Best Practices in Project Management: Coping with Conflict

Best Practices in Project Management: Coping with Conflict

Articles Blog

– I’d like to welcome
everybody who’s attending the lecture today, those here that are live and those who are virtual,
thank you for your attendance. And it is my pleasure to
introduce today’s guest, our master lecture speakers. And as Tom said this is
a special master lecture. A partnership between
California Southern University and the Orange County chapter of the Project Management Institute. And today, Greta and
Steve will be speaking on Best Practices in Project
Management, Coping with Conflict. And Greta is a certified
project manager with Agile Certification, Business
Analyst Certification from Project Management Institute. She is a past Vice President
of the Southern Nevada Chapter of Project Management Institute. And Steve is a Senior Consultant
with Facilitated Methods. He is also a Certified
Project Manager and holds the Agile Certification from P.M.I. also. And he is past President
of the Southern Nevada Chapter of Project Management Institute. And this is Greta’s second master lecture with California Southern University. We are pleased to have
her back, along with Steve and I’m looking forward to their lecture today, Coping with Conflict. So I’ll turn it over to
you, Greta and Steve. (audience claps) – We’re going to change tune a little bit. Last time we talked about just basic project management best practices, this time we’re going to hone in on the whole idea of conflict. And actually, we’re not
going to talk about conflict from the standpoint of a
project, we’re going to talk about it interpersonal, one-on-one, people conflict, because actually, if you think about conflict,
when you’re in a group setting, it normally is because there’s first a conflict between two individuals. And just like you have
a bad apple in a whole basket of fruit, next thing
you know it kind of spreads. So we’re going to talk
a little bit about this. We know that we try and
avoid conflict, but we can’t. It’s an unavoidable,
so we have two options. We can either prevent
it or we can manage it if it actually happens. So we’re going to talk
about understanding when it happens, why we see that it happens, what causes it and how
we can work through it to make it as pleasant as possible. If that’s possible. Just to comment, our starting point, think about the word, “Conflict.” What do you think, what’s the first word, what’s the first idea that
comes to your mind when you hear the word, “Conflict?” Stress? War? Is it an argument? Is it hostility between two individuals? Is it just an underlying
tension that’s going on? Is it an actual disagreement
on some sort of issue? Or is it just a
miscommunication where we don’t understand what we really
said or what we meant? And actually one of our
biggest conflicts we have is the miscommunication
because, I’ll say something and he’ll say, “But you’re
not listening to me, you “didn’t hear what I say.” “No, but that’s what I said,
but you didn’t hear it, “you didn’t understand it.” That one is a big one
which hopefully never gets to the point of conflict, but it’s not always good. Anger, what about the win-lose? When you actually get into a
conflict that goes very far, you may get into a win-lose situation. And who wins and who loses,
and is that a good situation? Do we just dread it? And there are certain
types of people who will do everything to avoid it. So if they feel conflict
coming on, they just remove themselves from
the entire situation. It’s inevitable. On the other hand, it can
be a very positive way to be able to get some growth. New ideas, opposition,
where we start talking about different points of
view and we come up with a better solution because of that. We make progress as working through. But the word, “Conflict”
itself, in most people’s mind is very negative. And what we want to do is try to move it a little bit more into a positive. We always go back and
look at the definition that’s in a dictionary. It’s a competitive or opposing action of incompatibilities. It’s two different
ideas that are going on, and how do we work through that? Is it competitive to the point
where it causes a problem? Or is it just a competitive
nature that we have? Is it what you want, need, or expect? Starts to interfere with
what I need, want, or expect. So I start seeing that I
have certain things I want, you have certain things you want, and they don’t work together. I want to go to the beach for a vacation, maybe Steve wants to go someplace else. Usually it’s the opposite,
he’s the one that wants to go to the beach and I’m the one that wants to go to the theater. But it’s a case of, “Can we work it out?” We’re opposing, can we do both? In some locations, we
can but probably New York is not the place you
want to go to the beach, so Hawaii versus New York, two different directions as we go through. More often what happens is
we have this self-worth, we have this that makes us feel good, we feel good about
ourself and at the point in time when somebody
starts to push onto that and make us not quite as
comfortable in the way we do things, the way we work, then we start moving into a different direction. And that’s where some of
the conflict starts and what we’re going to talk about is one, how do you recognize that, when do we know when we’re moving into that mode? And then what do you do
if that actually occurs? It’s usually very uncomfortable. I mean, even when the two
of us are working on things, it’s still that uncomfortableness of, “I don’t want to do this, I don’t want “to talk that way, I don’t…” And especially when you start
to raise your voice a little bit to get your point across even more, it’s not an uncomfort– – She does that all the time. – I do. (audience laughs)
I do. And I find myself that
when I start getting into that mode, I do, I say
more and my pitch gets higher and higher, but I
also realize when I’m working with other people and they get in that, I lower my voice. And I used to when I was
teaching school, high school, I would get into a very slow, deliberate, very calm voice while
they’re yelling and it seems, once again how I’m reacting to it, plus it gives me time to think
about what I’m going to say so I don’t say the wrong thing. In project management, we talk about two different types of conflict. We talk about functional conflict and dysfunctional conflict. Functional conflict is
positive and effective, dysfunctional is negative and damaging. Unfortunately what we’re
trying to do is move away from the term, “Conflict.” So we start to use the word “Opposition,” for the functional conflict. It’s not really a conflict
in that dysfunctional, negative way, it’s just an opposition. And as a result, we’re
disagreeing about something, we have opposing views,
and as long as we recognize that and realize that by
building on those opposing views, we’re able to move ourselves, into most often, a better situation. Now, good example, going
through these slides. Some individual words
where, “No, I don’t want “to use that word,” (laughs) as opposed to another word. That’s an opposition,
and by talking it out, hopefully we come up
with a better solution. – I was designing a
system several years ago, and it was for the
manufacturing of chlorine gas and I had designed the
system, and I had a programmer who liked to play the
role of devil’s advocate. In other words, things are always negative rather than positive and he said, “We have a major problem in our design.” Like, Really? (laughs) So, I said, “Let’s discuss this,” and so I set a whole
meeting for the whole team to get together, we walked
through our entire design and we came up to the
conclusion there was no problems at all, it was just
working fine when we did that. He apologized for it and I said, “Don’t worry about that,
I mean I’m glad you “brought it to our attention,
then we can go through “and discuss this and see
that we don’t have a problem “because that’s a lot better
than finding it later on.” So we moved on from that. Aristotle had this concept saying it’s a deliberate discourse when
you see that in people, in groups, they have different
ideas, opposing ideas and it’s a difference of
opinion that Thomas Jefferson said that leads to inquiry. It’s a good thing, in
fact you’ll find that a lot of TV shows, a lot
of movies, you’ll see that there’s always a conflict
because if there wasn’t conflict, you probably wouldn’t watch it. You wouldn’t read a book if
there wasn’t any conflict. So conflict is a part of our nature and this is really good and
healthy stuff for us. – So when we talk about
effective opposition, it’s not really bad. And as Steve said, more often than not, we end up getting into better solutions because we come up with the two sides. But obviously, there’s a
little bit of give and take as we get in there and it
may end up being as the example he was using, that
there really wasn’t a problem. It was a perception of a
problem and by handling it that way as opposed
to coming in and saying, “No, I don’t believe that, that’s the way “it’s supposed to be,”
in that tone of voice, it changes the way that things are done. So a lot of times, being
able to figure out how you say something, what tone of voice you use, being able to look at the
positives and as we said here, in the middle of
difficulty lies opportunity. So the opportunity to be
able to modify something, to make it better, if
everybody just took one idea and said, “OK, I have
this great idea,” and everybody just falls in line. Then it’s one person’s idea
and if you add the little things from everybody
else, that idea becomes better and better, it becomes
more honed because obviously that one individual hasn’t thought of all the different ideas so you
want to put people together that have different
ideas, you want to do more types of brainstorming,
we talk about when we’re trying to do requirements for a project, we do brainstorming, we
do Delphi techniques, there’s all sorts of
different ways that we look at things from a whole bunch
of different viewpoints. And what we’re trying
to do is come up with the best solution as opposed to one person saying, “This is the
way it’s going to be.” So that whole group
environment is very positive. So what are the different types of things that create the conflict? We talked about the opposing positions. Just the competitive
nature of some people, Steve mentioned about
the fact that you had somebody that wants to play
devil’s advocate all the time. Actually, there’s a lot of
times when I hope there’s a devil’s advocate, and
sometimes I play that role myself because I take the opposite view to try and see where we want to go. Now on the other hand, we can have these power struggles, we can have ego, we can have pride, and those are probably the hardest things and a lot of times, thats comes from culture,
especially in certain areas where people feel
they have to be in charge, they have to be the one
that has the answers, they have to be in charge all the time. We get into a jealousy thing
where people are jealous of somebody else and
unfortunately we see this a lot in management, where you
have a manager who’s not real secure and they have
very good people underneath them and instead of using
that idea to be able to say, “Hey, my project or whatever
I’m doing is only as good “as the people I have working on it.” They start to say, “Well, but they’re “going to get the credit for it, not me.” And so there’s that conflict
that starts to happen with, especially managers who are not as comfortable with what they’re doing. Now obviously whenever we
get into a tight schedule or a milestone we have to meet,
we all get a little nervous and as a result that can
sometimes cause conflict just because we’re not in
our normal state of being. We’re not in a situation
and we always talk about, “Think about things ahead of time.” Now granted, we’re here in
Southern California, and we know we have earthquakes, and so most of us know what to do ahead of time. We’ve already thought about,
“What do we do if one happens? “What do we do if we have to
grab stuff out of the house? “If we have to vacate
or if we have to move. “Who do we contact?” We think about this
ahead of time when we’re in a normal, calm state of mind because if and when
that happens, and it may not be the earthquake, it
may be the fires, but if you’re trying to figure out
in an emergency situation what to do, you go into a
whole different state of being. And so by being able to have this ahead of time really works out. – Greta was talking about
problems with management in organizations, one group was warring against another group, I
was brought in to develop an enterprise data rounds for
our company and this chief, the Chief Technology Officer
introduced me to the Chief Financial Officer, the
two V.P.’s, and here I am listening to these people
argue back and forth. I realize they hate each other. It’s not like they’re disagreeing, they personally didn’t like each other. And I’m saying, “Well
