- Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module. Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
- After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them.
This module had a lot of good information. We definitely have a lot of stress from internal relationships. We must do a better job handling the conflict among our organizations. I enjoyed learning about the four conflict maxims, the path of restoration, and conflict management. I can see where I have some flaws and will work to correct those to better serve my agency in managing conflict.
This module was very informative, and the information provided could be used regularly in our daily jobs. As Sheriff Nash stated law enforcement is full of conflict and we must be able to manage it for the betterment of our organizations. I really liked the portion of the lecture where he talked about the 5 attitudes. I found myself thinking about people in my organization that matched these attitudes. He was spot on about the bitterness spirit attracting others with the bitterness spirit and them feeding off of each other. I have seen this in my organization many times.
Sheriff Nash did an excellent job explaining the five different attitudes and their progressions when not dealt with properly. Once the attitude stage is understood when faced with a conflict dealing with personnel, we can see if the conflict is perceived, felt, or real. Once this determination is made, we can move on to the restoration process to resolve the conflicts using the four maxims to clarify and then be completed by the Path of Restoration. I truly love his “Conflict Management Strategy.” Conflict is a vast realm in law enforcement, often left unattended because it seems so complex. Sheriff Nash has done an excellent job in simplifying the understanding and application of managing conflicts within our agencies.
Sheriff's Nash's module was excellent. I found the description of attitudes leading to conflict to be accurate. They all seem to fall in line like steps as one builds upon the other. The path of restoration is hard for people in our profession. It's hard to recognize that the path of restoration should define you, rather than to be defined by what initiated the process. The attitudes are easy, but the restoration is a personal journey that has more to do with the individual than the job.
I think Sheriff Nash made some very valid points in his conflict resolution model. Most of us would be willing to give on the 10%. Also, there are very few individuals who have reached the unrestorable mark. We may put them in this category in our heads, but it isn’t always the case. Looking at ourselves is also a big step in this process. I will make it a point from now on to let my people know exactly what my expectations are, so we don’t have a chance of missing the mark.
I thought Lauren Mackler provided some good points and I intend to use her four steps to manage conflict effectively going forward. I particularly liked her first step of "don't assume, do a reality check" and her suggested use of emotional containment to help control and better respond to others' emotions.
Robert, I agree with not getting emotionally upset before you even know the facts or even after for that matter. I know you were never in the military, but we called it your military bearing. It’s basically maintaining yourself professionally no matter what the situation was. Came in handy on several occasions. Not much difference in law enforcement.
I fully intend to use the 10% responsibility and forgiveness conflict management strategy. This might be the first time I am looking forward to trying to settle a dispute. It seems like it would be effective. There are also a couple of people I have had conflicts over the years with that I should try to ask for forgiveness. Repairing those relationships would likely lance the boil of stress that comes with the job. I will need to re-watch the lecture because I feel like this is very valuable content, and the sound quality and the speed of the speaker make me believe I did not retain all of the content.
Sheriff Nash's 10% ownership suggestion was a great reminder of how to approach conflict effectively and productively. I know that this technique will help me foster positive relationships with those who disagree and provide a pathway for resolution. Not only does this approach allow for better communication between people, but it also encourages us to accept our part of the problem and learn from it. I'm excited to put this approach into practice next time I encounter a conflict situation! With this tool in my back pocket, I am sure that I can handle any disagreements in an effective and respectful way.
In listening to the lesson the conflict management strategy was something that I do not think we see enough of in todays world, not just in the workplace but in most things, of just admitting that you had some of the fault in the problem. When we watch videos online of (Karens) and the conflicts that occur you can see the lack of self-realization in being a part of the problem. For the workplace maneuvering the resolution with officers would be difficult but I see it could be good in the long game in dealing with problems.
Lauren Mackler was right on when she was talking about running assumptions. Often times people are prepared to attack based off assumptions to the point you can see it on their faces. When angered the active listening part of communication suffers greatly.
Assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts, especially in law enforcement situations where tensions regarding relationships with co-workers can be high. We need to be aware of their assumptions and take steps to clarify the situation before jumping to conclusions. The “reality check,” as referred to by Meckler, is a wonderfully complex tool that is just too easy for us to utilize as leaders and as humans to deal with conflicts. Yet, we often use anger and immaturity to deal with these conflicts.
I agree with you that assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and conflict. I myself have been guilty of making assumptions. Assumptions are very likely to cause conflict internally in organizations. These internal conflicts cause unneeded stress in organizations.
This module taught me how to handle with conflict management in the work place and how to come up with a conflict resolution to deal with the conflict at hand. It is first important to understand what type of conflict you are dealing with: such as Perceived, Felt, or Real. Next, I would take a close look at the attitude (spirit) of the person(s) with the conflict. whether it be Independent, Wounded, Bitter, Rebellious, or Unrestored, knowing these key element of the conflict will help guide me toward path of resolution. I definitely liked the part of using the conflict management strategy. the way it was explained is so practical to use. I wish i would have known about this formula during my younger years or more importantly wished those leaders that i had in those years had this valuable tool in their toolbox to use on a young stubborn juvenile that I was. These techniques presented in this module I will definitely use in my personal and profession life.
I appreciated Lauren Mackler's point during the class about being assertive rather than aggressive when approaching someone about a rumor or perceived comment that may have been made. Tone and approach have a lot to do with how a person will receive your questioning or input about a situation.
Getting in front of a conflict and addressing it head-on can help dispel future problems and anxiety. Approaching it in a manner suggested by Mackler is a win, win. While it may not be comfortable on the front end, it can be a game changer. This approach lets people see that confrontation is handled in a non-aggressive tone putting the team and working relationship first.
I agree with your statement about a reality check and asking the source for the truth. It's my experience, this is always the best way to deal with conflicts and the rumor mill. Direct contact with someone respectfully usually ends with a better relationship and common understanding.
One point that I strongly agree with is that unfulfilled expectations damage relationships. If, as leaders, we do not set and communicate clear expectations, how can we resent the ones we lead when they do not fulfill them as we visioned? Another tip of doing a reality check and getting the whole story by asking questions is something I will be doing more of moving forward.
Daniel, that is so true, I have been trying something we all have had to do, in order to address this. I have been placing timelines on my managers to with their jobs and their employees so that the expectations are managed well and everyone understands what is expected and also what they will receive for their work.
I disagree with Sheriff Nash in his belief that most conflicts can’t be resolved, only managed. I have yet to encounter a conflict, outside of Palestine and Israel, that hasn’t been able to be resolved. I believe the better statement would be that conflict must be managed and if managed correctly, it will be resolved over time as both parties navigate the healing process. Conflict management for me is done every day and without delay. We manage the environment and the workplace culture in such a way that we notice when conflict arises, allowing us to get ahead of the issues before they progress through the “5 attitudes leading conflict”.
I enjoyed this module. It’s funny to think that conflict management is a condition at every workplace. Sometimes I forget others are going through the same situations. Sheriff Nash helped me realize some things I was doing wrong. Forgiveness and unfulfilled expectations are hard for me, but I see ways to mature.
This module defined several topics I have identified and worked on. Either trying to manage, eliminate or change the overall culture of the internal conflict is the main priority. It was mentioned in an earlier module that if the grass looks greener on the other side, start watering it on your side. Many officers have perceived conflicts because they think so or have listened to a “Bitter Spirited” captain. I find myself and a few selected officers managing this by stressing to other officers not to assume and for them to go to the source. When officers have been given specific things to handle or been put into particular positions, they are seen as being in the clique. Other officers will exaggerate elaborate stories and add to the wounded spirit. As a supervisor, I explain all the details to keep everyone informed, which helps combat these issues.
