The Skilled Group Leader:
Resolving Conflict
 
 Objectives:
Participants will:
understand the positive and negative aspects of committee conflict
recognize the elements and stages of conflict
learn the guidelines for resolving conflict
understand guidelines for resolving conflict
determine one's style of dealing with conflict
understanding sources of conflict
understand techniques for dealing with challenging personalities

 

 Advance Preparation:

review lesson plan and background information
prepare handouts and worksheets
prepare overhead transparencies


 Materials Needed:

Handouts for each participant:
"Stages of Conflict"
"Guidelines for Resolving Conflict"
"What's Your Style"
"Conflict Worksheet"
"Three Steps to Deal with Conflict"
"Five Main Sources of Conflict"
"Techniques for Challenging Personalities"

 

 Time Needed:
Preparation: 2 hours
Presentation: 1 hour


BACKGROUND (pdf)

INTEREST APPROACH

Play out a scenario where one person is particularly difficult in a crowd. This can be over any minor detail that would be somewhat humorous to the group you are meeting with currently.
Ask the group to identify what they think is wrong and how it can be corrected.

LESSON

  1. KEY ELEMENTS OF CONFLICT
    Handout: Stages of Conflict


    1. Tension Development
    2. Role Dilemma
    3. Injustice Collecting
    4. Confrontation
    5. Adjustments

  2. GUIDELINES FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT
    Handout: Guidelines for Resolving Conflict


    1. Underneath incompatible positions lie compatible interests
    2. Every side usually has something valuable to say
    3. Issues become polarized when there is little or no dialogue
    4. High emotions charge the issue
    5. Parties will focus on differences
    6. Parties may become defensive and protect, justify, or explain their position
    7. Parties will immediately want to discuss their individual needs
    8. Parties often feel their story has not been heard
    9. Identifying and understanding the desired outcomes will result in progress
    10. Conflict creates emotions and feelings which are barriers to progress

  3. WHAT'S YOUR STYLE?
    Handout: What's Your Style?


    1. Avoiding
    2. Accommodating
    3. Competing
    4. Collaborating
    5. Compromising

  4. THE THREE STEPS TO EFFECTIVELY DEAL WITH CONFLICT
    Handout: Three Steps to Deal with Conflict


    1. Define the situation
    2. Search for alternatives
    3. Make a decision


    WHAT'S CAUSING THE CONFLICT
    Handout: Five Main Sources of Conflict


    1. Root problem
    2. Resources
    3. Interpersonal
    4. Interests
    5. Facts

  5. TECHNIQUES FOR DEALING WITH CHALLENGING PERSONALITIES
    Handout: Techniques for Challenging personalities


    1. Assess the situation
    2. Stop wishing the person were different
    3. Distance yourself from the difficult situation
    4. "Keep your cool"
    5. Formulate a plan to interrupt the situation and carry it through
    6. If your strategies for coping don't work, stop your efforts for the time being
    7. Keep it all in perspective
    8. Specific personalities and strategies to deal with them
      1. complainers
      2. indecisives
      3. super - agreeables
      4. negativists
      5. experts
      6. silent - unresponsives
      7. hostile - agressives

APPLICATION
Use the techniques in decision-making processes and in situations where conflict needs to be resolved.
Adapt the process to the group and the situation.

REFERENCES

Working with People

    Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and rural Affairs
    1 Stone Road West
    Guelph, ON NIG 4Y2

Ronald J. Hustedde
    Sociology Department
    College of Agriculture
    Cooperative Extension
    University of Kentucky

Steve Smutko
    Cooperative Extension
    North Carolina State University

Jarad J. Kapsa
    Sociology Department
    University of Kentucky
    Southern Rural Development Center