how am I going to work “with these two people? “I report to this guy, but
I gotta work with this guy “’cause he wants me to
balance everything to the “penny in the data warehouse,”
which is really not necessary to do, because
it doesn’t really work. We usually get close but not to the penny. And he was saying to do
that and the only reason why he was saying to do it,
balance it to the penny, ’cause he hated the other guy. So you run into this
conflict in executives, in corporations all the time. It’s not like every now and then, I mean you see it quite a bit. And you see it in higher management and lower management,
they fight each other. – The last thing is just the
fact of a person, an individual having a bad day. Something has happened
prior to that situation. Maybe it’s at home, maybe a sick child, they’re worried about something
and they can’t drop it, they bring it in, in their
next relationship then they say things, they’re not
thinking, their mind isn’t really focused on what they’re doing. And so they may say things
that are taken the wrong way, they’re just not in their
typical mode and those things a lot of times, especially if
I were to just use the wrong choice of words, or I raise
my voice more than I should because I’m still remembering
the argument I had earlier. That whole situation can
exasperate what we’re doing here. So as we say, most of the conflict we have comes from one of two areas. It’s either from communication or it’s from interpersonal conflict. – The communication
problems normally come from lack of information, or I
have poor communication, or I have known information
I’m passing along and I’m telling some people one thing
and some people another thing, or the worst thing is
misinformation, right? I’m getting the wrong
information coming from people. So I want to make sure that
when I produce information, I’m giving it to the people
who really deserve it. The only way I can really
do that is really to listen to what their needs are, not to say, “Well, I’m going to develop
something that’s generic “and I’ll email it to everybody
and they can figure it out.” Well some people want just
a few words, some people want more detail, so
you have to figure out exactly what information
are they looking for and how can I provide
that information to them. I had one executive who
wanted short, simple, don’t go more than a page
’cause I don’t read more than a page, bullet points,
you know, that’s all they really care of. You’re on time, color it
yellow, color it red, you know. If there’s a problem, green, I don’t even care to look at it,
don’t even show it to me. Don’t want to look at green
because on Friday afternoons he wanted to go sailing and
if he’s reading all these reports all the time, he
couldn’t get out before 6 o’clock and he’d miss
his sailing adventure, so that’s what he was trying to do. You’re trying to figure out
what you’re communications are, the needs of the people that
you’re providing information. And as Greta was saying, usually
between husband and wife, we usually just communicate,
but we really don’t think about: What does that person need? What does my wife need? Or what do I need from
her, as far as information, therefore we kind of miscommunicate. And I think quite often
we see miscommunication between husband and wife;
you all are familiar with those things, right? (Greta chuckles) Or you have somebody
who you’re dealing with and then between children
and the parents, right? Because we’re the parent, we’re in charge, eh, not as much anymore, right? These kids are growing
up at a faster rate, I mean you see them making
decisions and moving forward and a lot of times, rebelling
against those teenage years. Remember those teenage years? Children tend to rebel against
the parents because they want to make their own
decisions and they want to do their own thing. So they’re trying to communicate
their needs and desires. So we want clear, consise,
accurate, timely information. We always say the right
information to the right people at the right time, that’s
how you deliver that. Which means, for me, I
have to think about that. What information I need
to pass to that person so they can comprehend it and understand it. So if that’s an executive,
or that’s my spouse, or my child, or my… You know we’ve talked to two-year-olds? We have a couple of grandchildren
who are two-year-olds, we talk at a very simple
level in order to communicate. We don’t talk like we’re
talking to an adult because we have to change our
mode of communication so they comprehend it and understand it. If I’m talking to a
teenager, certain level. If I’m talking to a blue-collar
worker versus somebody who has a PhD, I am going
to use different language in order to discuss them. When I graduated from college
with an economics degree, I remember my first boss saying, “Steve, I don’t understand half
the words you say.” (laughs) He never went to college, he
barely had a high school degree and he talked real simple and plain. And so I said, “OK, I need to
talk more simple and plain, “you know, like blue-collar worker.” We’ll change our view, change our roles. – And even just the choice
of words that we use, so I listen as we’re talking to his step-dad and trying to explain what we do. Well once again, he is a
factory worker and he doesn’t understand some of the words. Well if you explain it back
in plain English as opposed to all the terminology, and
I think that’s what I was trying in the last webinar
that we did, we were talking about project management,
but we were talking about it in plain terminology, not
the professional terminology that we know if we’re going
to get a certification. And as was mentioned, I
have three certifications, so I know all the terminology,
but I also know I never use it because I don’t
explain what’s going on. Good example, in Agile,
we talk about a backlog, user story’s backlog,
and somehow that came out in an email to one of the
people I was working with. And at the end of one of
the sessions, she said, “But Greta, we don’t have a backlog. “We have 72 hours from the
time we receive a request “until we have to fulfill it, there is no “such thing as a backlog so I don’t know “why we need to discuss that.” And I went over and I said,
“Yeah, but see this posted “over here with all these
small post-its on it? “That’s really what we call a backlog.” It’s a bad choice of words because backlog means two different things. Backlog in Agile means these are the types of things that you might want to do. We all have those to-do lists, right? That’s a backlog in Agile. Why not call it a to-do
list, or a wish-list, or something like that
that’s normal terminology? So, once again, being clear
and concise, making sure we use the right word for
the receiver that’s going to be listening to us. Obviously, men and women
communicate a little differently. And I find myself especially, my job when I communicate is I’m trying to establish
a rapport with the person. I’m negotiating indirectly with them, I’m communicating. I have a sponsor that I
work with and it was very interesting the first time I
met her, within five minutes, my boss said, “You just
established a relationship “I’ve been trying to do for five years.” She happened to say
something about where she had been that weekend
which happens to be very close to where I grew up and
so I asked a question about it. And she realized that,
“Oh, she knows where I was. “She has an intimate knowledge of this.” And so we started talking about it. And just from that little
conversation, I can walk into her office and kind
of dump anything on her now which is not possible because
I established that rapport first, so what I was trying
to do was pick one thing that we have in common and
build on that and build that rapport so now I
can communicate about anything to her, but that’s kind of the way most women work. As opposed to most of
the men that I work with. – Yeah, men tend to be more
independent, more practical and we have a position
and we exhibit knowledge and a skill-set, and we
like to be a little bit more formal and have that recognition. So when I was in the Boy
Scouts, I remember my Scout Master was referring to me as an autocratic leader. What does that mean? Autocratic leader. I wasn’t quite sure, but I had an idea so I had to go look it up. And I was the person that
was managing, directing, telling the other scouts
what to do and I was playing that role and
that’s a natural role that men have a tendency to do. And I realize, well as I went to high school and college, changing and adapting the
other types of roles I would play and be more of a facilitator of ideas and the styles have changed. But when I grew up as a kid,
most men were autocratic, they’re in charge, they
decide what to do, they tell you what to do and what not to do. Another way of looking at it too is men are far superior to women when it comes to–
– [Greta] Wait a minute. – When it comes to taking out the trash. – [Greta] That’s true.
(audience chuckles) – Now, you know every Monday
evening, I take my bins out and I put them on
the curbside and I say hello to my neighbors, they’re all men. There are no women. Where are the women? Where’s the time to step out and… I don’t think Greta’s taken
out the trash in over 10 years. – [Greta] No, nope. That’s his job. But I think part of it is, once
again, part of the struggle we have is as women, move
into executive positions and working, we’re up against this, “What are you really?” Are you really the nurturing relationship type of person when you get into it? Or when do you have to step up and really be that autocratic person yourself? And some people have a
hard time doing that, other people it comes fairly
easy as we work through. But this is something we
have to understand because there is some nurturing
in a woman, there is that, “Father knows best,” if
you remember the old show that whatever the father says, goes. Well, our grandchildren
know that whatever grandpa says is much easier than
what grandma does because grandma sticks to the rules
that mom has told her to do. My daughters are the ones
that tell me what I can say and what they can do. They go to him, it’s
like, “Whatever you want.” – [Steve] I spoil them.
– He spoils them. The other part that we
run into, and this is so prevalent now is that
we have multi-cultures. And each culture goes
beyond the men and women type of, not necessarily
stereotypes, but it’s the way we’ve been brought up,
the way that things are. Those cultural differences
can breed a lot of conflict. And part of what we learn
as we work with different cultures is we need to
understand why people do things in their culture
and probably the best way is to have a chance to actually
be part of that culture by going to another country,
seeing how people react. We’ve been lucky, we’ve been
able to go all over the world and it’s very different
when you go to India or some of these places and then
you see those people back in the United States and
you understand that’s the culture they were brought up with. And so therefore, it’s very
hard for them to change. Now on the other hand, if you go and watch American tourists,
we have a bad reputation because it’s like that’s
the ugly American. They go to another culture
and they expect everybody to do things their way
as opposed to saying, “I am in another country, let
me conform to that culture.” But as we work together
as just as we said, we have people that are on
this call who view these webinars from all over the world. Everybody has different
cultures, we all work together now, and just like everything
else, we have to understand that that’s not a conflict,
that’s their values, that’s what they grew up with,
that’s what they think about. And so if we can understand that, we look at situations differently. – So you meet somebody
from Hong Kong right? They’re like this with you. And they are used to just
being right next to you, as close to you as possible and
a lot of other cultures too, they’re looking right into
your eyes to see as they’re talking to you, how your
eyes are responding. So you have to look at
that person and realize that’s part of their culture, you know? We in the United States, we
like to have a little distance. So we don’t like to be
as close to that person. So those are things you have to recognize and as we traveled abroad,
we always would pick up books and read about the culture, what to do, what not to do. Like in one culture, in
Thailand, you want to say it? – I was teaching a class, and
actually I was in Singapore but I had somebody in
my class from Thailand and I’m, like I do when
I’m teaching a long class, I kind of perched on the
desk in front of the room and I went and I crossed
my legs and then I looked at this guy and thought, “Uh-oh.” And so I very, as I’m still
looking at him and kind of smiling, I uncrossed my legs because that is a no-no. – [Steve] That’s an insult.