The instructor’s facts about Conflict Maxim number 1 (internal relationships is the most common cause of stress in Law Enforcement) were spot on. In my early years in law enforcement, I remembered hearing an older officer grumbling about there’s no stress on the streets, the real stress is in the department. During those days I was oblivious and thought the officer was just a “Bitter Spirit”. It wasn’t until I was assigned to overseeing our communication's division that I discovered the internal stress. Managing sworn officers was easy for me and I could always find a way to relate to them. However, the communication’s division was a different entity, an entity compiled of civilian employees with conflicting personalities. Most of the division could not get along with one another and were continuously telling on each other and spreading gossip about each other. To make matters worse, the division had not been managed in several years and discipline was a foreign topic for them. Constructive criticism would hurt their feelings and their reactions would usually lead to screaming and crying. I dreaded going to work because the conflict never ended. Most of them felt that their self-assessment of themselves were perfect and had no room for improvement. After taking over the division I realized that a lot of the communications operators would never have been hired under the current staff I was working up under. The staff supported me and assisted me with getting rid of my “Unrestored Spirits”. My division is now in a manageable order.
That's good, Elliot; my earlier years were the same. I've heard about internal relationships being the bad area. But also understand that new officers should be out on the streets more and less in the station. This might help minimize the stress between patrol officers. As I progressed through the ranks, I saw more of the damage it caused.
Usually Unrestored Spirits will take care of themselves as they become self-destructive and make it so that their lack of positive efforts or focused problem making, makes them visible to everyone on how bad they can be.
Elliot, I have always felt the stress in the building was higher than on the street. The best example I can think of that we share was our sergeant in patrol over twenty years ago. He could have benefited greatly from this course. I do feel like things have improved drastically in recent years.
Jeremy Pitchford Session #015
This module was absolutely right about assumptions. In my experience, most internal conflicts begin and grow because of assumptions. We as leaders need to encourage communication to dispel assumptions. This would help reduce some internal conflicts.
Jeremy, I couldn't agree more. As the saying goes, when we assume, it makes an ass out of you and me. As leaders, we must get to the truth and dispel assumptions and rumors.
Jeremy and Daniel, I couldn't agree more. Rumors does nothing but cause destruction and conflicts in an organization. When rumors are brought to our attention, it is our duties and best interest to expel the rumor as quick as it arises with facts .
Joseph Spadoni Jr.
Sheriff Nash’s conflict management strategy is something I will try, should the opportunity present itself to me. Having each of the individuals realize that they each have their own part in the conflict and admit to where they were wrong seems like it’s almost impossible to do but the strategy seems that it would be effective in accomplishing that. I also liked Lauren Mackler’s lecture where she spoke about asking questions, not making assumptions and “don’t should on people.”
Jeremy Pitchford Session #015
I also like this strategy. It seems like it would work in most cases.
I agree on Mackler's "don't should people" strategy. I know I personally get on the defensive when this is done to me.
While the two may be linked in some cases, conflict resolution entails managing people more than managing issues. Those with negative perspectives seem to eventually turn them into negative actions, and these can quickly undermine positive workplace culture to the point of noticeable performance loss. In many cases conflicts do not get to the attention of leaders, but because of potential negative impact, conflicts should be addressed as soon as possible.
I enjoyed this lesson of conflict management. I feel that this has expanded my tools to manage conflict within my watch and organization. One thing that I thought was interesting was the strategy for conflict management and feel that with any arising issues I will try and see how and if it works.
This was a useful and informative module. As commanders we spend a majority of our time working out conflicts. Many involve personnel issue. I agree with removing the cancerous employee. I have watched them spread their discontent and nearly destroy good employees. Second chances have rarely worked out with them ending in a positive. Leaders often waste too much time focusing on the problems and delays the organization from moving forward. The one clue I would add to the bitter spirit is the notebook or journal of the wrongs they perceive of the organizations.
I have said these many times that we tend to give more attention to the negative employees than the employees that are positive and motivated about the job. The negative employees always hinder and strains the good relationships and we need to find a good balance.
I think one of the biggest issues law enforcement officers face in dealing with internal conflict is not fully understanding the reason for conflict. Officers, because of culture, and too often reluctant to raise issues of conflict. Expectations (unfulfilled) deserver just as much consideration for long-term solutions.
I agree and feel that most of the "perceived and felt" conflicts can be resolved with Mackler's step of "don't assume, do a reality check". I think that many of our conflicts are a result of a miscommunication or some sort of misunderstanding and if we face it head on, the conflict can be resolved before it turns into something long term and truly damaging.
This lecture tells us that we can resolve just about any conflict or issue. We must take the time to understand what the problem is and the best way to resolve it. I like the part about the win, win solution. We must all give our part.
This lecture was really insightful, that we must all be willing to give a little to deal with certain spirits. The content on the conflict resolution strategy is a good approach that I intend on attempting to use when the situation presents itself.
I also intend on attempting to use the strategy as well if the opportunity should present itself. Forgiveness is the key.
I enjoyed this module specifically the Conflict Resolution strategy, in which he discussed getting both parties to agree to take some responsibility in the conflict. I can say as a supervisor I have done this on countless situations without knowing the actual technique. This has been very effective in most cases when dealing with people on my shift who have conflicts with each other. I also enjoyed that he touched on perception which in most encounters are not based on anything factual. I can totally agree with this statement.
Jimmie, I also enjoyed the Conflict Resolution Strategy, I sensed an Andy Griffith quality to his method of resolving the conflict. I’m going to use his strategy the first chance I get.
My greatest takeaway from this module was the conflict resolution strategy. Getting both parties to accept 10% of the responsibility for the conflict can resolve the problem. This is a straightforward approach; I will implement this strategy when trying to determine the next dispute I encounter.
I like this as well. It gets people talking and thinking about the issue.
I liked this also and wish I had known about it a few moths ago. I look forward to actually using it in future scenarios.
As with most things in leadership, ethics play a significant role in resolving conflicts. This module starts with first learning to see if there is a problem. We then are shown that we have to first address the issues with ourselves before correcting others. Most of the time, officers will not be humble enough to admit they are wrong because of arrogance. I recall a field training officer telling new officers that we are the police; I never want to hear you acknowledge that you are wrong under any circumstances.
Yes... I like the example that Sheriff Nash provided that presented a way to try and get people having an argument to apologize. I put myself in that situation, and I would probably admit that I was in the wrong for at least 10%. I like how this lecture not only identified five attitudes leading to conflicts but also suggestions on how to restore them.
We have all witnessed firsthand some level of internal conflict. Unfortunately, many battles are allowed to grow and turn into grudges simply because everyone chooses to ignore them. Many of these conflicts are perceived or felt based on rumors, but they fester year after year to the point officers may not even know why they think a certain way about another. We as leaders need to address these issues on the front end because time does not heal all wounds.
I agree these issues should be addressed before it changes the culture of an organization. One of the factors I see is individuals remain silent because they fear being ostracized by the different negative groups. They fail to challenge the norm or take what they perceive to supervisors.
