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How to Manage Conflict

Jun 9, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

This article originally appeared in Forbes Magazine and was written by Kristi Hedges. To read the article on that website, click here.  If you’re a leader, you deal with conflict. It’s inevitable. Effectively managing conflict is imperative to generating trust and maintaining confidence. Leaders who avoid conflict, mishandle it, or stoke it find it very difficult to sustain followership. We expect our leaders to be innately adept at managing conflict. But before people become leaders, they already have a natural tendency for how they will address conflict. This tendency is usually unconsciously carried into the leadership role. Thomas-Kilmann’s Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) provides a helpful guide for identifying what our conflict predispositions might be. The TKI breaks down our conflict styles into five distinct types: Competing: In a conflict, this individual is assertive and uncooperative and will pursue his or her own concerns at the other person’s expense. He will use his power to win the argument, even if it’s for the sake of winning (and he’s wrong). Accommodating: This individual is unassertive and cooperative, i.e., the opposite of the competing type. This person will sacrifice his own concerns for those of the other person. Avoiding: This is the person who does not want to deal with the conflict (he’s neither assertive nor cooperative). He sidesteps, postpones and withdraws. Collaborating: A collaborator is the opposite of an avoider. He actively works to work out a solution that makes everyone happy. Compromising: This individual is moderately assertive and cooperative. He will address the issue directly, but he may not spend as much time digging into the root of the problem as a collaborator. He will seek the middle ground in a disagreement. While we all have a style we favor, we’re capable of using all of these styles. In fact, leadership requires us to be adept at each. To be the best resolvers of conflicts, we need to learn to flex to the situation – and not be swayed by our default style. While we may never enjoy conflict, we can get better – and more strategic – at handling it. To be more agile at how you manage conflict, consider these suggestions: Establish clear procedures for dealing with conflict. Jeanne Brett, the DeWitt W. Buchanan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations at Kellogg Graduate School of Management, says that we should have “solid conflict management procedures in...

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For a More Flexible Workforce, Hire Self-Aware People

May 27, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

This article was originally posted in the Harvard Business Review on January 10, 2014. Written by Rich Thompson. Companies frequently complain that it’s tough to find the right people. If, amidst high unemployment, this seems counter intuitive, consider the deep trends driving the mismatch: technology and globalization have transformed what it takes to succeed in business. A new generation of professionals places more importance on organizational values and passion for the work than on a paycheck. Organizations, as Cathy Benko argues in The Corporate Lattice, have replaced hierarchical structures with flatter, more collaborative work arrangements. Amidst all this fluidity, it’s difficult for managers to specify the content of jobs, and the skills and specialized knowledge required to perform them; harder still for aspiring job-winners to offer those. If companies are having difficulty finding that “perfect match,” perhaps it’s time for an equally profound shift in how we think about staffing. Rather than detailing a job description and looking for someone to match it, companies should look for people with the right fundamental qualities and then allocate tasks in such a way that they apply their talents productively and develop important new ones. Furthermore, companies must acknowledge that those people may already exist within their own ranks, and implement processes to make the best use of existing talent. Accomplishing this hinges on understanding people – whether it be a new hire or long-time employee. And when it comes to discovering what makes people tick, a good way to start is with helping them understand themselves. Self-awareness is a millennia-old area of study – the aphorism “know thyself” dates back to at least to Socrates. Why is it important to organizational performance? According to Gary Yukl, a researcher on leadership, “Self-awareness makes it easier to understand one’s own needs and likely reactions if certain events occurred, thereby facilitating evaluation of alternative solutions.” He defines the concept as including “understanding of one’s own needs, emotions, abilities, and behavior,” indicating that a person able to identify his or her own strengths and weaknesses will be more effective. The concept of self-awareness as a foundation for effective leadership has been theorized, implied, and researched in a variety of contexts. For example, studies by Bass & Yammarino (1991), Atwater & Yamamarino (1992), and Church (1997) showed that those who demonstrated a more accurate conception of their own skills, abilities, and preferences tended to perform better than those with a less accurate self-conception. In the literature surrounding the Myers-Briggs...

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CPP Headquarters – Newly Streamlined & Beautifully Designed

May 8, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

At the end of 2014, CPP said  au revoir to our space in Mountain View and hel-LO to a brand new headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. CPP purchased the building at 185 N. Wolfe Road (across from a certain fruit-related tech company) and had the opportunity to redesign the space to match our passion and excitement around the mission to empower people through the knowledge of personality, while also respecting the needs of the different people and preferences in the workplace. We were honored to get to work with Blitz, a full service architecture and interior design firm specializing in commercial and residential design, that helped us bring our vision into a bright, modern and quite impressive office. See photos and read more about our new office here.   ...

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Reconnecting to Loved Ones: Strengthening Personal Commitments

Apr 15, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Many who have served return with a heightened sense of responsibility and at the same time a feeling of not knowing where to direct their efforts because others have been in charge of home responsibilities (e.g., chores, bills, childcare) while they were away....