– In that culture, it’s a very definite insult. And during the next break,
he came up and he said, and I apologized to him, and
he said, “I’m just surprised “you knew that.” And I said, “I did, but I forgot.” And one of the things when we
start talking about culture, those little things, I mean if
he was really upset about it, he could’ve gotten up and
walked out of the class. But part of it was my recognizing that. There is a book that I
would definitely recommend, it’s called Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands. And it literally goes through
all the different countries and cultures and talks
about what are the to-do’s, when do you shake hands
with people as opposed to kiss somebody as opposed to bow. Those type of things that
we need to understand, those are part of the culture. – The card is presented
this way in Asian cultures. – It’s not, here’s my card. – We don’t do that and like, here it is. That’s what we have a tendency to do but when you meet somebody from Asia, they will present it with two hands. – Just little things like that
that help the other person understand that you know who they are and you respect who
they are, and that takes so little to get to that point. So whether it’s culture,
the choice of words, whatever you’re using, we
talk about also a lot of the symbols that we can use with our hands and we have to be very
careful because they mean– – [Steve] Gift-giving also. – Yeah, the other thing is the
one point is the gift-giving. When you hand somebody a
gift for instance in most of the Asian cultures, as
I found out, you get a gift and you say, “Thank you,
but I can’t take it. “Thank you, but I can’t take it.” The third time, you must take it. But you cannot look at it at the time. You have to put it away until later. And of course if you’re
under an ethics type of thing that says I can’t accept a gift over $25, you’re thinking, “I sure
hope that whatever’s “in that package is not over $25.” But you can’t say anything because if you don’t accept it, they feel uncomfortable. But you have to know that
you have to say no, no, yes. You don’t just take it immediately. So those are those little
things that once again, not necessarily resolve a
conflict but it will prevent one because you’re understanding
that person’s self-worth. – We were invited to teach
a class at a company, everybody was from India. This was in Dallas, and now
actually one in Phoenix, too. And they said to us, “Well,
since everybody’s from “India, we always have Indian
food catering for lunchtime, “but if you prefer to have
a hamburger, we will be “glad to provide that for you.” I’ve been to India, I love Indian food, so it’s not a problem, but
that’s their viewpoint as most Americans eat hamburgers, you know. Well, we don’t but that’s
their view of it and they usually eat the Indian
food but we love to eat the Indian food, we enjoyed it immensely. – And it really shows once
again that you’re understanding what’s important to the other person. So we start talking about
this interpersonal conflict and what we first want to do is depersonalize it. If we have a disagreement,
an opposition with another person, we need to make sure
that it’s not a personal attack or a personal conflict. Usually, most of the things are going to end up being just an opposition, difference of opinion, a misunderstanding. So what we try to do is say at least find one little piece we can agree with. And as I’m saying this, I’m
thinking the way my daughter works with my granddaughter. And she always says,
whenever the little one says, “I want to do something,”
instead of her immediately coming back and saying, “No, you can’t,” she turns around and
she says, “Well, let’s “think this through, what
are the different pieces?” And there’s always something
she can agree with, even if it’s, “Yeah, I think
we should go to the zoo, “but I don’t really
think we can go today.” But she’s agreed at
least in one part first so that then what you
end up seeing is that it’s no longer, “I want to do this,” “No you can’t.” It’s, “I want to do this.” “Well, I agree, you
probably do and I think it’s “a good idea, but just not today.” So just changing that
little tone makes a whole difference because it’s not
personal, it’s not confronting anymore, it’s more of a,
trying to find what piece of it you can actually agree with. Now on the other hand, we’re
always told if whatever’s being done starts to
become abusive or violates some sort of ethics,
decency, or personal say you’ve got to walk away. And you’ve got to be able
to tell somebody about it. There are times when the
best thing to do is just get out of the situation. So that’s an area that we have to look at. But most of the time, what
we want to do is we want to figure out what the problem is, where the disagreement is, try
and fix that problem, but not blaming somebody, and actually it’s funny because one of the projects
I’m working on right now, they talk about the fact
that there’s two different organizations that are
going back and forth and they’re deflecting the blame. So anything that’s done, they’ll
point to this other group, “Well, it’s your fault.” “Well no, because you didn’t
do something, it’s your fault.” And so we go back and forth
on this trying to figure out rather than blaming
each other, or deflecting the problem, we try to figure out what the problem is and fix it. So the other part is, we want
to make sure that we listen, we let the other person say
what they’re trying to say. Even with my, once again
with my granddaughter, when she says, “I want to go to the zoo.” Rather than mom saying, “No,
that’s the end of the story,” they talk it out. She makes her explain why she wants to go, what she wants to do, the
whole bit so that she’s able to voice her opinion
and get her idea out and then mom can come back
and agree with some of it and then be able to finally say, “Probably not today, let’s wait.” But that way, there’s none
of this, “I’m in charge.” Now, granted as he was saying
teenagers being in charge, we’re seeing two-year-olds. I mean, that’s when they always
talk about the two’s, right? The two’s, they’re asserting
their independence and part of what you have to do is
you don’t want to totally squash them because they
do need to have that, but you need to also
realize they don’t have the ability yet to make all the decisions. Well as we go through life,
we have the same thing. We have to be able to look
at different alternatives. Once again, dealing with
specifics by having them go through and say, “Well why
do you want to go to the zoo? “What are the things you want to do?” You’re getting down into
specifics and then you have a better idea of where do you want to in fact, pick your battle,
so that you’re not just jumping into the whole thing;
trying to also buy some time because the more that
you end up having that discussion, the whole
tone, as long as your voice is going down as opposed
to going up, you have that ability to continue to
get a better resolution. Now one of the things they
say is that if you are in a heated discussion with
somebody, the best thing to do is to take out a
piece of paper and a pen and start writing down everything the person is saying because that obviously, especially if
they see you doing it, realize that now you in effect
know exactly what I said and it’s not just from memory,
but you have it written down. And it tends to slow the
process down, it tends to make people think a little bit,
but it also gives you the time to decide how best to respond. And a lot of times how we
respond to oppositions, conflict, makes all the difference in the world. – I had a situation where
I had a contract programmer who reported to me and he’d
only been working for me for a couple of weeks. He came into work at 8
o’clock in the morning and I was looking at him
like, he hadn’t shaved, he’s wearing the same
clothes from yesterday and so I said, “What’s up?” That’s all I said, “What’s up?” He’s all, “My daughter
and I got in a argument “and she ran away from home.” And I said, “Go find your daughter.” That’s all I said. He left.