This was an interesting module. I don’t necessarily agree with Sheriff Nash’s comment about leaders understanding that many conflicts cannot be resolved so they must be managed. In my experience, most conflicts can be resolved with time, attention, and understanding. I enjoyed the video on Managing Conflict by Lauren Mackler, specifically her tip about using the “I” at the beginning of your sentences. I have been married for 28 years and this works really well to keep the peace. Sheriff Nash’s breakdown of the 5 Internal Attitudes or Spirits was particularly insightful, and I’ll admit I did find myself imagining who I saw as those spirits. I have supervised an unrestorable spirit, and it is very frustrating when the upper management simply moves the “cancer” around to minimize the impact on people. To me, this only spreads cancer. However, if supervisors do not take the time to document negative issues or attitudes, it is very difficult to progressively discipline such people. It is almost impossible to terminate them without proper documentation. I encourage my supervisors to be as detailed as possible on these performance appraisals and on disciplinary paperwork.
I, too, believe most conflicts can be resolved. For example, we hosted a retirement event recently for all the law enforcement retirees in our county. Several in attendance have harbored grudges against each other for decades. However, they took the opportunity of coming back together to make amends, and many friendships were restored.
I agree that conflicts can be resolved more than not. Our actions are not immediate cures. They must be "managed" and through this monitoring, nurturing, and cultivation over time, they become resolved. I'm not as sold on this module as I have been on the rest.
This was one of my favorite modules thus far in the course. It came as no surprise to me that the majority of stress in the law enforcement profession comes from within the agency. Managing conflict comes with this job. Almost every call involves some sort of conflict management. This sort of conflict has always come easily to me. However, this internal conflict is not something I am good at and the higher you go in rank, the worse it seemingly gets. This module provided me with some skills to hopefully manage this in the future.
I agree with you, Chris, that most of our stress also comes internally and I too have found that the higher in rank I climb, the more I deal with it. In fact, there are times when ALL I deal with are personnel issues, and to me, those are the most mentally exhausting days. Another thing I have discovered is that 80% of my time is taken up by 20% of the people and that robs the other 80% of my people of time, attention, and development. I’ve gotten to where I have a lot less tolerance for the 20% when it comes to conflict and discipline. I also gained some insight from the module about how to manage.
Conflict management: I’ll count this module as a maxim in that I’ve always felt there was more stress generated by the agency than from dealing with the community. I feel this stress all goes back to leadership, well 90% anyway, I’ll take the other 10% - LOL. Anyway, organizational stress can be traced back to poor communication, the lack of cultivation, and no real collaboration which breeds mistrust and disrespect. I enjoyed the 10% conflict management strategy and plan on giving it try in the next opportunity that presents itself.
This module was great. It provided me with some good advice on how to help resolve conflict. At work, we deal with all types of personalities and attitudes. Forgiving and moving on is a way to resolve conflict. You never want to bring work related stress home to affect family.
Great point Devon, you never want to bring the stress home to your family although we see this way to often. On the other hand, I’ve seen teammates bring personal stress to the office that affects work performances and fellow teammate attitudes. This can be a vicious circle if not for the caring first line leader. Leaders fulfill many roles in an organization, and one cannot put a salary on the work a true leader attend to.
I agree. In the workplace, we encounter many different people from many different backgrounds, which can lead to conflict. But the strategies learned in this module can help resolve some of them. I struggle with forgiveness and moving on. I will use what I've learned in my personal life as well.
It was really interesting how he discussed the progression of negative attitudes, inter-agency conflict is always kind of a touchy subject, and it is hard to get some people committed to fix them
I agree. As hard as it is for ourselves to begin to fix our spirits. I imagine it is 10x harder to have them attempt to realize theirs and begin to fix theirs.
This was my favorite module so far. I like how I was comparing some of my problem employees with the definitions and explanations listed in this area. I understand what issues these people have, and the important thiing to get across to help them, but how to implement some of these "fixes" still elude me. How do I get he person with the negative spirit to be willing to use the antidote to better themselves?
It is interesting how the negative spirits increase along a path. I have one employee who seems to bounce between the different negativities. Sometimes they are bitter, sometimes they are wounded. How do I work with that?
It was also one of my favorites and eye-opening, not only in seeing these different attitudes with people in the agency but with the way I respond to conflict and deficiencies I have in that response.
This may have been my favorite module thus far in the program. Nash outlined some approaches which I believe everyone agrees with but not everyone can live out. Meekness was the path to restoration which really struck home with me. Nash used the example of a road rage incident. I routinely find myself asking why people would shoot at someone else merely for cutting them off. Every driver has made a mistake and pulled out in front of someone, cut someone off, or nearly struck someone at an intersection. The person shooting the gun at another has almost certainly made the same driving mistake they are angry at the other person about. Clearly shooting at someone over a road rage incident is a moment of rock bottom emotional intelligence but more importantly it is a complete lack of meekness. I recognize I have pride I must keep in check and my desire is to be a man of meekness in all situations. I may not be able to always live up that desire, but it is a desire, nonetheless.
I, for one, am not surprised that internal conflicts top the list of stressors. For the most part, LEO officers are “A” type personalities and are very competitive. We spend twice as much time with each other than our families, usually during a high-stress situations. On top of that, you have many generations all working within one team.
This module on conflict management is extremely important. It is critical for all employees and especially leaders to deal with conflict appropriately. This module gave great insight into four maxims on conflicts. I found the fourth especially true that forgiveness is key to restoring a relationship. The module discussed the three types of conflicts, perceived conflict, felt conflict, and real conflict.
I find that a perceived conflict is one of the most difficult to deal with. It can also be the most damaging to a relationship because whatever the cause of the conflict is, it is not being dealt with and the change to restore the relationship cannot start.
I agree with that
Sheriff Nash’s section on the three types of conflict was interesting. During the lesson, I thought of several examples of each of the three types of conflict, that have I have witnessed over the years. I have also seen examples where the conflict escalates through all the three types. Just like the Sheriff’s example of the agency with all the conflict, I know of some officers with decade(s) old issues that neither side will let go of. I’m going to give the conflict management strategy presented at the end of the lesson a try when the opportunity presents itself.
As it has been said in many of the comments, while going through this module I pictured individuals fitting into each one of the categories. Most police officers have very strong personalities and have a lot of pride. One of the biggest conflicts I see on my shift is sector A getting upset because they are having to respond to calls in sector B for one reason or another. Then they show a slight attitude toward the officers in sector B and Sector B now thinks the sector A is mad at them but doesn't know why. Then this just grows and no one ever just sits down to actually talk about it and be willing to accept some of the responsibility and blame or find out if there was a legitimate reason the sector B officer could not answer the call. for service. Communication and forgiveness is the key to restoring relationships and resolving conflict.
I agree this is an issue. I believe if we as leaders model this behavior, we can eventually change the culture and people would not care where they take calls, they would just be happy to do so. I also agree discussing conflict is a major problem, nobody wants to do it. I do not know if this is out of fear of causing further conflict or some other type of fear. I have the unique desire to address conflict head on which has created awkward interactions with co-workers in the past who are so conflict avoidant, they pretend to not even believe we had a conflict when that conflict was physically manifested. I hope we can change this culture moving forward but it will be a heavy lift.
As I listened to Sheriff Nash's description of the different attitudes that lead to conflict, I could picture employees I have worked with that match each one. I could also identify times that my attitude was not what it should have been. I enjoyed his description of the different attitudes and as a leader see value in identifying these attitudes in employees and members of the community. Without understanding the attitude that may be leading to or contributing to the conflict. It is difficult to develop a strategy to attempt to restore the relationship or at least manage the conflict.
