29 de set. 2017

Back to basics: how to manage conflict: shark, owl, fox, turtle or teddy bear?

In any Conflict Situations you may respond in one of these five ways defined by Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph Kilmann: competitive, collaborative, compromising, avoiding, accommodating.

In such situation, we can describe a person’s behaviour along two basic dimensions: (1) assertiveness, the extent to which the individual attempts to satisfy his own concerns, and (2) cooperativeness, the extent to which the individual attempts to satisfy the other person’s concerns.

These five Conflict Styles are:

  • COMPETITIVE: The shark (Might makes right). Competing is assertiveness and uncooperative- -an individual pursues his own concerns at the other person’s expense. This is power-oriented mode, in which ones uses whatever power seems appropriate to win one’s own position- -“standing up for your rights, defending a position when you believe is correct, or simply trying to win.
disadvantage: relationships damage
  • ACCOMMODATING: The Teddy bear (kill your enemies with kindness). Accommodating is a unassertive and cooperative—the opposite of competing. When accommodating, an individual neglects his own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person, there is an element of self-sacrifice in this obeying another person’s order when one would prefer not to, or yielding to another’s point of view.
disadvantage: long term resentments
  • AVOIDING. The Turtle (Leave well enough alone). Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative—the individual does not immediately pursue his own concerns or those of the other person. He does not address the conflict. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue until a better time or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation.
disadvantage: long term resentments
  • COLLABORATIVE. The owl (Two heads are better than one). Collaborating is both assertive and cooperative—the opposite of avoiding. Collaborating involves an attempt to work with the other person to find so me solution which fully satisfies the concerns of both persons. It means digging into an issue to identify the underlying concerns of the two individuals and to find an alternative which meets both sets of concerns. Collaborating between two persons might take the form of exploring a disagreement to learn from each other’s insights, concluding to resolve some condition which would otherwise have them competing for resources, or confronting and trying to find a creative solution to an interpersonal problem.
disadvantage: time and difficulty. Possible need an outside facilitator.
  • COMPROMISING. The fox (Split the difference). Compromising is intermediate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective is to find some expedient, mutually acceptable solution which partially satisfies both parties. It falls on a middle ground between competing and accommodating. Compromising gives up more than competing but less than accommodating. Likewise, it addresses an issue more directly than avoiding, but doesn’t explore it in as much depth as collaborating. Compromising might mean splitting the difference, exchanging concessions or seeking a quick middle-ground position.
disadvantage: optimal solution missed

photo: (*) Photosolde

17 de set. 2017

Tips for charity leaders

The king's fund in their work with charities wants to highlight some of the most common challenges they face in leadership: They share a short report with 10 tips for charity leaders

1. Take time to reflect and learn: a necessity not a luxury
TIP: Leaders need time to reflect on the organisation’s work, to examine their leadership styles, to learn new ways of working, and to receive support. In such a challenging environment for charities, it’s more important than ever to not see this as a luxury.

2. Build strong relationships with your board
TIP: Analyse the relationships between you and your board; make sure your organisation examines board skills and leadership and has a critical eye on trustee roles. Surfacing these issues are the first steps towards making positive change.

3.Your trustees' report should offer a full picture
TIP: The trustees’ report should not just be left to the finance manager and treasurer; it is worth investing time and effort in producing a full and accurate reflection of your organisation.

4. Present and analyse your data carefully
TIP: Invest time in pulling your data together, being clear on the difference between your activities and your impact and in articulating your value. Provide a good narrative, including how you are responding to the findings, that will make sense to those outside your organisation.

5. Weigh up the opportunities and risks of partnerships
TIP: Carefully weigh up the opportunities and risks of partnership work – both of taking part and of not taking part, there are pros and cons for each. Small organisations can easily be sidelined in partnership working, so be assertive when negotiating terms and articulating the distinctive value you bring, and make sure you are clear on areas such as budgets, quality, responsibility and risk.

6. Manage capacity and demand to ensure sustainability
TIP: Give yourself time to ‘think outside the box’ and be entrepreneurial; face up to tough decisions and change and make sure you keep abreast of new opportunities. Look after yourself and your staff to minimise stress, and don’t be afraid of saying no to new services, particularly if you can’t afford to run them.

7. Don't ignore succession planning and empowering teams
TIP: A more distributed approach to leadership across an organisation, where different staff can represent and carry out key tasks for the charity, receiving training and development to do so, will make organisations more resilient.

8. Ask if you don't know the answer
TIP: Don’t be afraid to get help if you need it – it will reduce the pressures of leadership but could also be an organisational risk if you don’t.

9. Produce engaging funding applications
TIP: If you can, try to get someone who is not as close to the work to read and sense-check funding applications before they are submitted. If you can’t do that, consider honestly whether your application would stand out if it was the 30th or even 100th one you had read.

10. Don't bury your head in the sand if the money is running out
TIP: You will have a better chance of solving any funding problems if you predict them well in advance and explore your options carefully. Keep trying to diversify income – difficult but important, and tell your funders as early as possible if you think you will have a problem; they may be able to renegotiate with you or reschedule payments to help see you through.

photo: (*) Photosolde
Petita ofrena floral als refugiats