He found his daughter. He came back the next day,
shaved and new clothes and he thanked me personally
for allowing him to do that. Now I could’ve been the
type of manager and said, “Hey, you know, you’re a
contract worker, I don’t really “care about your personal
life, get to work. “We got this deadline to worry about.” No, I know that that’s
going to play on his mind, he didn’t have enough
sleep to begin with so he needed to really take
care of that problem. I had another person who
was a business analyst and I recognized that she
had just come on board and I was working with
her and she had a very fine reputation, but my evaluation of her was not very good. There’s something wrong
and I was trying to get it from her but she just wouldn’t tell me what was wrong with her. So I had to ask a friend,
like, “Linda seems to be “struggling here, she’s
really having a problem, “I don’t know what the problem is.” “Well, she’s going through a divorce.” “Oh, I understand.” So my role then is to
step in and help her, I didn’t talk about the
divorce, don’t want to get into that, just help
her with what she was doing. So I help her in the
work that she was doing, I took on some of the
responsibility to help it out and we became pretty close after that. But recognizing that people
have conflict in their personal lives, and then
it can get really ugly. And you’re working with
that person, you’re going to try and help that
person to get through it. – So this Stephen Covey quote up here, “Seek to understand then
seek to be understood.” So you have to understand
the other person first, where they’re coming from
and not be so willing to, or not so typical we jump
in with our opinion too fast. We need to listen, see what’s
going on and then turn around. I mean obviously, 7 Habits
of Highly Effective People, one of the best books there
is that we probably need to re-read very often because
there’s a lot in there that we can actually apply
to our everyday life. So when we talk about handling
conflict just in general, one, we don’t want to just
really totally avoid it unless it’s that problem
that it’s abusive language or a danger to us. Instead we want to try to resolve it. We want to be able to internal
to ourselves understand what is our instinctive reaction? What happens if somebody
starts yelling at us? What do we do? How do we react, and is that
really the best way to react? Or is there a better way
that we could maybe take a deep breath, and think
about what we need to do as opposed to just
automatically reacting back? That whole idea of
approaching it in a calm and respectful manner takes
it down a huge amount. So instead of the conflict
or the opposition being at a very high level,
by doing it in that calm and respectful manner,
even with a two-year-old, even with a teenager,
you’ve been able to diffuse some of that just by
the way you react to it. But regardless, you always need to be able to separate what is going
on from the actual person because once you start personalizing it, it just raises to a whole ‘nother level. So once again, try and
figure out something by continuing to let
the other person talk, that you can agree with
because once you agree with something, you just
watch how it happens. Catch yourself in the next
few days or next few weeks, if something happens and
you get into a discussion whatever, listen, and then
find something that you agree with that and see
if the whole thing doesn’t start to turn. Rather than coming back, “No, no, no.” Yes, I understand that, I agree with that, but how about considering something else? So rather than immediately
coming back with that, “But,” you give it a time
and you think about it before you say that. So that non-confrontational
and constantly looking at the issue, not the person. When we teach together,
we’ve had people say, “Do you two argue all
the time about things?” Yeah, a lot of times, when
we’re teaching different concepts, we do because we have difference of opinion from where we’re coming. But it’s not about us arguing
with each other, it’s we are not, we’re looking at
two sides of a situation and coming from two
different points of view. But it’s the comments
that being made, it’s the issue that we’re
looking at, not the person who’s making those. The problem is when you get
into this conflict, it can damage relationships and
it could be just a word or a comment that’s made when you’re upset about something. I know of a situation
where it took two years for a mother and daughter to
actually start speaking together just because one little comment was made and it was just made at
the wrong time in the wrong tone of voice and it took two years to resolve that. That’s ridiculous, but
it’s a matter of the heat of the moment and not
realizing what’s going on. It can also destroy the trust
that you have in that person because if something is
said incorrectly, you don’t trust them anymore, you don’t work. Decreasing the productivity. Let’s say he and I really have a disagreement on one of these points or something that we’re
working on, we move away from it and sometimes
we move away from the whole thing itself for awhile. So that decreases the amount
of work that’s being done. It just consumes time. You know how you get on a
call and somebody starts arguing about something
when you’re talking to somebody, and you
find yourself just moving the phone out here and going
(mimics mouth flapping), just letting them talk, well
that’s wasted time though. That’s a waste of time
from both sides so part of what we have to do is
be able to figure out how we can reduce this. Stifling the creativity,
creativity comes from a whole bunch of different
ideas, like we said brainstorming all these different ways that
we have of getting different ideas together, listening
to each other, and then just the overall dissatisfaction,
whether it’s employees being dissatisfied with their
bosses or their customers, being able to take somebody
who’s supposed to work together. What about just personal relationships? Stop and think about those
couples who originally were happy, were married, and then all of a sudden, they go apart. What caused that? Was that really something
that could’ve been prevented? Could it have been seen
ahead of time? What happened? What ended up doing that? We talked to leading to turnover in work, leading to divorce in
individual relationships, or families that don’t
speak to each other, or family members that
don’t speak to each other. – But when it comes to
language, and you get upset, there’s a tendency to start swearing. I grew up in Canada as
a kid and the swear word that I used was, “Bloody.” I struck out, I said
bloody and all my teammates laughed at me, like, “That’s
your swear word? Bloody?” Oh, OK. So I guess I’m not
going to use that word anymore. But I never really
adapted any other type of blood-word, or as far as
foul words that starts with bloody or the other words that are around. And so even today, you
know in fact my daughters grew up, they didn’t learn
foul language from me, more from her. (laughs) – Yeah, at times– – She’s the one that would
use some of those words. When I deal with people,
I don’t get upset, I don’t raise my voice, I don’t
get angry, I don’t swear, I keep it under control
because if they escalate and I escalate, they escalate, I escalate, then you’re getting
into a personal conflict with that person and that’s
what you want to try and avoid. So by not escalating, not getting angry, in fact they may get more
angry because you’re not angry with them, you know? But that’s how you deal
with, in fact managers quite often in the complaint department or return department, “I bought this, “I’m returning it, it doesn’t work,” they’re actually taught how
to deal with those people, especially like baggage
claim at a airlines, “I lost my luggage,” you
know people are upset and they’re really taking their
anger out on this poor person. They’re like, “Yeah the
airline lost the luggage.” They lose luggage all the time. So we try to not use those
swear words and if you can minimize that and
not get anger because if you push, they usually push back. If they push at you, you have a tendency to want to push back. We tend to be agressive,
we tend to be competitive. On the Tuckman’s Model, the
Ladder of Team Development, we have this concept,
we work in teams today, and I’m working with a group
of people, the team gets formed, it could be
for a week, it could be for several months, and
what we see is as the team starts to work together, we kind of step on each other’s toes, we
start what called, “Storming.” We don’t get along, we start
to get into some conflicts. What you’re looking for is,
especially from a manager’s standpoint, I want the
team to start to norm, how they work together. And then after a little
more time goes by, we see the team performing at a very high level. This is a great team. I want to keep this team together. Well usually when that
project or that endeavor finishes up, what happens
is we adjourn the team. Well this is star football season, right? I played football in
high school and college and I saw this every
year, especially in August when we started doing our summer practice, the team was formed, it’s
a new group of people, some are returning from
the previous year, some are brand new people, and
we get into this storming. I was an offensive guard,
my job was to pull. A lot of times, I’m hitting
the quarterback, knocking the quarterback, he’s not
getting out of my way. Or I’m pulling to the right
and I’m hitting the tackle because he’s not fast
enough, he’s too slow so I have to learn how
to make my adjustments. We storm as we form the
team, we’re starting to work together and then eventually we get to the norming standpoint
where we start to perform as a team and a highly
performing team, they do an outstanding job. Probably the best team
that we have in the history of the United States is
the 1980 U.S. hockey team. Here was a bunch of amateurs that’d be a bunch of professionals. The greatest example of
a team working together and they had enormous
storming getting together. The coach, the players,
they really struggled to get through that, but once
they got to the performing, they did an outstanding job. So we see this and then
we’re looking at, as you’re working with a team of people, are you going through these stages? Because I’ve seen this where
I’ve had to recommend the removal of a person
from a team because they were causing too many
problems, they weren’t abiding by the team rules that we had for that particular team, or they just had personality differences,
it could be that too, they just don’t get along. Because there are some
people we just don’t like for some reason, don’t know
why but for some reason some people bug us and
what we would try to do is get these people to see
if you can get past that. Sometimes you just can’t
get past it and you have to amazingly reorganize the team. – So if we move this back
to personal rather than a team, rather than work,
how many, I guess I just ask, if any of you have watched any of the movies that are
on the Hallmark Channel? The Hallmark Channel has
some very interesting shows, movies that they have. There is always, it’s almost a predictable type of sequence, right? You have two people that
come from opposite sides, and you know because you
know this is going to happen, they’re eventually going
to get together, but they are always opposites. And they work through their differences and by the end, they’re working together as a team. Now as they go through
this, they have got to go through those stages of norming. Storming and then norming. So whether it’s a team,
whether it’s individual people, you start working with
somebody, you need to understand who they are,
what they do, how you’re going to react with them
and a lot of times it’s a matter of norming. Moving back and changing a
little bit of what you do. At least it’s identifying
and understanding how are you different from this other person. So we talk about conflict resolution. If we’re trying to resolve
these conflicts, we want to talk about how am I
going to solve the problem? What’s going on? Not the person, but the actual problem. We also need to look at how we’re going to react with the other
person because you don’t have a conflict, well, you
could have a conflict with your car and you could
hit the wall or something, but most conflicts come because
there’s two people involved. So what we have to figure
out is how are we going to work with these different individuals? So there’s a model that we
talk about and actually, I never knew where this
came from even though this is something that project
managers have to know, but Kenneth Thomas and
Ralph Kilmann’s Model talks about the level of assertiveness and the level of cooperativeness. In other words, concern
for yourself versus concern for others. And I think if you look
at this, you’ll realize that you’ve seen this before. – And the conflict resolution
I was involved with two other analysts, the
three of us were working together on a project, we
never worked together before, and each of us had a different
way of doing the work. And the first week, we were stumbling and butting into each other and we really didn’t know how to work together. The second week, it
escalated, it wasn’t issues, now it was personal, we
