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Module 12: Conflict and Crisis

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Instructional Objectives

  • Anticipate and possibly prevent conflicts and crises
  • Analyse the causes and consequences of conflicts and crises and select appropriate response(s)
  • Mediate and resolve conflicts and crises and/or their impact
  • Identify and share learning from conflicts and crises in order to improve future practice
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CONFLICT AND CRISIS

Conflict and crisis (People 7) is the second specific aspects of leadership on how to handle conflict and crises. The Conflict and crisis (People 7) competence element enable the individual to take effective action when a crisis or clash of opposing interests/incompatible personalities occurs. 

Instructional Objectives 

  • Anticipate and possibly prevent conflicts and crises 
  • Analyse the causes and consequences of conflicts and crises and select appropriate response(s) 
  • Mediate and resolve conflicts and crises and/or their impact 
  • Identify and share learning from conflicts and crises in order to improve future practice 

Lesson 1 : Anticipate and possibly prevent conflicts and crises

  • Identify potential stressful situations.
  • Keep conflicting characters and interests separate.
  • Delegate conflict sensitive subjects to the right people.
  • Take prevention measures.
  • Take stress reducing measures.
  • Review stressful situations with the team.

45min.

Lesson 2 : Analyse the causes and consequences of conflicts and crises and select appropriate response(s)

  • Assess the conflict stages.
  • Analyze the possible cause of the conflict or crisis.
  • Analyze the possible consequences of a conflict or crisis.
  • Have an extensive repertoire of intervention options available to use.

1hr. 10min.

Lesson 3 : Mediate and resolve conflicts and crises and/or their impact

  • Discuss points of difference or dispute openly.
  • Make a constructive debate possible.
  • Find an approach that works.
  • If necessary, take disciplinary or legal steps.

23min.

Lesson 4 : Identify and share learning from conflicts and crises in order to improve future practice

  • Restore or repair the team’s environment.
  • Motivate the team to learn from the conflict or crisis.
  • Use conflicts to revise the progress.
  • Learn from conflicts and crises to improve future practice.

1hrs. 27min.

CONFLICT AND CRISIS (PEOPLE 7) IS THE SECOND SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF LEADERSHIP ON HOW TO HANDLE CONFLICT AND CRISES. THE CONFLICT AND CRISIS (PEOPLE 7) COMPETENCE ELEMENT ENABLE THE INDIVIDUAL TO TAKE EFFECTIVE ACTION WHEN A CRISIS OR CLASH OF OPPOSING INTERESTS/INCOMPATIBLE PERSONALITIES OCCURS.

Conflicts and crises are inevitable when people work together in project teams. Sometimes these remain limited, but other times it is as if a project is a succession of unwanted events. This happens because a project is not routine, and people from different departments or organizations have to cooperate with each other for the duration of the project/programme. Projects are also characterized by time pressure and a scarce availability of people and resources. When the way in which the end product is arrived at is also new and stressful, then all the ingredients necessary to cause an escalation of a conflict are present. Tension does not normally bring out the best in people. It is often said that you have to use the energy arising from a conflict, that conflicts are a source of energy in the project. This sounds nice but on the other hand a conflict uses up a lot of energy, and it is questionable whether there is a net gain. Personally, I find that when it is not necessary, prevention is preferable, but if there is no way of stopping it occurring, you have to approach the conflict in a rational manner, not emotionally. There are conflicts about interests, views and perceptions, lack of clarity and last but not least personalities. We are all human, and it is a fact that you can work together with some people a lot more easily than with others. We all know people who we would rather not be in a team with. When you are involved with a project, therefore, you must learn how to handle conflicts. The characteristic of a crisis is that it is an serious threat for the project or programme success. Sometimes it is an escalation of a non-resolved conflict. This happens if one party blocks the whole initiative, trying to get its point from a conflict through this way. Sometimes a crisis is the opportunity of a clearing thunderstorm, for one of several issues on the level of interests and behaviors. The big difference between a conflict and a crisis is that you see a conflict coming, whereas a crisis often occurs without warning. Conflicts develop and are easier to predict than crises which are sudden. What is common about them is the risk that people’s emotions get the upper hand, and this can damage the cooperation. Your attitude should therefore be one of intervening between the parties, without choosing sides. You are a mediator, who is continuously looking for an effective way of ensuring effective cooperation within the team. Even when you are an interested party, you still need to make an effort in mediation between the other party and yourself.

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