The SDI Makes Managing Conflict Easier!
What are the true costs of conflict? Recent studies from the Harvard Business Review (2009) revealed some interesting statistics that suggested the effects of conflict in the workplace are far more far-reaching than managers imagine.
After experiencing some kind of conflict at work, employees reported that:
- 48% decreased their work effort,
- 47% decreased their time at work,
- 38% decreased their work quality,
- 66% said their performance declined,
- 80% lost work time worrying about the incident,
- 63% lost time avoiding the offender, and
- 78% said their commitment to the organisation declined*
If we were to put a financial value on these percentages, what would be the result? Higher than most people anticipate, and the costs are not just monetary.
Is your organisation experiencing unnecessary conflict? Having more conflict than it needs to? Is your organisation in danger of drowning in conflict? Avoiding debate and discussion or dealing with difficult issues because of fear of conflict?
What many people do not realise is that conflict doesn’t need to be negative. A well-managed interpersonal conflict can actually be a force for positive change.
What does SDI offer for conflict management?
Strength Deployment Inventory is a self-assessment tool that helps people understand what gives them a sense of self-worth and what important to them when relating with others.
The first image above shows the individual Motivational Value Systems of a sample team (what is important to them when things are going well) and in the second image how their behaviour changes when in conflict (the arrow head).
The power of the SDI is how it helps people understand, firstly, that we are all different and see the world through our own filters. We also have different things that will trigger conflict for us. The SDI also helps us see what happening when things aren’t going so well. People gain clarity about:
- Potential conflict triggers
- How they approach conflict
- What really important to them when in conflict
- Individual approaches that others can take to de-escalate conflict
This means that conflict can be more easily understood, controlled, prevented and resolved. SDI brings a commonsense reality to the saying try to see it from the other person point of view and it offers managers, trainers and employees an easy way to do it.
5 keys to having a nice conflict
Productive conflict management can be broken down into five key areas:
- Anticipate Anticipating conflict starts with knowing who youre dealing with. Then ask yourself how various people might view the same situation differently. When two or more people see things differently, there is the potential for conflict. If you can figure that out, you have a good shot at steering clear of it.
- Prevent Preventing conflict is really all about the deliberate, appropriate use of strengths in your relationships. A well-chosen behaviour on your part can prevent conflict with another person. But you need to prevent conflict in yourself sometimes too, and that might have more to do with choosing your perceptions than choosing your behaviours. Asking sincere and appropriate questions with the intent of preventing or managing conflict is almost never a bad idea.
- Identify There are three basic approaches in conflict: rising to the challenge, cautiously withdrawing, or wanting to keep the peace. When you can identify these approaches in yourself or others, you are empowered to handle the situation more productively.
- Manage Managing conflict has two components: managing yourself and managing the relationship. Managing conflict is about creating the conditions and empowering them to manage themselves out of the emotional state of conflict. It also about managing yourself out. Managing yourself in conflict can be as easy as taking some time to see things differently.
- Resolve To create movement toward resolution we need to show the other person a path back to feeling good about themselves. When they feel good about themselves, they are less likely to feel threatened and are free to move toward a compromise and resolution.
These techniques and more are featured in Personal Strengths Publishing book Have a Nice Conflict: A Story of Finding Success and Satisfaction in the Most Unlikely Places. The book follows the journey of John Doyle, a middle manager fighting to save his relationships and rescue his sinking career. Its an engaging story of one man odyssey deep into Relationship Awareness concepts. Based on the research of Dr. Elias H. Porter, the book reveals a relational approach to conflict that consistently leads to productive results and stronger relationships.
SDI works because:
- It helps people to get to the heart of potential conflicts and defuses potential misunderstandings before they escalate into full blown interpersonal conflicts.
- It is a valuable tool that helps to de-escalate conflict, by informing conversations so the parties donot feel so helpless and clueless.
- It offers insights into each person conflict sequence a clear three-stage identification of how individual motives change when in conflict.
- It helps each party in a conflict to identify what is really important to them, so helps to inform the reasons why a person may be holding a viewpoint or position.
- It gives participants an understanding of how others respond to conflict, and what can make conflict arise in the first place. Knowing this can help to prevent conflict before it starts.
- It is very simple to use! Making it easy to see each person motivation in relation to others, ideal for team development.
- It helps people to explore the diverse perspectives of others.
- It offers people more behavioural choice and supports personal development.
Simply put, SDI helps to focus on what you want and what you do when in conflict so you can better work with others to resolve issues.
If you want to know more about how we can help you; better manage conflict, improve relationships and develop your interpersonal skills presonally and across organisations: Contact us today.