just didn’t like each other. It really came down to that. The third week, I didn’t even want to work with these people, I was
setting up my own meetings and I didn’t care what they
did, I was doing my own thing. Well Greta was taking a
class in human behavior, a master’s level class, and
she had an article or something that was how to resolve
conflict and I picked that up and I said, “Yeah I
should take this in and “sit down with these other
two people that I can’t stand “and see if we can resolve this.” So I set up a meeting, I
said, “Hey, we’re not getting “along together, there’s a problem here. “Here’s something that my
wife, Greta, is taking a class “in and can we go through this and see if we can resolve this?” So it started off, I told
them what I didn’t like about them, they told me what
they didn’t like about me, we went through, we spent
the whole morning agreeing, disagreeing, arguing,
going back and forth. We all went to lunch together
after that and we became good friends but we had to take
the initiative to resolving that and if I had not done
that, we probably would not have worked together very well. We probably would’ve broke the
team up as we went forward. But I realized we needed to
do something about it and it had gotten to a ridiculous
stage where I personally didn’t like these people. – [Greta] You may have seen
this before, I actually found some place out there
where they put the little stick figures which I
thought was even more ability to look at it, but the idea
is there’s different ways to handle different types of,
and I’m just going to call them disagreements at this
point, so whether you are the type of person who is
very self-confident, you have more concern in yourself as
opposed to trying to work with other people, having
that concern for others. Depends on how you might feel
more comfortable working. So obviously one way if there’s
conflict or disagreement, you just avoid it. You just end up not worrying about it. So as Peanuts, as Charlie
Brown says, “I don’t “like to face problems head-on. “I think the best way to solve
problems is just avoid them.” Well that’s a distinct
philosophy of mine, no problem is so big or so complicated that you just can’t run away from it. Well that is one way to
do it but it’s not going to really solve the problem,
so the only time you want to use that is when the
conflict’s just not worth the time to resolve it. It’s just not that
important, just ignore it. Somebody says something, do I really even need to react to it? Let me just, you know,
understand they may not have had a good day, and just let it go. And it just goes out into
thin air and just evaporates. – So if you see somebody
who’s avoiding you all the time, you probably have
a conflict with that person and don’t even realize it. You may want to try and
strike up a conversation with them just to see if there is or not. But you say, “Every time I
meet this person, they always “go that way or that way, why is that? “They don’t want to chit-chat with me.” So I want to see is there’s
some sort of problem. I may have said something,
actually it happened one time, I said something that
was taken out of context and the other person didn’t like it. Well I didn’t realize that
until a couple days later like, “This person’s not
responding back to me “in the way that she normally does.” So I went and talked to
her and then she told me what the problem was like, “No, that “wasn’t what I was talking about. “That was my fault, it wasn’t your fault.” She thought I was blaming
her, I was blaming myself. – So the opposite of avoiding it is the actual direct forcing. – [Steve] I love to be in charge. – Yes, and there are times when this is also needed, because if
you have to get a resolution on something, and you’re
going back and forth and back and forth, somebody’s
finally got to step up and say, “No, this is
what has to be done.” Obviously, you don’t
want to use it too often, but when you have to make
a decision, you have to be able to take that role as
you’re going through this. Compromise, you know we used to say compromise is the best way. Well actually, compromise
is a lose-lose situation because nobody really wins. And depending on how much
different parties have to give in to get to that compromise, a lot of times it’s remembered. I had to give in to you
last time, this time I’m going to have my say. So it’s, sometimes we have to have a short agreement and we just
have to make a decision, what are we going to do? We can’t just continue
to have the discussion, or when it’s just impossible
for us to come to a total agreement, we’ll do the compromise. The accommodate, I am definitely not this type of person. I will fight for things,
now on the other hand, one of our daughters if
very definitely this way. She will do whatever it is
to make sure there’s peace. She does not want, she doesn’t want to have that upset feeling. If the person’s late, OK, so be it. Even though I’m always
on time but you know I’m not going to say of anything for fear of damaging the relationship. There are a lot of people
that are in this situation where they will agree to
anything just to keep the peace. The collaboration is where
both parties identify there’s a conflict and what they do
is try to figure out why. Why there’s a disagreement,
what are you going to do looking at some different
solutions and then both parties buying in to that solution. Now it takes a lot of time so this is not one of those things that you want to use when you have to make a quick decision. You need to be able to take
time to figure out what to do. Once again, used on issues, not personalities. And you see this is coming
up over and over again. Conflict could be on issues,
which is usually opposition, when it gets to be a personal
thing, that’s when it tends to move more into your– – With the issues, it’s really
whoever’s involved in it and that could be like several people. Could be five, 10, 15
people, who was ever involved in and especially on a
team, they get together and they’re going to have discussions. Usually two people are
opposed to each other and they’re presenting the issues. When it comes to personal
conflict, the best way to handle that is take
the two people and maybe a facilitator into a room
so they can talk one-on-one with each other, not with
a whole bunch of people. Because they’re the ones that
need to resolve it and get the situation cleared up as to
exactly what the problem is. Most of the times, I would
say nine times out of 10, when I’ve done this with
various people, they resolve it. They resolve it during that meeting, or shortly after that meeting. It’s only been a few times
where it didn’t really work and I may have made
adjustments after that by removing a person from that team. ‘Cause there are some people that are just very arrogant, they got to
have their way and they don’t work very well in a
team environment, so you remove that person. But you’ve got this
conflict that’s going on between the people,
and you need to resolve that conflict, especially
in an organization that you’re working in. – So just to kind of
summarize all of the different techniques that we talk
about, the avoidance is just where you only use it
when it’s just not worth it. It’s just not worth the
time to argue about it. When you accommodate,
you’re agreeing to something just to keep the peace,
but you’re compromising your view in order to do this. So it depends on how much
you feel comfortable with being able to compromise
your view, your self-worth, what you feel good about. The compromise, the
accommodation, the compromise is meeting in the middle,
being able to come up with best solution but once again
that’s more of a lose-lose because everybody has to give in. Forced direct, we know that
times it has to be done. Somebody’s got to make a
decision, somebody’s got to step up to the place and
say, “Well how do we do this?” It’s usually done by somebody
in authority and therefore a lot of times you will bring
that authority person in, whether it’s a parent,
whether it’s a grandparent, that doesn’t usually work to
be able to get that decision. And then you’re problem
solve, being able to try to work through the problem
and figure out a win-win for both people. So one of the things when we
go into the theory on this that goes behind this whole conflict, there’s this idea of a
Strength Deployment Inventory. And we talk about individually, what are each of our
two personal strengths? What are the things that we
really think we’re good at that we bring to the table when
we’re with people or whatever? And we have to identify
what those strengths are so things, I guess, in
your mind, think through what are some of these strengths? Is it maybe that you’re precise? Maybe you’re one of these people that work well with other people? On the other hand, you
might be somebody that, give me an assignment and I’ll go do it. Leave me alone, I’m very independent, I’m a good communicator. The problem is what
happens is if we take those strengths, we have to look
at how those strengths are looked at by other people and if we take our strengths and overdo them or they’re perceived to be overdone,
then it can start to become a negative. So for instance, if I look at this, can you see two different
things in this diagram? – [Steve] Two separate images. – [Greta] Two separate images, right? Some people see one image, which is an urn or vase, and other people see two people, right. – [Steve] Speaking to each other. – Well, communicating somehow. Eye to eye. But the key becomes, as you
look at something like this, you can see it two different ways. So for instance, if I look
at some different personal strengths that when I turn up the volume they become a weakness
so if I’m a very thorough person, if I become
overly thorough, I could be considered a perfectionist. – [Steve] I dot my I’s and
cross my T’s at all times. – [Greta] Yes, as opposed
to getting the job done. If I’m self-confident, I can
get to the point where if I’m too self-confident, I
could be perceived as arrogant. So I need to watch that
if I’m in that situation, I need to turn the volume
down so that even though I’m self-confident, it doesn’t come across to that point of being arrogant. Being independent, being
independent is good but not to the degree where
you can’t be a team player, you can’t work with other people. If you’re patient but you’ve become so patient you never get anything done. I’m just going to give
them time and I’m going to give them more time
and I’m going to give them more time, OK. I can be patient but I
have to set some sort of boundaries at some point in time. On the other hand,
rather than being patient and waiting, I want results right now. I’m quick to act. But once again, if I’m too quick to act, people can think of me as being very rash. Enthusiastic, usually people
say it’s a great thing. You have passion, you have the
ability to encourage people but if you’re not careful,
you can come on too strong. And so you have to once
again be able to gauge when that strength turns into a weakness. What about being supportive? If you’re supportive of
somebody, if you go too far, you may turn into being that
accommodating, where you do whatever to be supportive
of that person even though it goes against all of your personal wishes and things to be part of them. If you’re disciplined,
you’re doing things that need to be done but I could also
be disciplining to the point where this is what I need to
do, I can’t go outside the box. This is the way I’ve learned. And a lot of times when we
work with people of a different generation, whether it’s
older or younger, we run into this a lot because
they’re used to doing things a certain way and when we
try to change that way of doing something, it’s very
hard and so rather than saying, “Yes but I just feel “comfortable doing this the same way,” I get so rigid I can’t adapt to what has to be done. I could be a really good
communicator on the other hand, I could talk to much. – She does. – And so does my daughter. We text now, because we
found that if we text, we can’t ramble on and we go through. When we gave this talk
last week, I made the comment about Chatty
Cathy, which I don’t know if most people know that
that’s a doll from a number of years ago, one of the
first talking dolls that if you pulled the string,
they would say something. And so some of us still use
that term when we get to people that just have to go
on and one as they’re talking. But being a good communicator
is one thing, talking too much where you
aren’t listening is not. – We’re project managers and
so we’re used to planning. That’s a strength that
we have, well we had an opportunity to go to
Germany, a last minute thing, and no plan. Normally we plan our
vacations, where are we going to go, the culture
and all that stuff. I thought, “Germany, let’s
get on the plane and go.” So we got there, got a rental car like, “What do you want to do?” “I
don’t know, let’s go this way.” So we just meandered around Germany not, no plan, didn’t know what
we were going to do or, just had a great time anyway you know? So if you’re used to
planning, maybe you want to do things that are not planned,
so we changed our role a bit. Just something different, you know? – And we did the same