Attitudes leading to conflict was probably the most valuable section of the lecture. Before any facet of a conflict can be examined from a fair and impartial stance, we have to understand the dynamics of the conflict and the humanistic part is the most important. If we don't know what spirit the individuals are in, we cannot defuse or repair the situation. Humans feel and those emotions turn into reactions, good or bad. Often times just validating what people are feeling, not necessarily in a right or wrong perspective, but as in the feelings are real, is the key. Once someone is heard, no matter what spirit they are in, they are often receptive to resolving the conflict because all of a sudden they are in a safe environment and are open to discussion with resolution as the goal.
You make a great point on examining the conflict from the lens of what the spirit of the individual may be in during the time of the conflict. Taking the time to see the issue through the lens of the individual was feels hurt makes all the difference. As you said, people want to be validated. This can be done in a neutral perspective without assigning right or wrong to their emotions but simply recognizing that is how they feel in the moment. Once a person is heard the natural defense may come down some and open communication can begin. It is extremely important to understand that forgiveness is the key to resolving conflict.
I admit that I would have liked more from the Path of Restoration section. I thought his diagnosis of the 5 attitudes leading to conflict was spot-on and, as he and others have mentioned, I could picture people who fit into each of these categories. What I would have liked more help with is how we as leaders address these attitudes in our people, and gently help them to see these attitudes in themselves and to see the impact that these attitudes have on themselves and the team. His path to restoration is useful if the person has already accepted that these attitudes are true and they they themselves are responsible for restoring their attitudes. But are some strategies for us as leaders to help retore our people when they don't yet see these things in themselves? How do we become a stop-gap in their progression toward becoming an unrestored spirit?
Over the yeas in Law Enforcement I can remember seeing all of these attitudes within the departments that I have worked for. Understanding the attitudes and why they are the way the are makes things a lot more clear for why people acted the way they did. Once a department realizes some of this and starts to get rid of these un-restored spirits it can make such a difference in the department. Being able to deal with the attitudes and working to improve them or restore them can create a infinitely more pleasant department to work in and change people's opinions of the department as a whole.
I agree with your post. The key thing for me is that the first line supervisors of the unrestorable spirits MUST do their jobs as supervisors. The supervisors MUST properly document the behaviors, acts, and omissions of the unrestorable spirits, so the department has the legal, ethical, and moral justification to terminate these unredeemable employees. Supervisors failing to properly document behaviors are the most likely reason a department can’t or won’t terminate an unredeemable spirit.
Dang. Sheriff Nash had me nodding in agreement with how he was describing the different attitudes in an organization. I can picture the people in my own organization that fit these different spirits. I would go so far as to say we have had an unrestored spirit in our organization, and we were able to part ways with that employee. The relief felt is obvious from top to bottom.
I completely agree with Conflict Maxim #4: Forgiveness is the key to restoring damaged relationships. Forgiveness is also the key to releasing personal internal conflict.
I agree that forgiveness is key. When people feel they have been wronged whether it be internally or externally, if they are unwilling to forgive it makes restoring or managing the conflict extremely difficult. The conflict management strategy given revolved around the individuals being willing to accept some responsibility, but also there willingness to forgive the other party.
I totally agree Matt. I see a lot of the troops who are mad at the other set or sector for one thing or another but are unwilling to accept any blame on their own part. I always try and get them to look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves if part of the issue could be something they are doing?. Both sides must be willing to accept some responsibility and be willing to forgive and let things go to work as a team toward the mission.
This module touched on the different conflicts that a person may have. There are three types of main disputes, persuasive, felt, and the real conflict. At some point in one's career, one has dealt with some kind of conflict. Dealing with conflict is not always bad and can sometimes be rewarding. In law enforcement, I believe everyone should be ethical when leading and making sound decisions. When disagreeing with your peers, it is ok to do so respectfully.
I try to relate the training to what I am currently doing or ways to improve while taking notes. I feel that I have always fit into the ethical model of leadership decisions that was presented. I always attempt to be truthful, just, strengthen relationships, and look for a win-win solution. I can improve on these and use the module to reinforce my ethical leadership decisions.
I enjoyed this module. I have often felt that managing internal issues was often times more stressful than the external issues. I thought maybe that was just my feelings. To hear it from a more experienced source is impactful. I've often said that sometimes officers can be there own worst enemies. Big personalities and very opinionated. It can be very difficult to get some officers to compromise or see things from a different perspective. Often once an officer gets offended, for whatever reason, it takes a lot of time for them to get over it. I guess some of that is just human nature. You see the same thing in other dynamics like church, social, and family relationships.
John, I also have experienced this. I've said that dealing with the "clientele" is much easier than dealing with the "personnel". Managing the conflicts that we get dispatched to are easy, as those are what we are trained for. Managing internal conflicts in our organizations typically are the reasons any of us get into this job in the first place.
Adam, I agree with this 100%. Not long after I became a supervisor, I had to deal with an officer's personal life crisis, and I felt lost. I came back to the office and told one of my fellow supervisors that when I promoted, I felt very prepared to manage the job itself. I had been a high performing officer and felt that I could handle any crime scene, guide officers in understanding the law, and mentor younger officers in their careers. But I was totally unprepared for my officers' personal drama. I am not a dramatic person myself, so I had a hard time even relating to officers having these kinds of conflicts. I wish I had been armed with the information from this module back then.
I found this module very interesting. I have known every place its own set of conflicts. I did not know there were different maxims and the three types of conflict. When looking back on my career I was able to identify some of the maxims mentioned as well as the types of conflict in co-workers. I feel many people have the perceived conflict. Just because something did not happen as they expected, he or she felt as if they were wronged. I believe everyone has to be open to forgiveness. Being willing to forgive someone whether it was asked or not, is something that helps you. Keeping that anger inside yourself will just fester and control you and how you act.
I found it interesting that internal conflict was one of the most common stressors for law enforcement officers. I never remembered internal conflict being an issue for me personally or maybe I just did not realize it. This lecture opened my eyes and giving much thought to what was said, I can see that internal conflict is a real issue. I think back on some situations and realize just how real agency internal conflict creates stress. I think most of the stress is self-imposed. The good thing about it being internal is we can change it by creating a positive and professional culture that thrives.
Sheriff Nash hit the nail on the head! Most organizational leaders do not want to admit that the majority of stress their officers suffer from has to do with conflict within the organization. Even though they probably experienced the same as they rose through the ranks, it is easy for them to claim it is just part of the job. Even with the much needed spotlight on mental health, most of it is reactionary based on critical incidents officers have responded to. I am curious to know how much improvement could be made to an officer's mental health if the leaders worked to manage internal conflict.
Sheriff Nash was spot on in reference to the internal strife that causes our stress and conflict. He was also right about the public's perception versus our own. I fear that if the public actually knew what caused most of our stresses and the conflicts we have with each other, that perhaps their trust of us would waiver. Going forward, perhaps taking Sheriff Nash's advice on how to deal with each of the "broken" spirits, starting with myself, can resolve some of those conflicts.
Great point, Trent. Every portion of the module provides an opportunity for self-reflection. There are times when we can all identify these characteristics in our own behavior, personally and professionally. The public perceives our conflict to be with them, but those conflicts are easy compared to the internal conflicts which involve emotions and close relationships.
