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Combating the Awkward Turtle

Having Difficult Conversations and Conflict Management

Sydney King

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of Combating the Awkward Turtle

Initiating Difficult Conversations
Managing Conflict "The Elephant Won't Leave Until We Talk About It" Learning Objectives: -Recognizing areas of conflict in a multitude of settings

-Recognizing the difference between conflict management and conflict resolution

-Identifying how you handle difficult conversations and conflicts

-Learn a strategy for navigating difficult
conversations and addressing conflict Conflict Management -Redefining or restructuring the part of the
situation that is causing the tension Conflict Resolution -Describes the end of both the condition and
process of a given conflict

-Implies the end of both the problem and the
feelings surround it Perception is KEY! Active
Listening Being
Heard Communication is CRITICAL! Find a healthy
between Find a healthy balance between... ACTIVE LISTENING BEING HEARD Recognizing Conflict Constructive vs. Destructive Conflicts Constructive: -Benefits exceed costs
-Generates productivity
-Process becomes as important as end result Destructive: -Narrowly defined and rigid goals
-Individuals involved are less flexible
-Opposing party must suffer defeat Conflicts of Interest Broken Agreement Boundary Intrusion Why Have Those
Difficult Conversations? Risks? More of the same vs. They might get angry Who are you protecting? Really, just yourself How will they improve if you don't talk about it? Have some BOLDNESS and INTEGRITY!
Do the right thing... Bring it up! You are the supervisor on shift and one of your employees is behaving negatively or inappropriately... Talking Point: So, how did you manage the difficult situations? Style 1 Do you... -Avoid dealing with the
situation or person head on
-Prefer to withdraw
-Indirect communication
-Self-oriented Style 2 You... -Are competitive
-Are a fighter
-Direct communication, self-oriented
-Want to always WIN
-Want the others to always LOSE Style 3 You... -Prefer to compromise
-Want to negotiate
-Say it's okay to win or lose sometimes
-Say it's okay for the others to win or lose sometimes Style 4 You... -Prefer to accommodate others
-Say it's okay for the others to win
-Indirect communication, other-oriented Style 5 You... -Prefer to collaborate
-Like mutual problem solving
-Win-Win situation
-Direct communication
-Other-oriented Style2 Competition Self-Concern or Assertiveness
Confrontation Style 5 Collaboration Style 1 Avoidance Style 4 Cooperation with Others Style 3 Compromise Accommodation Outcomes? Which styles are best/worst at managing conflicts?
Which are most realistic? Let's Talk Strategy... To manage awkward moments... just like this! Step 1: Gain Clarity - Establish clear communication
-Avoid Gossip
-Calm your mind or sleep on it, if necessary
-Put things in perspective, not just yours
-Think objectively about the essence of the message Step 2: Don't Avoid the Situation -"I don't want to hurt their feelings..."

-"Now is not the right time..."

-"Who am I to tell them..." Signs of Avoidance Procrastinating without a clear rationale
>"Can't do it today, it's Friday"
Ignoring or delaying important conversations
>"We'll discuss your performance at your evaluation"
Sidestepping or delegating tough decisions
>"Maybe someone else will tell them"
Allowing short-term reactions to overrule long-term thinking
>"They came in on time today, so maybe..."
Putting harmony before integrity
>"I don't want to upset the team dynamics"
Blaming others
>"I can't believe they don't know they are doing a poor job" Step 3: Execute the Message Direct Insensitive Indirect Sensitive Tough
Compassion Directness Sensitivity How can I put this... What I feel like saying vs. What I should say... "You didn't present that topic well." "I would have found more detail helpful" "You have a poor attitude." "I need you to try showing a little more enthusiasm toward the project." "Your work is unprofessional." "I think if your work was proof read and reviewed more carefully before being presented, it would be more effective." You are not being strategic and you're missing the mark." "I think this project required a more long term approach. It would be better if your plan included a forecast of the project overtime. " "Are you crazy? That plan is horrible!" "I think that this idea requires a little more thought." Direct & Insensitive Indirect &
Sensitive Direct & Sensitive = Direct &
Sensitive "People don't like you, you have
to get better at working with
others, or else. " "Have you thought at all about
how you interact with others?" "Working with other departments is key to our success.
I received feedback that others are having difficulties
working with you and we need to explore how to change that." Language is a POWERFUL TOOL! Steer Clear of... Ordering/Directing Warning/Threatening Preaching/Moralizing Evaluating/Blaming "You need to..." "You'd better not...or else!" "You ought to do it this way..." "You should have..." Focus on the issue, not the person... Example: "Your lateness is affecting the members." (Person) "Punctuality is important to keep the project on schedule." (Issue) - + Avoid negative statements... Example: - "You can't help members when you have a bad attitude." "When we help members, it is important to have a positive outlook." + Step 4: Be Collaborative You
supervisor You + coworker/supervisor
the problem *It will be less stressful and embarrassing
*Brainstorm ideas together... TWO brains are better than ONE Step 5: Provide Encouragement Thank them for their time Explain that you want them to succeed Set high expectations for the future Be consistent Common Mistakes -We fall into a combative mentality
-We don't bring enough respect to the conversation
-We lash out or shut down
-We get "hooked"
-We rehearse
-We make assumptions
-We lose sight of the goal Friendly Reminders... -We are here to make each other better -Ask instead of assigning blame How can the problem be fixed? What is the person's explanation? -These conversations are difficult for both parties involved -Each time you don't mention something, it gets harder for the behavior to be corrected -Sometimes the hard conversations pave the way for positive feedback and outcomes in the future So next time it will be... Presented By:
Sydney King
Brandon Miller
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