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Assessments & Employee Development – Bridging the Gap Between Insight and Action Plans

Apr 9, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Why should a company use assessments in their employee development plans? How can assessments be used to develop individual employees, mitigate work conflicts or increase effectiveness of teams? And how are the results of an assessment used to help employees? In this video, Organizational Development Consultant Sherrie Haynie answers these questions and many more on the topic of assessments and employee development. Watch the video here. If you’re interested in learning more about assessments in employee development, download the new Cycles of Success eBook that talks about employee engagement, trending technology and talent management and how assessments can lend insight into all those areas, and more. You can download that eBook at now!  ...

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Developing, Engaging & Retaining Employees

Apr 3, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

How do you keep employees engaged? When employees feel that you’re investing in their development, they’ll be at their best. And keeping employees engaged fuels higher retention rates. Take a look at this video from Sherrie Haynie, Organizational Development Consultant for CPP, who discusses how employee development, employee engagement and retention are connected. Want to learn more about these topics, as well as trending technology in talent management? Download CPP’s eBook – Cycles of Success: A Guide to Employee Engagement, Trending Technology and Talent Management...

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Wrap Up the TKI 40th Anniversary with an eBook Download

Mar 26, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Sadly, the TKI’s 40th Anniversary has come to an end. OK, technically it ended at the start of 2015, but let’s call the last three months the after party! And to wrap-up the after party we have quite the prize – a TKI eBook that expands on the many uses of the TKI in addition to the well-known conflict management application. Including industry trends which the TKI assessment offers a solution for, customer testimonials and use cases, this eBook is full of actionable insights whether you’re a current TKI assessment user or interesting in trying this assessment for the first time (did we mention you don’t need to be certified to use this assessment?). The TKI anniversary added some wonderful new things to the TKI knowledge base, including: fun TKI explainer video, Four Tips for Conflict Management the Cost of Conflict infographic a webpage dedicated to the 40 years of the TKI assessment six video interviews with TKI co-author Ralph Kilamn a negotiation webinar and a cost of conflict in the workplace webinar and more. But enough of a review, we know what you really want at this point:                   Thanks for a wonderful time honoring 40 years of successful conflict management. Let’s do it again in 2024 for the 50 year...

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Why Create a Conflict Management Assessment?

Mar 21, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

In this video, TKI co-author Ralph Kilmann talks about the beginnings of the assessment and what need he and Ken Thomas saw in the world that spurred them to create the conflict management assessment in the first place. Watch the video here. Want to learn more about the TKI assessment? Download the new eBook, The TKI Tool,...

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Is Self-Worth a Cure for Office Drama?

Mar 12, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

This article originally appeared in CLO Magazine. Click here to read the entire article.  Workplace conflict is an undeniably frequent occurrence, but where it crosses with self-esteem may be a surprise. Conflicts are frequent in a diverse, global business environment, and they affect the bottom line. But learning how to deal with work arguments could be a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” Self-worth and self-esteem influence trust and collaboration at work. The concept centers on individual employees, but there are steps learning leaders can take to create a trusting, collaborative work environment. Ralph Kilmann, who co-authored the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), which assesses conflict-handling behavior, spoke with Chief Learning Officer about the relationship between conflict and self-worth. He offered five self-concepts learning leaders can offer to help enable their employees make valuable contributions. What are the five concepts of self? Kilmann: These five fundamental concepts ultimately affect all your decisions, actions, whether you can trust other people, whether you can get engaged on the job and your capacity for learning, creating and growing. Self-identity. That’s who I am. Self-competency. How effective I am at being who I am. Am I authentic, or do I wear a mask and go through the life in the organization pretending to be someone I’m not? Self-value. Have I contributed what others need or want? Is my organization benefiting from my decisions and action? Self-worth. Am I a good or bad person? Do I deserve to be happy? Those questions fundamentally answer whether you can trust other people, work with other people, are free to create and contribute and get engaged on the job. Self-responsibility. Who controls what I do, who I am, whether I’m happy or sad? Can self-worth be learned? Kilmann: If people are unconscious, these decisions have been made by family of origin, cultural expectation, conditioning and corporate culture. People have not been free to examine themselves so they can really figure out how to engage in the workplace and other aspects of their life. This is where training programs come in, where we actually allow people and create settings to discuss these topics and ask questions. As people discover more about themselves, they get closer to their colleagues, the trust level goes up, and they become freer to contribute all their skills and talent. But if these questions remain determined by external forces — whether it’s the...

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Ask an Expert Webinar: Leading with Style: Getting the Best from Your MBTI® Type

Mar 11, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Leadership is a hot topic everywhere. But how do we define leadership? And how does leadership apply to people who really want to follow, or those who want to lead their own life?

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