I agree with with Sheriff Nash, that majority of law enforcement stressors come from internal conflicts. He is one hundred percent correct. I have seen it first hand within my agency. One way to combat perceived conflict is by effectively communicating with the officers within the department. If the leaders are effectively communicating to the officers, they will not rely on getting their information from the "rumor mill." Several internal conflicts come from misleading information that flows through the department like wild fire. It is my opinion that effective communication can be effective against some of the internal stressors within the department. I enjoyed and will use what I learned from Sheriff Nash in the future.
You're right. The rumor mill and internal politics of an agency drive people away from the job as well. With the current state of recruitment and retention of officers being so abysmal, we need to focus on fixing the real issues instead of throwing money at it in the forms of bonuses, raises, etc.
I agree, there are a lot of big personalities in law enforcement. As a result there can be conflict when there is disagreement or difference of opinions. Type A personalities don't lend themselves to compromise very often. Managing these types of personalities is challenging, can be very frustrating and draining.
It is great to know that other organizations face the same issues with conflict. As a Leader within my organization, it is important to know that the conflicts start internally. Since taking the position in October there have been several conflict which never have seemed to get resolved. They may be fix for a period of time but then the conflict comes back. This module has given me some tips and tricks to utilize with my staff.
I have dealt with conflicts that I believed were already handled, but later on they popped their ugly head up again. I was under the impression that they were resolved and I moved on to other demands. Then the conflicts come back because they were not managed correctly. I am glad Sheriff Nash gave me some tools to use to manage the conflicts in the future.
This is one of the most frustrating things as a leader. To believe you're moving forward just to find out that you didn't. Sheriff Nash gave some great tools!
Every organization, at some point, deals with issues of conflict. You are correct to say that conflict starts internally. When conflict arises, it is about how you resolve them. Everyone won't be happy with the final decision, but a resolution will be made. The tips that this module has given will be helpful for any department to use. Great posts!
Jared - The big thing here is that the conflicts get a resolution. So many times they are left unresolved and everyone is just told to deal with it. This can have a very negative effect on the department as a whole and is a failure of the leadership.
This module touched on the 5 conflict management styles among the management strategy styles that are proven to be beneficial to the organization. The one that hit home with me was the collaborating style which is the style that is approached for both sides to win the argumentative issue that has gotten the conflict started to begin with. A lot of times in law enforcement we try to handle things on our own but, working together on creating a strategy as it relates to an issue that both sides think they are correct on, is best that they work as a team and hear the opinions given from both sides and then in the end, they both succeed and win the argument
I liked this module presented by Sheriff Nash. The 4-conflict maxims stood out as something to think about. I agree that most stress comes from inside the agency either real or perceived. The managing conflict effectively video will help in efforts to resolve issues. It reminds me that I have to wait before diving into any situation and make sure I am calm and have all the facts available.
I definitely agree. I have to remind myself to make sure I am calm but also know the facts prior to handling a situation. The managing conflict video had a lot of good information and I agree it will help to resolve issues.
In the module Sheriff Nash outlined several great points for managing conflict within a law enforcement organization. From experience, conflicts do re-emerge and it is never good for them to be overlooked. It takes a strong leader that is professional to step in without taking sides to restore the conflict. The leader must make both individuals feel valued so they can be sent back to complete the mission.
I just completed my review of module #6, "Conflict Management". I definitely agree that we in the law enforcement community deal with internal conflict the most. I really enjoyed this lecture by Sheriff Nash. He was very knowledgeable about the subject and I've really learned a lot. I really enjoy learning his conflict management strategy. The ability to separate those in conflict and ask them if they would accept at least ten percent of the blame and ask for forgiveness from the other without conditions. A valuable tool in handling conflicts.
Glenn, I agree with your assessment. Forgiveness is an integral part of restoring relationships.
I agree with you Glenn. This module was very informational for me. I do believe people need to learn to forgive more. Not everyone is going to be open to asking you for forgiveness; you need to be able to dig inside yourself and forgive. Move forward from the situation.
Sheriff Nash did a great job during this module. As Law Enforcement we do tend to drum up the majority of our own stress. I find it funny that just about every agency has that one guys or gal that did that "thing" when they were a rookie and this has subsequently now affected promotions, selection for special units, and many other things. I can't help but wonder if we were taught the conflict maxims early on in our careers would we curb the tide of these types of things.
It is amazing how that "one thing" carries over, and especially from those times, when we may or may not have known better, but it was probably a lack of guidance either way. Taking that in the context that most conflicts never go away but re-emerge years later, Sheriff Nash makes it understandable how those things affect the promotions and assignments. Excellent insight.
I was not at all surprised to hear that most stress comes from within the agency. It seems to me that I deal with more internal conflict as a supervisor, than external. What was interesting to me was the conflict management strategy which seems quite simple. Can't wait to try it out.
This was a great module and gave me some very good guidance on how to help resolve conflict professionally and personally. I found the forgiveness portions of this module to be very powerful.
Jeff, I agree that forgiveness is very powerful and certainly the most important component to resolution. Unfortunately, it seems to be the hardest hurdle to navigate for most of us, myself included.
Forgiveness is a very powerful tool and emotion. It can diffuse the stressors we feel but also allow those forgiven to reconcile and move on in a positive manor. Too often guilt due to a lack of forgiveness will tend to lead to self destruction be it professionally or personally.
I found the 4 maxims of conflicts very interesting. The most interesting concept to me was that conflicts are rarely resolved so they have to be managed. I have not thought about conflict in this way, but I can see the truth behind that maxim. Especially as a supervisor, I feel that I am constantly managing conflicts. A lot of the conflicts are the same and its just different employees. I also found the different attitudes leading conflict very interesting. I think it is easy as a supervisor to take that list and name certain officers who fall into each.
Sheriff Nash gave some awesome examples with dealing with conflicts and how the public say what stresses the officer compared to what we as law enforcement officer says stress us.
I like the way Sherriff Nash put things into perspective during his lectures. Topics had discussion with examples and most seemed to be backed with personal experiences giving him expert power. Understanding that unfulfilled expectations damage relationships and how to repair those relationships will resonate with me in the future. Also, the conflict management strategies I’ll probably use before our two-week residency. Another great lesson.
I agree Chris he did an awesome job with giving those examples.
I agree, Sheriff Nash has some great examples and strategies for managing conflict. A lot of the information I have not heard before, but it makes a lot of sense. I can easily see myself using these terms, models, and strategies in the future.
Very much agree, Chris. His real life examples and just the way he presents put a lot of things into perspective for me.
This lesson was interesting to me, in that I did a lot of self reflection in trying to determine which spirit I was and then how to fix it. I also reflected on some recent conflicts that have come up between myself and those that I supervise and how I handled them. Most of them were handled correctly for the most part but a few could have and probably should have been handled differently. I wish I would have been through this lesson before resolving those conflicts. But I did learn that I can return to those that I had the conflict with and correct anything that needs to be corrected.
As I watched this module, I reflect on the question, "Where does most LE stress come from"? It is so odd but true that it does come from internal relationships and not outside influences. As with most things it appears that communication is also key to conflict resolution. As supervisors it is important we are aware of what is going on inside our team and try to address any conflict among team members. Some of the techniques in this module will be useful in conflict resolution.
I completely agree. I never looked at conflict this way and wish I would have seen this prior to resolving some issues in the past because I would have done things differently. I did learn or decided that it is not to late to revisit those that I had the conflict with and correct anything that may be left unsaid by effective communication.
Jose, I agree and done some personal reflection on past conflicts I’ve been involved in. A lot of great points that all seem to revolve around mindset, forgiveness and understanding expectations.