thing in New Zealand. We knew we had to be to
the airport to come home but that was like OK so watch, how many more days do we have? How far away are we from the airport? And what else can we do? But being able to take and
do things that are a little bit out of your comfort zone,
just to see how it feels, and see whether you can. – Yeah, try, if you’re
right-handed, for men, try shaving with your left hand. Very different, or try
writing with your left hand, if you’re right-handed,
you know, it’s a very different experience for
you but at least you’re trying out things that
you normally wouldn’t even think about doing. Just to give you this
additional experience of what other people go through. – But you watch children and you’re trying to look at a small child to
say, “Are they going to be “right-handed or left-handed?” And they’ll pick up stuff and
then they’ll pick up stuff and they’ll do things with
both hands and sometimes we try to, not as much
anymore but it used to be you always tried to get
them to write with their right hand so you would
almost force them to do that. Well we know there’s
different sides to the brain. You can be imaginative but
you can get to the point where such a dreamer,
such a blue-sky person that you just become unrealistic. So once again, when you
have these strengths, and we all have them, and
we need to recognize what our strengths are, but we
also need to realize when we pushed it too far. And when you work with
different people, your volume control has to be different
because if you’re with somebody that’s like you,
you can have the volume pretty strong, but if you’re
with somebody who’s the opposite of you, you’ve got
to turn it way, way back so that you’re able to
figure out how to work with that other person. So this whole thing’s based
on a theory of relationships, and what it talks about more
is that your personality becomes the motivation of why you do things that you have. It also makes it easier
for us to figure out how to work with people if we
understand what our values are, our personality, and
the personality and value of the person that we’re with. So if we’re the same, like
we said, we can keep the strength wherever we
are, but if we’re with somebody that’s very
different, we’ve got to be able to adjust our
volume as we go through. So what you’re trying to do
is you’re trying to understand what is your self-worth? What makes you feel good
about yourself as well as what the other person
feels good about themselves. And you want to be able to
balance that so that you can make sure that you’re not pushing against and moving somebody out
of their comfort zone. So what you end up doing
is you see how you are perceived by others and therefore how you perceive others. We talk about seeing people
through a rose-colored glass, some people see things very
positive just like with that two-sided figure, that two-image figure, we a lot of times talk about
is the glass half empty or half full and how we
perceive the things that we work with, whether we’re more postive, whether we’re more negative. So we talk about our motivational values. These are internal to each one of us. What our characteristics
are that drive our behavior. And what we need to do
is we need to understand our own and we need to
understand the people that we are working with, that we have interactions with. And see that there’s a difference,
whether it’s a cultural difference or just a difference in value. And as a result, what’s
going to happen if we can see that difference, we can put some filters on so that we don’t
perceive a situation the way it might otherwise appear. So if I know that he’s
one of these that tries to keep people happy
and working with people whereas I’m probably more
the type of person that says, “We have a job to get done, let’s do it.” If I see that he has
that other perception, that’s his value and
so instead of me trying to drive him to be like me, I understand where he’s
coming from and as long as he doesn’t turn the
volume up too much and not get anything done, I
understand that’s a positive and there’s times when I
will take what I’m doing and defer it to him so that he
can handle the situation ’cause I know he’s
better at that than I am. So Dr. Elias Porter has this theory of relationship awareness and
he uses these different types of colors for people. Talks about a red person being assertive, directive. A blue person being more
altruistic, nurturing. And a green person being more analytical. So what he talks about here
is first of all this is how you have your own motivation, your values, and how you do things
and how other people do so that if you can see
these differences, you have a better idea of why
people act the way they do. If we look at the blue first,
the altruistic nurturing person, that’s somebody
who has concern for the protection, growth
and welfare of othes. They’re the ones that
are always trying to make everybody feel good, make
the situation very positive, whereas the red is more concerned
about getting things done. Tasks getting accomplished,
making sure that the organization and the
result most project managers unfortunately are red. They are task-oriented,
not people-oriented which is more the blue. The green are those people that have to have all the answers. Everything’s got to be
put in place before they feel comfortable about moving on. So if I’m the type of person
that’s a red and I’m trying to get something done, and
I’m working with somebody that’s a green, they want
to look at all the different options and be able to figure
out, “Which way do I go?” That’s going to take them
time to process and I need to understand that because
I can’t expect them to immediately agree with me
and if I force an immediate decision, it’s going to be a negative. So I need to understand
the way people are working. Obviously, you get kind of
the hub if I put these colors together, in the middle it’s
more the white where I’m more flexible, and there
are some people who are able to move. Now granted, nobody is really
a pure blue, red or green. And so what happens is we
have three other blends where we become more a
red-blue, where we are assertive and yet nurturing, or we are a red-green where we’re still competing but we take into consideration a lot more detail, or we’re a blue-green where we become that
supportive but we’re still cautious about things. So part of what you need to
kind of do is think of yourself. And we talked about this last
night as we were preparing for this that you kind of
need to know who you are, where you are in, as you… what makes you feel best about yourself. That’s your motivational value. Am I a pure red? No, I personally am not. I know that I am more of a
red-green because I’m still the analytical type of person. I get things done but I
still need to have that. Obviously, he’s more of a red-blue because he’s got the ability
to get things done tending more toward the blue
side because he does have that concern for other people. And I think part of what
we do is we understand what makes us feel best about ourselves. I need to drive, I need to
get things accomplished, that’s why I’m a project manager. I love the ability to have
a project that I can finish. I don’t like things
that just go on forever. But I do move into that try
to figure out what’s going on, what needs to be done so
I’m constantly dropping down more into detail. But I have to realize there’s other people that I’m working with that they have to have the answers first. They have to go through
all of that analyses before they’ll even consider making a decision. So part of what we have to
do is understand once again, ourselves and where that other person is. What happens is if we get
into a situation where we have two different types of people, we can run into this where it escalates more into a conflict. As we said, an opposition is where you have disagreements about a thing. Conflict is where you
have a disagreement based on your motivational values. And somebody is infringing
on you not being able to give me for instance I
need that time to do that analysis, well if somebody
just wants me to jump and answer a question real fast,
I have a hard time with that because I want to think it through before I make a final decision. That’s kind of my green
that’s coming out in me, so I’m in that. If I end up having a
conflict with somebody, what normally happens is
you tend to move from where you are into another state. So changing the way I behave, and there’s three stages we talk about with conflict. And you never want to get to stage three, just put it right now. Stage one is when you
start out a conflict, you understand where you’re
coming from, you understand where the other person
is coming from and you understand what the
issue is or the conflict is that you’re working with. Stage two is where you drop out the other person and now it becomes me and the issue. And I’m in it, I’m going
to make sure that I end up getting my resolution that issue. That’s not a good place to go. We want to always
remember the other person and where they’re coming from so we want to stay in that stage
one if at all possible. So if I look at stage one
as we talk about the fact that it’s the self, the
problem and the other person, if I’m a blue person, when
I’m in stage one I’m trying everything I can to accommodate the need of the other person. I’m here to help you, what
can you do? The whole bit. If I’m red, I tend to
rise to that challenge and I start to say,
“OK, you have that idea, “I have that idea, we’re
gonna, I’m not gonna “back in, I have my opinion
and we’re gonna go with that.” The green kind of becomes
cautious and starts to look at, “Hm, what’s going on here? “This is my point, this is
their point, let’s think “of all the different options,”
and they tend to back off. And for somebody that’s a
red, they’re going to think the green person has just
completely checked out. They’re not responding. Well no, because they’re trying to think through what needs to be done. Being able to understand that
that person needs to take and go through all of these
different options and realize it’s going to take them time and don’t expect a response immediately. So we’re looking through
that perception of yes we came up with an idea but the person that we’re having this
conflict or disagreement with has to go through some
processing on their own. When I get into stage two now, it’s just myself and the problem. The other person I don’t
care about anymore. Which is why we don’t want to go here, we don’t want to get to
this point because what happens now is the blue
person just gives in and says it’s not worth it. And you can tell because
they start to say, “Yes,” “No,” they just answer in short words. They don’t give any encouragement anymore, it’s just like, “OK,
just do what you want. “Yes, honey,” type of situation. Whereas the red just
fights and fights off that opposition to where there
is no opposition anymore. At least not in their
mind so they’re fighting for their position. The green has just moved
into escaping from that and they’re in their own little world trying to figure things out. They’re there, but they’re not. When you get into the stage
three, which I said you just really don’t want to
be in, the blue just feels defeated and is very, very
hard to get past that point. The red is just, “This is my way, “I’m going to fight for life. “I don’t care anymore about the problem, “I’m in it to win.” The green person, once again also kind of retreats from it. So really in that point the only person that wins is the red, not really. Because what you’ve done
is you’ve destroyed the relationship with the other people that you were having this disagreement with. So we talk about how we
manage this and what we want to try to do is remove those kind of threats to our self-worth. In other words, we want
to be able to realize what our values, what makes us
feel good as well as what makes the other person
feel good and we want to try to respect that so
that we don’t get into this situation that I want an
answer today but I’m talking to somebody who needs
to think through this or this is what we have to
do but on the other hand, you’re the type of person
that says, “Well, you know, “I guess we could but if I
continue to stand my ground, “then I become more of a, “I start to demand my self-worth, “and what makes me feel
good at the expense “of the other person.” So what I need to do is I
need to remember that the other person still needs
to be in this discussion. So I need to understand
what their productive state of being is, how they are
actually going to work and how they’re going to respond. So looking at myself and
understanding the other person that I’m working with
or in a relationship with or whatever and being able
to realize we don’t all do things the same way so
we have to understand that. So when we talk about five ways to have a nice conflict, one of the things we want to do is we want
to be able to see where we can go before we get to that point. So this is kind of like, when we talk about chess, you can play chess but to
really be good at chess, you need to not only know
what each piece can do, but you also need to be
able to understand how you can prevent who you’re
playing against from taking your pieces and part of
what you do is you identify at what point in time are
