communication, conflict and change

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  • The 3 Cs of Positive Human Interaction:

    Managing Communication, Conflict & ChangeThis Module was a originated by:

    Molly B AmesCornell Cooperative Extension Farm Business Management Educator315-788-8450 Ext. Ruth MaltzNY FarmNet Personal

    Trish WestenbrookNYCAHM

  • The 3 Cs of Positive Human Interaction:Learning Objectives:Explore decision making and the role of communication and conflict in a family owned businessDiscuss family business tensions and conflict resolution methods Understand individual response to change

    Length of Time Needed: 25 minutes with 5 minutes for activities are needed at a bare minimum. It is recommended to use an abbreviated version if you plan to later have more time to work on each of the sections about communication, conflict and change. A long version with activities should be given 45 minutes with 15 minutes for activities.

    AV Equipment:LaptopLCD Projector/ScreenFlipchart and markers

  • Presenter: Into SlideMove quickly to introduce yourself and describe how many families lack the skills of communication which leads to conflict particularly when change is in the making

  • *The 3 Cs of Positive Human Interaction:

    Managing Communication, Conflict & ChangeMolly B. Ames - mba7@cornell.eduRuth A. Maltz -


    Presenter: DMAICWhile we use 3'C's in the Improve phase, obviously communication is critical in all phases. Change is required in this phase for obvious reasons. It is hard to improve by staying the same. Conflict often arises as a result of change

    DefinedefineAnalyzeImproveCombine alternative generation,decision making and tactical planningControlDMAIC* Approach

    *adapted from Six SigmaMeasure

    You are Here

    molly ames (ma) - Comment on this slide: While we use 3'C's in the Improve phase, obviously communication is critical in all phases. Change is required in this phase for obvious reasons. It is hard to improve by staying the same. Conflict often arises as a result of change. *

  • *Presenter: Attributes of Farm Family BusinessFarming involves:People we care about & our lifes workInvolves how we live & how we work

    Talk about the fact that in farm businesses we tend to be with the same people 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Our roles may change, but it is hard to move between those roles and learn to communicate effectively.Shared history cause us to know more about each other than typical co workers do


  • *Attributes of Farm Family BusinessesDynamic integration of the:

    FamilyBusinessLiving and working together

    *People we care about and our lifes workInvolves how we live and how we workLiving and working together 24/7

  • *Presenter: Good Communicator

    Ask the group to list what they thinks makes someone a good communicator (listed below are some common skills a good communicator may have) and record their responses on the flipchart. active listenerfriendlyopen, honest,Makes I statements (I think we should talk about this)Stay on one topicdont bring up ancient history- Reminding people of past problems does not focus on the problem at handchose calm time and place to talk

    QTIP- Quit Taking It Personally = a memory aid to stay objective

    You will follow up with this list on the next slide


  • *Good Communication!What makes a GoodCommunicator?


  • This is the list that the audience will have in their notebooks the presenter slide is more abbreviated. Go over these in a little more detailStart with an open mindActively listen to viewpoints & feelingsVerify what you think you heardMake I statements Starting with YOU (You always walk away when there is a problem)-- Cuts communication because it sounds accusatory and puts the other person on the defensiveKeep to one topicDont talk when upset or rushedDont raise your voiceAvoid ultimatumsAvoid pitfalls (sarcasm, criticism, blame, name calling, and over generalization)Remain objective QTIP (quit taking it personally)Listen & Understand others concerns Include all parties in the discussionSeek or create common groundAsk Questions- what is really going on?Respect individual differences

    Presenter notes: Tools for Communication


  • *Tools for CommunicationBe positive and respectfulActive listeningBe inclusiveSeek common ground


  • *Presenter notes: Conflict Issues in Farm Family BusinessConflict can arise in Family farm businesses particularly because we expect everyone to have the same values, goals, and understand their roles when quite frequently it is unspoken and no one knows the rules) Go over these items that cause conflict and why:Values/Personalities - what is important? This varies among family members and some habits of others can be annoying/frustratinggoals- long & short term Ideas for the future can be differentSiblings and different generations in same family have different personalities- shy, assertive, aggressive, doormat, open, guarded, friendly, hostile, bossywhat is each job? Who is responsible for what?Organization about who reports to who- do all family members rank above staff? What about in- laws, step children, etcStruggle between farm and family for resources -Does new tractor come before home repairs?


  • *Conflict Issues in Farm Family BusinessDifferencesPersonality/values/goalsWho is in Charge?Role clarityUnequal ownershipPurse strings/ managementFamily and business compete for resourcesA new piece of equipment or a home repair?


  • Talk about how our reaction to conflict is often influenced by our family & life experiences. So family members may share typical reactions to conflict. Read the slide and then talk about some things that can change such a reaction:Avoid ultimatums- be assertive not aggressiveAnger, sarcasm, criticism & blame are control mechanisms and they interrupt communication & problem solvingDont bring up the past

    *Presenter notes: Many Farms are Family Businesses

  • *Many Farms are Family BusinessesConflict beliefs shaped by historyIf they shout and insist things be done Their way!The result looks like this:


  • Presenter notes: Many farm families are businesses continuedAsk Have you ever walked into a room and felt the chill between people who are fighting?Do you know people who, when angry, go for days with out speaking? the silent treatmentAnger eats away at the person who holds on to it.Try saying, This really needs to be done correctly, lets review the steps.Not thats the 5th time youve done it wrong!Holding onto anger and resentment is a bit like burning down the house to get rid of the mice. It hurts us more than the mice.


    molly ames (ma) - Holding on to anger and resentment is a bit like birning down the house to get rid of the mice. It hurts us more than the mice.

  • *Many Farms are Family Businesses continued..Conflict beliefs shaped by historyIf they stop talking and withdraw in angry silenceThe result looks like this:


  • Presenter notes: I to IFundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-BehaviorThe FIRO model is helpful in understanding what is required for optimal success in a family business that needs to move forward with implementation of change as well as what might have gone wrong when team work and decision making breaks down.

    We have simplified this model to make it less academic for public consumption, but to be informed it would be best to become familiar (See the FIRO resource material).

    We have retitled this to I to I (Inclusion to Integration). Take some time explaining about each of these stages. Simplify what is given on the next couple of presenter slides.

    The presenter notes are continued on the next presenter slide*

  • *I to I: Phases in building interpersonal relationships


    ControlIntegrationWho is in and who is out

    Influence and power exertion

    Make a whole from the sum of the parts

    Adapted from the Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Orientation


  • Inclusion is about who is in and who is out of the decision making circle. Inclusion deals with structure, connectedness and shared meaning. There is an emotional interdependence that evolves when two or more decision makers share in the same decision. If there are differing perceptions of inclusion and therefore differing perceptions of role, there will likely be conflict. Feelings of unfairness come when individuals feel excluded from the circle. This may be unintentional and can be corrected or clarified by taking the time to gather everyone at the table for some open communication. It is important to be clear about who needs to be at the table. If an individuals input, labor, support, permission, or even just their cooperation is needed, they need to be at the table. If they are not, it will likely come back to haunt at some point.

    Control The interpersonal need to establish and maintain satisfactory relations with people in respect to power and control. This theory suggests there are different styles of control. Some of us tend toward a more dominating than a collaborative style of control. A collaborative style is generally considered more constructive in times of change or decision making. In a situation where there are competing needs, conflict often arises over control.

    Finally integration is about individual and collective creativity used to solve problems and get things done. Integration is when a whole is made from the sum of the parts. It is when individuals all have a willingness to take a risk in an environment of trust, creativity, and openness.

    Presenter materials continued