After watching Sheriff Ray Nash's lecture in this module, I was able to recognize individuals I have worked with over the years who have each represented or possessed one of the five attitudes described as leading to conflict within an organization. (Nash, 2021). It was interesting to see how Nash described that the majority of stress in the law enforcement profession comes from internal conflicts within the respective agencies. (Nash, 2021).
These conflicts stem from the aforementioned personality traits or attitudes of the involved officers, related to perceived, felt or real conflict. The majority of these behaviors can be restored if they are addressed with the proper application of a conflict command strategy.
I agree. I was surprised by this assertion at first, as well. Especially in light of current events that shine a negative light on the law enforcement profession. However, as the lecture went on, I could see how it was the individual officer and their attitude towards how they respond and react to whatever the applied stress is.
Internal conflicts is an issue most people do not want to deal with. These individuals can deal with conflicts on the street, but not when it directly affects them. Several bitter and rebellious people comes to mind that are currently with our agency. They are holding true t the phrase "misery loves company." These individuals rather be the problem than part of the solution. Its' easier for them to complaining and cause problems; than contribute to the solution. Sheriff Nash's strategy seems to be a great, but you would have a hard time getting some of the bitter people to except any blame.
One of the points presented by Sheriff Nash that I find to be one of the biggest conflicts is people who can not admit their mistakes. this causes a major rift between people involved in the conflict and often times leads to further conflicts in the future. As presented, these people seem to hold grudges even 10-15 years into their careers.
I enjoyed Sheriff Nash’s lecture and agree that most of our stress comes from internal relationships within our agency. I also enjoyed Sheriff Nash’s strategy on how to resolve conflict. It takes a positive individual that is not afraid to admit when they make mistakes and too be able to apologize for mishandling things. One of the main keys to resolving conflicts is forgiveness, but for some people their egos are too big to admit when they are wrong.
Darryl, I agree, and I think ego is the biggest reason for conflict. Many people are too concerned with how they look or being right to find common ground. Sheriff Nash's resolution strategy helps fix by finding a starting point, and that starting point breaks the ice on the ego.
Conflict management is and will always be a part of law enforcement. No matter if we are patrolling the neighborhoods, attending civic associations meetings or are handling a matter internally within our departments there will be conflict because it is very difficult to make all satisfied even when they know that there may have some fault. I was somewhat surprised, but not really surprised on the fact that the #1 maxim conflict or stressor according to Sheriff Ray Nash, it is our internal relationships within our own departments. At first, I wanted to deny that, but it's disappointing to say that there are many incidents that our department and I have had to continually work through and grind out the internal problems in order to try and move forward in a positive fashion.
Kevin, I agree. Prior to this module, I did not realize how much stress is caused by internal conflicts. We too are constantly dealing with personnel issues due to personal differences. Unfortunately, most people are unable to look past these differences and work them out.
I would think that allowing issues to go unaddressed is probably one of the main concerns when dealing with conflict. If it isn't addressed immediately, it can branch out of control and cause division among the team members. Catching the conflict in time and come to a solution, that's a big problem.
The internal stress of a law enforcement agency is something that initially came as a surprise to me. After some reflection, I would agree that the times in my career where I have felt most stressed were from inside the department and not from the direct action of interacting with the public. Leaders, managers, bosses, and coworkers have caused much of my headaches in this job. I can count on one hand the number of times a call or report had me really stressed. I don't think there I know a number high enough to label the number of times that the supervisor's handling of me after a call has stressed me.
Sheriff Nash makes a lot of other good points in this module. We often look to manage conflict but do not put enough emphasis on restoring the relationship afterward. What if we would make restoration as high of a priority as resolving the conflict? We could save some good officers from self-destruction, and make prevent others from getting past the independent spirt.
Before this module I was aware that law enforcement was a stressful career and that the statistics showed as much. However I never stopped to consider where the major stress comes from or how it affects me. As I reflected on the past and thought about the different relationships I have had with my peers, subordinates, and supervisors it was clear that some of them were the most stressful relationships I ever had. Alternatively some of them were also the most beneficial I have had. I have good fortune to work with my first Field Training Officer who is now my best friend. We have had the good luck to be able to keep our relationship strong and stable which is a great benefit and helps eliminate a lot of the internal stress most officers are faced with.
Nash, R. (2017). Conflict management. Module 6, Weeks 3 & 4. National Command and Staff College.
Ronald, I completely agree with you that being able to work with someone that you have a good relationship with definitely helps eliminate the internal stress. Having that relationship built on teamwork and trust helps because you are confident with each other and know how each other handles situations, which in turn causes less stress for the both of you.
I really was interested in the conflict management strategy provided in this module. It seems exceptionally simple to utilize and the presenter stated it had been highly effective for him when he used it. I think back to the internal conflicts I have witnessed or had to be involved in at work. Many times the focus of the parties involved is just the actions of the other person and the anger or resentment that results. It has been difficult to get those involved to look inward and see what they may have done as well as part of what occurred. I think asking each person to accept at least a part (10%) of the blame for what occurred allows them a way to take responsibility but also "save face" with the other party involved. The presenter made a good point when he stated most people, when specifically asked by the other party if they will forgive them, are going to grant the forgiveness. By each taking a little responsibility (10%), the majority of the responsibility (the other 80%) just seems to fade away. I will definitely be utilizing this simple strategy at work and hope for the same results!
This was a good lecture. Here in lies one of the dysfunctions of law enforcement. We provide hours of training on how to deal with the public. But we routinely handle internal conflict with bias, abasement, and, resentment towards one another. We use terms such as brotherhood/sisterhood, blue family. etc. but how often is that practiced other than a LODD? We have work to do.
Well said Jay, we can criticize and fix everyone else's problem, but we cannot resolve our own. How crazy is it; that we can point figures, but not look ourselves in the mirror and face our truth. We complain and criticize society for the things they do, but in actuality we are hypocrites. We only practice the brotherhood, sisterhood, and blue family when its' convenient.
I agree that as an agency, we always train for things that occur outside of the agency but probably the most beneficial training could be some training to make the workplace better for all employees by using some of these strategies and also findings ways to remedy to the internal chaos that sometimes presents itself.
This was one of my favorite lessons thus far in this course! It was realistic, down-to-earth and spot on. Leaders, especially in law enforcement, want to be right, hate to admit failure or mistakes, and too often demand the same from others. I get so frustrated when I see egotistical, self-centered people advance in their careers while the meek person who finds solutions is in the background. Would the world view us even better if the in-fighting and egos inside the building could dissipate while the attitude of being meek and forgiving took the forefront? I argue we would be a far better profession if more people could stop hiding behind their uniform or badge and be more real, loving, and caring toward their peers.
I completely agree with you on this. Why do we, as law enforcement officers, so often confuse meekness with weakness? If we can change the cultures of our departments, we can change how we serve our communities. Then it is possible to change the communities we serve.
I would have to agree that most law enforcement stress comes from within the agency. There is a lot of perceived conflict within agencies based on promotions, new vehicles, new gear, etc. Most of the time, the person receiving these items has no idea that others feel this way about them and won't ever know unless something is said. The best way for these issues to be resolved is for the supervisors making decisions to speak to the officers who disagree with them and explain their reason for doing so. At this time, you can also offer words of encouragement and advice to the officer to prepare them for next time.