they getting ready to do that and therefore what am
I going to do so that eventually I can resolve or win? So it’s the same thing. So if we go back and talk
about this, when we anticipate, we need to be able to spot early on when a potential conflict may occur. Not an opposition, or if it’s
an opposition we just don’t want to escalate to the
point of a conflict. We need to be able to
understand that early. We need to understand
there’s certain behaviors of another person that
rub us the wrong way. And as we say, sometimes just
being able to talk to them and saying, “You know, “I really wish you wouldn’t do that,” as opposed to saying, letting
it just fester and get to the point where we really
can’t take it and then we explode about some little thing. But we also need to watch ourself. We need to watch how we handle– – It’s all that body-language
stuff that rolling of the eyes, you see
people rolling their eyes, that’s an indication to
you that there’s something wrong here and you need
to feel that out as to what that problem is. There’s books on body language and a lot of it’s pretty good,
and we read body language and we react to it because we need to, especially when we’re
facilitating workshops with business-people and
looking and their language and what was being said
and how a person reacts, we need to ask that
question to the person, “Could you make a comment on that?” Because they’re obviously
in disagreement with it. – Right, and we talk
about communication again, the fact that if we’re
doing emails, how do we understand that happening? Only unless you have somebody
that sends you an email in all caps, and then you
have to realize whether it’s somebody that understands
that means you’re screaming at me or
whether it’s somebody just hit the cap lock key by mistake. But emails, even the tone
of voice that you’re able to get over the phone, but
you don’t see the rest of the body language so a
lot of the times, just our new-age communication really
starts to hurt in being able to anticipate when
there’s a potential disagreement that’s there,
so we need to be able to clarify, we need to understand
that as soon as possible and be able to look at it. So just like we anticipate
what moves that chess piece can make, we need to
anticipate how our reaction is going to be, how the
reaction from the other person is going to be, so that we
know that there’s a potential when we get to this point. So the other thing is try to prevent it. So once again rather
than just saying, “No,” being able to acknowledge
somebody else’s concern. Give them a chance to
explain why they want that position and then try to
discuss that, try and find that one thing you agree
with them so that you can identify, “Yes, we agree on these points, “but how about considering
something else?” And doing it in a very calm,
respectful manner so that you’re not pushing on them and making them move into that area where they’re not comfortable. Trying to take in effect a
green person who has to have time to put this all in
order and expect them to make a very quick decision. And if you push that too far,
they’re just going to say, “Well forget it, they don’t
care about my opinion.” And they’re just going to move out of it. Doesn’t help, doesn’t get there. Being aware of that
body language as we say and sometimes just trying
to lighten the situation so it’s not so tense. That’s hard for a lot of
people to do, it’s hard for me. I’m not the type of person that can interject humor as much. He does a much better job on that. The third step is when we
actually identify that we are in some sort of a conflict. But then we have to go
back and look at and say, “Is this really a person, “a personal situation that we are not “agreeing with, or is
this just a difference “of opinion on something?” So that we understand
how better to handle it. Once again, taking the
person out and working with the situation all the time. But, as Steve was saying,
with the two executives, there was a lot of background
history to that situation. And as a result, if you
understood the background, you’d understand why they
were yelling at each other and where it had been pented
up from all this other time. As opposed to, “Well
where did that come from? “All of a sudden, people
are yelling at each other.” There may be some history there. Rather than trying to solve,
trying to figure out why that’s there, that root cause and has it been brewing for awhile? Not letting it get to that point so that you can sense OK, there’s been, like
Steve said, there’s been people that have been not
talking to me so rather than just letting it wait
and then all of a sudden having some sort of
discussion with that person and that comes into play,
being able to understand and handle it, understand it and handle it as quickly as possible. Once we’re actually in
there, once again, we have to accpet that that’s
going on but we have to figure out how we’re going to manage it. And that point of saying,
just like with the chess, “I see what they’re
doing, what am I gonna do? “What’s my move that I’m
going to counteract?” And hopefully, because I’m
thinking ahead, I know that well if they do this,
I’ll have to do this, or if they do this I’ll
have to do something else. So I am cool, calm, collected
because I’ve thought through all those options. I know who the person is,
I know how they react, and I’m able to go through
and figure out ahead of time, we always talk about
project managers also being proactive and preventative. Proactive, you accept that conflict. You do something about
it, you don’t just let it fester in effect but you
also have to be preventative ’cause you have to try to
figure out how to not get it to that point, but you
listen, you analyze the situation, you keep focusing
on what the situation is, what the problem,
what the opposition is, not the person. And you think of it to the
point where regardless, there’s still a person
over there, they have their own opinion but let’s
figure out where we agree and not keep blaming the
other person for things but take the responsibility. As you said, maybe it’s something I said. And if it’s something I
said, I need to be able to say, “I really am
sorry, hopefully you’ll let “me explain what was going on at that time “which got me to that
point, and no it’s not “a good thing but it happened, “so let’s work together and try and see if we can’t
move forward with that.” – So the hardest thing
that was, is this an issue or is this a problem I have
with this other person? And that’s where you
try to separate issue. If it’s issue, well you just
need to talk about the issue and take the personality
out of it, but if it’s not an issue, then it’s personal. And that’s much more
difficult and it takes a different type of
conversation to go through that and that’s where you really
need to get together and kind of talk it out. And by talking it out, you
have a tendency to resolve it. It works most of the time
but not all the time. – Right, so the last step
of trying to resolve this is being able to understand
where the conflict is coming from, what it’s all there. Stressing the positive side, what are the good points that we brought out? Not blaming each other,
focusing on how we can do things better in the future so this doesn’t have to be there. Be confident in yourself
because you still have to maintain your self-worth,
you still have to feel good about yourself,
and if I’m that type of person that drives, I still
need to feel like I need to be able to drive, but on
the other hand if somebody else needs to have all this
additional, they need to have time to do that, and if
I look at it and say, “You know what? They’re gonna
come up with some good ideas. “Just give them a little bit of time. “Do I really have to do that?” Or maybe I, myself spend
a little bit more time, if I’m going to be working
with that type of person, drilling down and saying,
“Here’s a new sales compensation “plan but what I want to
do is I want to look at “a couple of different
issues, have a couple of “different options that
we can go in here with.” That person is obviously
going to be more receptive if I have done a little bit
more homework before I go in and just say, “Here’s what we need to do.” And they’re going, “Yeah,
but let’s think through “the different alternatives.” So if I know I’m going to be
reac–not reacting but I’m going to have this interaction
with this other type of person, if I kind of
move a little bit more into the way that they think so
that I can cut down some of that time, cut down
some of that agreement so we can get to some sort
of a consensus and then I definitely want to
celebrate when we’ve been able to get past something and
say, “Hey, we did this.” We came up with the best
solution, celebrate that. Being able to recognize that we did it. As Teddy Roosevelt said,
“The most important single “ingredient in the formula of success is “knowing how to get along with people.” – You may want to try practicing things. Like if you’re a red person,
you get in an elevator and you want to get
from point A to point B. Here you are with a bunch
of people and you’re looking up like, “Floor, floor, where’s my floor?” Well try talking to
the people next to you. “Hi, how’s it going? How’s
the weather outside?” Just start chit-chatting, that’s
normally what you don’t do. Because all you care about is, “I’m here “and I want to get here.” Or you want to get there,
that’s what a red person wants to do. But now you’re changing
your behavior and you’re practicing something different,
getting along with people. And so that chit-chatting
mode that you get into is breaking that ice and it’s
funny how if the elevator breaks down, you’re
definitely going to be forced into that situation, aren’t you? “Ugh, I gotta talk to these people now?” I actually shared an office with a person, I tell you the truth,
two man office, I met him the first day, I never saw him again. We shared an office together. He had a row of cabinets
across the middle of the room that only a tall, skinny
person could get through and I never spoke to him. He didn’t like people, he
didn’t like talking to people, he was a maintenance
programmer, he spent most of his time working early
morning to mid-afternoon and then he would go home, but he just, you know, that was his style. Tried chit-chatting
with him, never worked. – It’s a case where you
try and it works and it doesn’t work and you kind of move on, but you understand where they are and you don’t get upset
if the fact is they won’t communicate with you or
do that chit-chatting, that’s just not part of their behavior. So the whole strategy that
we’re using here is to try to stay positive, not
get into these negative comments, negative viewpoints,
be able to increase those positives as we
go through this stuff. Also being able to respect
that other person’s motivational values or
what makes them feel good about themselves and once
again, if I’m that red person and I want to
achieve things, I need to be able to have that,
but on the other hand, I’m the green person who
needs to feel comfortable that everything, all my I’s
have been dotted and all my T’s have been crossed,
I need to understand that. The blue person, they want
to make sure everybody is feeling good, they’re nurturing, there’s a need for all
three and there’s a way that we have to understand, “That’s
what makes me feel good.” And therefore if I can make
what I do can make you feel good as well as me, either
we don’t have the conflict or we get it so that it’s greatly
reduced as we move through. Once again, delivering that
message in their language. How you talk to them, how you present what you’re trying to do. – Yeah, I went out there
looking at the top 10 reasons why people quit their jobs. And look at the number one, relationship with the boss. Wow, it’s funny how we
have a problem getting along with a boss, why is that? Probably the majority of the
bosses tend to be autocratic, they tend to be theory X
type people, they tell you what to do and you don’t
like that because in today’s environment we really expect
people to know what work needs to be done and they
do their work and they don’t like the boss telling
them, “Do this, do that.” If you look at the
third one, relationships with other coworkers, well
there’s a problem there. I’m working with other
people I don’t really like, therefore I’m going to leave the job. So we have this problem in
the organization with people, these conflicts and
then people are leaving. So if I’m a company, I
really want to prevent this. I want to educate management
how to manage people. You don’t tell them,
you don’t direct them. I was actually working at a
company and I was a project manager and the company forced me to go to a management training class. I had a project I was really
concerned about, and I postponed, postponed,
they just finally said, “You’re going to this
management class, level one “to learn about managing people. “And it’s very important
that you do that.” And so they put me on
a plane, they sent me to Rochester and I did that work. – So just to kind of put
some of these do’s and don’ts together, we put the don’ts first. Don’t look for a win-lose
situation, looks for the win-win. Don’t base your
disagreements on personality, but rather on issues. Don’t be defensive but
