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More Ways to Resolve Your Conflicts

Lois Hart HRD Press, Inc. PDF


More Ways to Resolve

Your Conflicts

You may be like so many other people and think that you can jump immediately to this chapter on resolving conflicts. If you did skip the earlier chapters, go back and read them. The earlier chapters will help you understand the kinds of conflicts you normally have, how you react to them, and review eight causes of conflicts. If you skip this information, you are doing yourself a disservice and are limiting your knowledge about how to deal with your conflicts.

Once you have read the previous c hapters, you are ready to look at more ways to resolve your conflicts. You have learned many ways to keep some conflicts from even starting and how some of those techniques keep other conflicts from escalating. We will not repeat those ideas here, but do not forget to periodically review what you learned about your conflict patterns, how you react to conflicts, and the causes of conflicts. All of these ideas help to resolve conflicts more efficiently, effectively, and fairly. Let’s look deeper into ways you can resolve your conflicts.

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Activity 20. The Grab Bag

Darryl Doane HRD Press, Inc. PDF

Part F: Customer Treatment (Internal and External)

20. The Grab Bag

Activity Description

Time Guideline: 15 minutes

(each time)

This activity gets everyone focused and back on track, whether returning from a break, lunch, or simply to reenergize a group at any given time during a session.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

1. Raise the level of awareness and focus on customer service issues.

2. Promote sharing of ideas and group participation to resolve a problem or question.

3. Challenge individuals to respond creatively to customer service situations.

Method of Instruction

You will need:

A bag approximately 6 × 12 inches (preferably cloth—available at the Container Store)

A set of cards approximately 2 × 3½ inches (laminated for reuse)

On each set of the cards is a customer service problem, situation, or question pertinent to the program you are presenting

Note: The card preparation takes a little thought and effort, but the results can be powerful. Here are a few examples of what we have had on our grab bag cards in the past:

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#23: (Finger) Food for Thought

Marlene Caroselli HRD Press, Inc. PDF

#23: (Finger) Food for Thought


Mindstretching is the focus of this activity; it requires participants to demonstrate digital dexterity and then to flex their mental muscles with a question that asks, “How many uses can you think of for this?”


To aid participants in feeling comfortable with thinking outside the box.



Copies of Worksheet #23-1, one per participant

Transparencies #23-1 and #23-2

Overhead projector

Inexpensive Oscar-type statue (optional)

15–20 minutes



Make copies of the handout. Make transparencies for Transparency #23-1 and #23-2. Arrange seating, if possible, so participants can work in pairs. If you opt to present the Academy Award, purchase a small statue.



Both parts of this exercise serve as introductory exercises—they call for keeping an open mind, which is a basic requirement for participants who expect to leave the training session with more knowledge than they possessed coming in. The two interactions can also be used any time during the training session to show participants you appreciate their willingness to consider opinions other than their own.

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32 Setting Team Guidelines

Lois Hart HRD Press, Inc. PDF


Setting Team Guidelines


To discuss the value of written team guidelines.

To practice reaching consensus on team guidelines.

Estimated Time

30 minutes

Training Method




Handout 32.1: Setting Team Guidelines


A team that performs well always clarifies its guidelines or ground rules on how members will work together. They agree on their attendance at meetings, how they will handle conflicts, their degree of participation, and disclosure of information.

Some teams take a very long time to reach consensus, usually because some member(s) feels strongly about some guidelines. This disagreement could indicate that this person is not cut out to be a member of a team. You are not likely to encounter this during your workshop, but you may want to discuss the possibility with your participants, who may implement this activity with their own teams.

This activity should be introduced at the beginning of your workshop so the work teams can agree on their guidelines and thus will function well throughout the workshop.

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Chapter 17 - 25 Ways to Conduct Non-Threatening Competition

Marlene Caroselli HRD Press, Inc. PDF

Chapter 17

25 Ways to Conduct Non-Threatening Competition

Chapter Overview

From the outset of our lives, we learn that sometimes we get what we want and sometimes we don’t. In infancy, we learn that if we cry loudly enough and long enough, we can usually get someone to attend to our needs. But once we have passed the infancy stage, we learn all too quickly about success and failure. We stumble as we learn to walk, but we learn to get up again. And, once we learn to use words, we learn the power of the word “no” and its ability to nullify our wishes.

Even though we’ve become quite familiar with the concepts of winning and losing before we even enter school, some people are still uncomfortable with competition. Personally, I think it adds a dynamic quality to classroom interactions—but only if the competition is non-threatening. Here are 25 ways to make it so.


Ask groups to decide if they want to engage in competition.

You can pass out scraps of paper and have individuals vote, or have the group leader ask group members for their preference, or you could ask for a show of hands.

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