This module was very informative. I especially found the bitter behavior interesting as I have found myself dealing with this behavior most often. I immediately found myself thinking of specific people I currently work with and supervise who are constantly showing bitter behavior. They always seem to want to bring others around them down and speak negative of them or supervisors.
It really hit me when he said that most law enforcement stress comes from internal relationships and not outside influences. The more I thought about it, the more I could believe it. We do a lot to mitigate outside stresses, such as PTSD treatment for situations encountered on the job, de-escalation training, etc., but we seem to do very little to correct negative interpersonal relationships inside the department.
That is a great point. We really need to do more to develop our interpersonal connections. We need to do better to improve our cultures within our agencies to prevent burnout and toxic attitudes from developing ad spreading. I can remember those toxic leaders I have worked for in the past. I also remember when I was accused of being a toxic person. I can admit that I was a great person to work with and for but was difficult to manage. I didn’t work well with my supervisor then because of personal bias and disagreement with his style of leadership. I took his approach as cowardly and did not feel he support me or my personnel. I did not handle working with him well and am ashamed of some of my actions and would change the way I behaved. We reconciled after I was transferred and promoted away from him but I can never go back and undo the negative attitude I displayed back then.
Robert - I agree there is little to effort to mitigate internal relationships. there seems to be more focus on other training that really does nothing to help our department to be progressive as a team.
At one time or another I have worked with all five of the attitudes as presented by Nash (2021) and am sorry to say I have been a couple myself. And out of all of the Maxims, I have found forgiveness truly is the key. But that often means that we have to admit our wrong doing and admit that we were wrong. I also feel that many in the Law Enforcement profession do not want to show any type of weakness and saying your sorry sounds weak to many.
I, too, liked this key point toward resolution. Forgiveness is a powerful tool. In my younger days, I was hot-headed and spoke from an emotional state of mind, which burned a few bridges. Usually, I left work and realized how stupid I had been. I've gone to two commanders, a sergeant, one citizen, and several co-workers to state I was sorry for my behavior. It may not have changed much in the minds of others, but I truly believe in owning my mistakes and trying to make amends. I can think of few others who have come to me after they acted hot-headed and stupid and said they were sorry. It would be a great stepping stone toward fixing a lot of issues if more people in this career would just admit they were wrong!
This was really a good lecture about managing conflict. One of the five attitudes that I am familiar with is the bitter spirit. When that section was discussed I thought about two individuals that I work with that have a bitter spirit. They are always angry, always negative, not open to solving problems, they don't ever have anything nice to say, and get mad about anything. I agree that those type of individuals are attracted to each other because the ones that I work with are close friends outside of the job. I do think that the bitter spirt is one of the hardest attitudes to change. Most of the bitter spirits have been employed with the organization for a long period of time.
I agree. The ones with the bitter spirit could be responsible for other officers having a negative attitude. I look at these types of officers as cancer and their influence will hurt the overall mission.
A review of the 4 Maxims as presented by Nash (2021) describes very well what we, as leaders, see in conflict management. As a leader, I can resonate with having seen all of the Maxims. However, the least I have observed is Maxim 4, forgiveness. It does seem that many in our field have difficulties forgiving each other and letting things go. While we, as a profession, deal extremely well with critical incidents, not so much with internal strife. It does seem internal dysfunction may be taking more of a toll on our folks than is realized.
Working with each other every day should put us in the mindset of being able to address issues holistically, calmly working through conflict. As stated, conflict is rarely resolved, but more often managed. Unfortunately, that is where we are as a profession. Clear communication and being able to reach out as a leader to address issues before they fester are important. These are critical initial steps in dealing with issues. However, such activity must be timely. Otherwise, the effect is perceived as non-sincere and meaningless. Managing conflict is an art, but it must be tempered by sound strategies in order to be effective.
Nash, R. (2021). Conflict management. Module # 6, week # 3. National Command and Staff College.
I'm gonna be honest here and say that a few years back I had the wounded spirit conflict. I'm not gonna get into details but I can see where I was wrong and made a terrible mistake. But ever since then I have righted my wrongs and apologized to those involved. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in one of these conflicts but you have to recognize it and get out of it either on your own or with someone's help.
Yes sir I too can relate. But that time came that the unforgiveness was bearing way too hard on me and affecting my personnel life as well as my professional life. Then I humbled my self and let it go. Best thing I ever did.
Being able to understand the mistakes you have made in the past and make the changes needed to be a better person and a even better leader. Righting your wrongs and apologizing to those you affected will only build stronger bonds with those you lead.
Great module everyone in law enforcement should go through. I also agree the vast majority of stress related conflict for leo's comes from within the department.
I agree, and I'm sure every department has these issues some are just not recognized. I try to make sure my guys are conflict free.
I very much enjoyed the attitudes of the conflicted people, especially the wounded spirit. Listening to him talk and explain what it was and their behavioral traits I instantly had faces of officers pop into my mind. It's amazing how accurate these classifications are for those in law enforcement. It was also insightful to see the inverse of that behavior, and possible resolutions.
I enjoyed learning about the conflict maxims. I was surprised to learn that most stress comes from internal relationships, not the work itself. Knowing this, shows the importance of managing conflict between staff right away before it develops it begins to affect staffs attitudes. I also really liked the information presented in the "path to restoration" section. The biggest take away for me in this section was the power forgiveness has to restore relationships.
The part of the lecture that hit home with me was the Attitudes leading to conflict. While the 5 types were being describe I was able to relate them to people in my department. I knew these attitudes, but had never been able to find the perfect description until now. Eye opening.
I feed the same. It's amazing how these attitudes are described and I could start seeing the officers in my department that have them.
When I was going through this module it caused me to do a lot of self reflecting as a person and leader. I had to chuckle when I heard him talk about unfulfilled expectations damage relationships. that is an area in my personal life that I had to get though. It was like he was talking directly about me. I also started picturing officers in my head, myself included at stages in my career, when discussing the 5 attitudes leading to conflict. I am glad to see and learn how to deal with that in case I ever catch myself in one of those areas again
I really liked hearing about the different types of attitudes leading to conflict (independent, wounded, bitter, rebellious, and unrestorable). Almost immediately I was able to identify certain people within my own organization. It was nice to hear the speaker discuss needing to remove cancer that can eat away at the heart (bitter spirit). Sometimes, if these individuals cannot be restored, it is best to move them to a different part of the organization where they cannot cause too much damage. If left unchecked, the cancer can and will spread to others.
Monte I agree with you, especially about taking out the ego. In my opinion taking the ego out of the situation results in the situation being resolved twice as easily. Often the cause, or majority of the cause, of the conflict was centered around ego to begin with. When ego and pride are removed from a situation, a positive outcome will come much more easily.
During this lesson a Conflict Management Strategy was discussed. In my opinion, the strategy seemed to be quite effective, and has served the speaker well. In the past I have used a similar approach when dealing with conflict resolution between employees. The main difference in the Conflict Management System discussed vs. my approach, was that rather than asking a percentage, I asked what they would do differently. I ask employees to tell me something that they would change, even slightly, if the could go back to when the initial conflict began. It has been my experience that doing this forces individuals to take ownership, even if only to a small degree.
I like your idea of forcing people to take ownership. I also liked the speaker's idea of moving toward forgiveness, but feel that if we always do the 10% method, it wouldn't take long for people to catch on to what we are doing and for it to lose effectiveness. It might be best to tailor this method to the specific situation, involved parties, and type of conflict.