actually employ some of the active listening. Don’t assume things, the
motivations, the negative labels, talk about
people as far as why they behave the way they do. Don’t put people’s feelings
down but try to express those feelings appropriately. Don’t make somebody realize
that they’re wrong and continue to rub it in. “I told you you were wrong, I told you.” Offer assistance, make sure
that whatever happened goes. And then don’t respond
from that, “I’m the victim. “You hurt my feelings.” Try and respond from the
leader, creator, the best mindset that you can
as you go through here. We don’t want to fear
conflict, we want to embrace it because that’s part of your
job whether it’s your job as a person or part of a team at work. We need to be able to
understand what it is, what causes it, how we can manage it, how we can work through it. But obviously, this is the people side, whether it’s project
management or it’s your life, this is the hard part. But the problem is everybody
is in the people business so we have to understand how we work with other people as we go through. At that point, I know we’re running late. – [Voiceover] Thank you
very much, we’ve got time for questions. Here, I’ll start with some
from the virtual audience and give the in-person crowd a chance to gather their thoughts. Eleanor asks, “Do you
see or do you recommend “organizations relying on
personality inventory tests “in an attempt to team-up
personalities that they “anticipate will work well together? “And if so, in your opinion,
is this effective or are “there potential downsides
to this strategy?” – I like that, I mean a lot
of times the company can look at you and your type
of personality and then find a better job for you. That actually happened
to me at one company I was working at. They said, “You would
work better working here “rather than working there,” and so it did make a big
difference so I would say yes. – I wouldn’t necessarily
use it to be able to figure out how people work together
best because there’s the opposite, you put two
people that are alike together that could be a positive
or it could be a negative. You put two people that
are opposite together, could be a positive, could be a negative. But once again, understanding
whether you’re alike or whether you’re–that
could spend up that process of that analysis. – And at what point does
interpersonal conflict management cease to become a matter for an individual team member
and something to maybe escalate to a supervisor or to H.R. and how does your answer
change if that conflict is with a team member and a supervisor versus two team members? – Does it change? Yes. I mean, obviously if
it’s two team members, you can escalate it up. If it’s that boss, employee
type of thing, I think it’s a whole different type of situation. It’s the same as if you’re
going to a school where you have a professor,
and you have one opinion, especially if you’re very
conservative, and you’re professor is very liberal,
what do you have to do? You have a couple of choices,
you can drop the class or you can do whatever the
professor is going to expect if you want the good grade. – A lot of companies do
exit interviews and they’re looking at people reporting
in that exit interview they don’t get along with
their boss for these reasons and so H.R. really wants
to know that information so when you leave the company, you do that exit interview and you let
them know that the problem you were having with that,
because H.R. needs to know that there is a problem
with a boss, and they need to do something about it which is usually education in management. – I suppose this question
might be somewhat related, and it came in from a variety of learners, what are you doing those, or
do you encounter scenarios where the interpersonal
conflict are just irreparable? Where it’s just so deep-rooted
in personality and what do you recommend in these cases? – OK, I’ve been in that many
situations, I don’t have a problem removing a person
from a group and putting them somewhere else so if you can’t get the conflict resolved, then
you got to separate them. And sometimes you can move
them to a different job or a different position, different project in the organization, other times
you have to terminate them. And so I’ve terminated about
40 people in my career. I don’t have a problem with
that and I don’t have a problem telling the people that the
reason why we’re terminating is because of this, they
don’t seem to get along with the other people
and they need to perhaps, take some, some companies
provide exit training for them, but I find that you just have to do that, you have to let that person go. A lot of times, it’s also
they don’t work well in this environment and maybe they
should find a job that they could be working pretty good at and so it’s a career change for them. – But you can go back
on the personal side too because if you’re in a
situation where the culture that you’re within and
you don’t really fit well, then you have a choice. Either you conform to the culture or you find someplace else to go. So I think, once again,
you’ve always got two outs, you either figure out
that’s the way it is and you work within it or you move on. – I just have one more
from the virtual audience and I’ll turn to the audience after that. In your opinion and
experience, what’s the most effective way for an
organization to communicate to or train its employees
regarding interpersonal conflict management, or handling
interpersonal conflict? Is it best handled as an
H.R. function from senior management, bringing in an outside expert? What strategies do you find
most effective in terms of training employees? – I mean I think almost every company now has something as part of
their on-boarding that has to do with conflict management. It, you know, a lot of times
what I see is just very basic. Looking back at some of these
theories, I mean maybe I go a little bit too far
because I always want to know, “Well, where did this come from? “Is there some theory behind it?” But not necessarily going
straight with the theory but these theories that
I found here, I thought really make more sense as
to explain a little bit beyond that idea of
understand there’s a conflict, do something about it and resolve it. That I think that the fact
that you say should H.R. maybe do some training? I think they need to but I
think they need to go a little bit farther in depth than
what they currently do. ‘Cause it’s a huge issue. – Was it soccer or American football? (audience laughs) You said–
– [Steve] I grew up in Canada. – You said, “Guard” OK
and I’m like, OK really. – I played all the sports. I played football, American football. – OK, my question is can your coping with conflict strategy, which I really like and
really enjoyed, can it be applied to a Ferguson,
Missouri type of scenario? – [Steve] To what type?
– [Greta] Ferguson. – [Man] Ferguson. – Oh, oh. – I think definitely.
– [Steve] Yeah. – I mean I think the thing
is is that getting beyond where the problem is
arising, what’s the root cause of some of it and
being able to figure out what’s been festering
that’s handling this? I mean, I have obviously
my opinions as well as probably everybody else
does, but I think there’s actions that we can do that
just make the problem worse and I think some of those,
we saw as opposed to being able to understand where
people are coming from and how do we, how do we handle that. How do we get to a better way? That’s probably the best
example of how it was not handled well. – I think they avoided,
that was the problem, the police avoided it in
the beginning and therefore the presence wasn’t there, so
it escalated out of control. – [Man] You mean
Baltimore they reported it but in Ferguson they didn’t report it. – [Greta] That’s right. Yeah. And I think, once again, we
can look at those and say, “How did it get to that point?” And you’re into stage two and
almost into stage three there. We need to be able to
move back to stage one. – So my question was when
you’re involved in a conflict where it seems that
there’s like a stalemate, like there’s no, there doesn’t
seem to be a resolution. What strategies would you
suggest in a situation like that? – Different approach, you have
to take a different approach altogether because it’s
stalemated so you have to do something totally different. – Maybe back off for a
little while and think about it and see what happens,
because sometimes if you’re at a stalemate, maybe it
changes the way it looks and feels rather than
continuing to butt heads, just give it some space. – What I would do is say,
“OK, let’s take a break, “I need to use the restroom
or do something and let’s “get together later on this afternoon.” I may be that upset and that
angry that I can’t function because I’m too mad and
therefore you need to take a break because you can’t
really discuss those type of things if you’re angry
with somebody and so you don’t want to show that anger while
you’re having a discussion. – You know it’s just one
of those things, once again understanding the personality so you know where they are because, I
mean, I raise my voice, I get angry pretty fast about
things because I’m rash. I want to get things done
so I have to force myself to turn that volume down. – When she gets anxious,
she raises her voice so you’d think she may
be angry but she’s just very anxious and she’s
very excited and then the voice is going up and
then she’s dominating the conversation though. – [Voiceover] Well I think we have time to squeeze in one more. – Have you ever experienced
where a conflict was so great that it halted a
project where now the project couldn’t even be completed,
it just had to be scrapped? – I was working for a company
and I was working with two other representatives
from the other data centers, one from Connecticut, one from Texas and I was in California and
we were trying to work up a new methodology for the
corporation and we had been working like 10 weeks together
on this, basically the whole week for 10 weeks
and we got to a point where the people from Texas got
up and said, “We are not “going to do this, we
are totally against it,” and they walked out of
the room and we stopped. We’re not contributing to this at all. So here I’m looking at
the guy from Bronton like, “Well, I guess we better
call the head guy on this.” So we called him and
told him the situation, like, “OK get together at
1 o’clock this afternoon “and get me on the conference call.” So, got on the conference
call, and he said to him, “OK, I understand that you
have a problem, you need “to resolve this yourself
’cause I’m not going to do it,” (laughs) and hung up. So we sat there and looked at each other. “OK, well we need to resolve
this so that’s our job.” So we hashed it out another
four weeks and we came up with a solution. – But I have had situations
where it’s just not going to go anyplace, there’s a
disagreement, there’s this one side that’s stronger
than the other and it just, it needs once again, it
needs time so we just say, “OK, you know what? “The D.N.A., the environment
is not here right now, “let’s just postpone it.” Obviously sometimes that means bring it back in with other people
which is mostly what happens. You cancel that group, that
project for the time being, you bring new people on to go forward. – [Voiceover] Unfortunately,
we’re up against the clock, but before we go I have a
couple quick items and first and most importantly, on behalf
of the entire university, thank you both, Steve and Greta for such a fantastic presentation. (audience clapping)

16 thoughts on “Best Practices in Project Management: Coping with Conflict”

  1. Very informative lecture! Thank you. If anyone is interested in mid-level project management certification, is currently offering a 75% off special with the coupon code e301. This is perfect for students who have taken a project management class in school and want to validate their skills.

  2. Great talk. Greta seems to be a fixture on the Southland Project Management scene. Immediately recognized her face from a few presentations I saw on Nice seeing her team up with Steve. Be even nicer to see them do course on a site like!

  3. Although she is very taky, she is very judgemantal about the other archetypes. This is a characteristic that is not very impartial and appears a bit arrogant to me. In my humble point of view it is not a weakness, but the strength that is most worth aspiring when you actually can give in into a conflict for the sake of peace.

  4. That is one of the 'indirect' effects of project management, that's directly linked to a good or bad preparation. We often think in ways of process or productivity and forget the human aspect of PM.
    Our team at Zenkit gather ideas on our blog ( ) and let team members share post about any management and productivity subjects.
    How do you organize and communicate in your team, we would love to exchange.


  6. Body language from the lady is speaking volumes. Just observe her body language whenever he starts speaking. I think that could be improved to not project the wrong message (i.e that she would rather be the one speaking or that he should hurry up/shut up and get done). Just a little observation. Great points anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *