themselves more charitably, and assume undesirable actions mean bad intentions and bad character

lead to seeing what you want to see; focusing on the facts that confirm perceptions and disregarding facts that call perceptions into question
residents act on what they
to be true, NOT what is
the worse a resident perceives the other person’s character...
the easier it is to justify avoiding them or saying nasty things behind their back

intentions are almost always mixed...
don’t be a
punk fool
and think you are completely
Say What?
conflicts are almost never about getting facts right, they are about what is important to each person
being right doesn’t do much good. it’s about exploring what’s important & moving forward, interdependently
residents need to realize that understanding the others point of view is not an attack but a benefit
understanding is accomplished through active listening and honest curiosity about the other person’s perspective. there must be a willingness and ability to keep the spotlight on them
conflicts do not just involve
feelings are at the
of the conflict

crave acknowledgment - any indication that you are struggling to understand the emotional content of what the other person is saying

can block the ability to listen

a roommate’s listening ability often increases remarkably once they have expressed their

are based on our perceptions and formed in response to the story we tell ourselves about what’s happening, which

almost always, an increased awareness of the other person’s story changes our goals and how we feel

are not your conscience. It is a developmental mistake to confuse the two
many college students have an “
” way of thinking

stake their whole identity on their current conflict, allowing it to define who they are
"I am: smart-not smart, good-evil, lovely-not lovely… based on this outcome. that’s why it is so important that I am right…" (sounds like Perry stage 2 again…)

all or nothing
thinking can cause roommates to use up their creative energy trying to invalidate challenging feedback, saving face
How can I protect how I see myself and how others see me?" 

it is difficult for many residents to integrate new information into their identity and realize that identity is complex

no one is always anything and this conflict does not have to define them
What do RDs want to happen?
end disruption & “quit fart’n around”
foster durable relationships
development of conflict resolution skills
resident conflict is a learning experience that challenges each resident to acknowledge differences, reflect, think critically, problem solve, and cooperate

allow residents to OWN their issues and take responsibility for moving forward, this is a life skill
assist residents in separating their core interests from fixed positions
your position is something you have decided upon (how it should be). your interests are what caused you to decide (respect, privacy, inclusion, independence, safety, community, comfort, fairness…)

acknowledge both sides interest as part of the problem
help residents separate their roommates from the issues
encourage roommates to use “I statements”, describing a problem in terms of its impact on them, & asking for specific change. NOT criticize, reject, or be hostile

flip “don’t wants” to “do wants”
encourages looking forward, not backwards dissatisfaction

Model being solution focused, not problem focused
use the urge of one roommate to blame as a clue to find important feelings
find the differences in stories and learn to describe them
appeasement doesn’t often work
if a resident is repeating interests or talking more loudly, it may be because they don’t feel heard. this is a good time to reflect back to the roommate and check for accuracy
learn to reframe harmful comments into helpful ones - role model

You hurt me on purpose butthead!

"I can see that you’re feeling really angry with Billy and feel that he has hurt you intentionally. Is there anything you believe that Billy doesn’t understand about how you feel or why?

do not let residents assume that good/naïve intentions sanitize a negative impact
important when dealing with issues of “difference” race, gender, sexual orientation
be aware of unproductive exchanges
no information being transferred back and forth except “am so”, “are not”

model the process of a learning conversation
from “message delivery stance” to “learning stance” purposeful, not merely expressive
compromise is a last resort, collaboration is the first
compromise is still adversarial (maximize wins/minimize losses & requires trade-offs)
shows concern for both roommates, explorative/mutual problem solving, creative/durable/satisfying solutions, enhances relationship
Do not attempt to tackle every problem at once. Take small steps, build on mutual agreements, let them be in drivers seat.
Fisher, R., & Ury, W. (1991). Getting to yes: Negotiating agreementwithout giving in. New York: Penguin Press

Martin, D. G. (2000). Counseling and therapy skills (2nd ed.). Long Grove: Waveland Press, Inc.

Stone, D., Patton, B., & Heen, S. (2000). Difficult conversations. NewYork: Penguin Books

Thinking their roommate is responsible for their experience/happiness
Having “if”, “then” mentality
Wishing their roommate would be more like them
Trying to control their roommate
Talking about roommate's emotions instead of regulating own
Obsessing/being critical over things that do not matter
Acting like they are not a team with similar goals
Letting Feelings control behavior (poor navigator) instead of Will
7 mistakes residents make
First Contact --> Options --> Intervention --> Follow Up
What is our tone and demeanor like when we are listening to students?
What things about our role and confidentiality are we sharing with the student?
How are we tracking and keeping record or our conversations? Why is this necessary?
At what point are you involving supervisors?
What do we do with information that is vague, unconfirmed, or even passively described - though it pokes at discomfort and misbehavior?
When a student comes to you with a problem, What do you do?
Lash Out
What family or cultural differences have we
seen contribute to resident conflict?
Is there a positive side to conflict?
Why is the students individual story so important? Examples?

because I do
Assumptions are

What is it?
Are these two things important?

What other things are important to consider?
Full transcript