Paul- I concur. Asking the involved parties to recount what occurred and really digging into the crux of perceptions versus reality in conflict management is so very important. I recently counseled a young officer over an argument that took place during shift change in the parking lot. It all stemmed from a misunderstanding and misperception of an expectation one officer had of another regarding a work order. Once the expectations were clear regarding the assignment...we learned there was no further conflict. Simple. Sometimes folks go off without nailing down all of the facts. I really got quite a bit out of the Managing Conflict Tips- they are efficient and to the point. Further, they keep us from getting off the rails.
Best and stay safe-
Mrs. Mackler nailed it on how to manage conflict effectively. I really appreciated when she stated to use assertive communication instead of aggressive. Many of us in law enforcement are “Alphas” and always want to win, or at least stay on top. We should be mindful of this when we find ourselves at odds with coworkers. When people are frustrated and running on emotions they may completely forget the point they are trying to make. We can do a reality check, ask questions, and properly deliver the message, as we maintain our professional relationships.
I completely agree. I think sometimes it's easy to forget "how" we say something it just as important as "what" we say. Definitely something I have to work on.
This lesson does a great job expressing the importance of being aware of conflict within your agency. It’s interesting that whether it is perceived, felt or real, most conflict is internally driven. It leaves a lot to be analyzed with what leadership can do to reduce stress in the workplace. What I’ve found to work well is not immediately responding to conflict but being aware of it and processing it to its entirety before getting involved. A lot of times, waiting a day or two before addressing an area of conflict allows for cooler heads to prevail.
Travis I think that sometimes not saying anything or not confronting the conflict right away can be even more damaging. I think it depends on the situation and the people that are involved.
“Conflict Management” is an interesting topic when it comes to law enforcement, because it’s something that we are always involved in – externally or internally. This module was fascinating and got my attention – partially due to Sheriff Nash’s personality and character. In his “4 Conflict Maxims,” he talked about how conflicts are rarely resolved, so they have to be managed. I can agree with this, especially in law enforcement. Despite having conflict, officers still have to work together; thus, they need to set aside and manage conflict, so they can be productive in the field. If they can “shelf” their conflict or come to some sort of mutual agreement, this conflict can be minimized and managed.
This model was beneficial to me professionally speaking. Sheriff Nash talked about and discussed some great points for me to use in my division. Conflict resolution is a frequent challenge and task for me. The vast majority of time the conflict is perceived or caused from a rumor. Unfortunately, rumors in the workplace is what brings about the internal conflicts discussed in the module. I tell the people I work with that we should be building each other up instead of breaking each other down. The 5 attitudes leading to conflict was interesting too. In the workplace we deal with all types of personalities and attitudes. I thought that i was always resolving conflicts with personnel. After this module I understand now that, perhaps indeed I was doing more conflict management.
Marshall- Isn't it amazing how we viewed some of this when we started out in policing, versus how we see it now that we have to deal with it?
Best and stay safe,
I enjoyed to conflict resolution example that Nash presented at the end of the lecture. I believe his idea of asking each person involved in the conflict to accept some responsibility, even if only a small percentage, provides all involved the ability to save face. Time and time again I see conflict between people continue simply because neither party wants to admit fault. I see myself using this technique next time I am put in a position to mediate some short of conflict.
I also liked the conflict resolution example presented by Nash. I like that the responsibility is placed back on to both individuals instead of being placed on the supervisor to "deal with it". If both parties are able to accept some responsibility for the conflict and are open to forgiveness, they are dealing with the conflict themselves. By being able to forgive each other, it starts the healing process and can help build their relationship.
I have used the "if you were in my position, how would you handle this situation?". If the conflict is a perception they have, sometimes having them work through it as if "they were in charge" allows them to see the bigger picture.
From my perch, I can see and hear the first three Conflict Maxims, from the beginning of my career I have seen and even been apart of not wanting certain officers or supervisors anywhere near me while in the field. The result of those conversations, we will call them, was distrust. Nobody forgets the hurtful things people say or do. If we could be the force we are when one of us gets hurt, the comradery and feeling of a family all the time law enforcement would be a great gig. Officers and supervisors not doing what they say they are going to do, not living up to expectations, does not just exist in the officer ranks I see it every time one of our analytical staff members sits on a decision or task delaying progress. Other staff members will bypass the individual for fear of the document or project being held up. When the staff members get to this level of real conflict I see retirement paperwork appearing on desks.
As the lesson progressed, a common theme that resonated was the offense. Through numerous training opportunities, the topic of offense and its effect on individuals is compelling. As seen within the lesson, at the center of managing conflict is self-awareness that leads to ownership. Until one can honestly evaluate their part in the conflict, there is no way to resolve it. This topic can go back to the Bible, and it is in the teachings of Gandhi, who spoke about the power of words. Words are often the source of our conflict or reasons to be offended. How we take action (words) creates emotions, and emotions feed beliefs. Beliefs lead to actions that become one's habits. One's habits become one's values, and this ultimately becomes one's destiny. At any point in this process, how one chooses to view the situation will become one's reaction. Nash illustrated this theme through how people fall into one of the five attitudes. By that term alone, one can see the need for self-awareness and regulation, attitude.
Absolutely enjoyed this module presented by Sheriff Nash. The information on the five attitudes leading to conflict: independent spirit; wounded spirit; bitter spirit; rebellious spirit; and the unrestored spirit helped me put into context what I have experienced at times not only with others, but even myself. The focus on character based approach to dealing with it ties effectively in with the other topics of leadership that we have discussed. And I find the practical conflict management strategy to be simple and effective way to restore a relationship for a more positive path foward.
This was a new way to describe conflict and Sheriff Nash presented it with energy. I think I can try this around here because I see lots of conflict happening within the department. Some of it may just be millennials being told to do something but there is real conflict too.
Having recently been promoted to an administrative role in our office. I have found that the internal conflict we have only comes from just a few of our veteran deputies. The majority of the individuals are from what the module described as an Independent Spirit. These individuals that we have to deal with are self centered, they push blame off onto others. Some of these individuals are almost 20 year veterans that thrive on trying to pass the poison onto others. I find it extremely hard to remain "meek" during these times. Having learning more about not letting other dictate our responses was a huge take away for me.
I agree - I feel that if we as leaders find those employees who have the unrestored spirits we need to work to get rid of them for the betterment of the entire organization. Even those who are bitter or rebellious can be damaging and create a toxic culture.
It doesn't surprise me that internal conflict causes the most stress. I've had issues with supervisors or coworkers before and I remember feeling the stress rise as I pulled into the parking lot on my way to the office. I like Sheriff Nash's strategy for getting both sides to accept some blame and asking for forgiveness. I also totally agree with the statement that not all conflict can be resolved but it must be managed.
From recently taking over an administrative role and dealing with the internal conflicts. I never had thought the added stress that comes along with my new position.
I agree, Jed. No big surprise that internal relationships in law enforcement is the origin of most of our stress. Most officers, especially in my agency, can do their job very well and are able to a high stress incident. Training kicks in and we rely on the muscle memory to get us through. Like Sheriff Nash said, it’s the internal (typically non-sense) conflicts that amps us up and gets the stress going.
I have had the same feelings Jed. In the past I found myself in the same position many times, after a night with no sleep. “We don’t have problems with the inmates, it’s always the Deputies” is a common statement made by administrators in several of the agencies that I have visited. Most of the issues are direct results from perceived conflicts which could have been avoided with better communication between staff members.
I liked that we were able to take a conflict management. I would have really appreciated if they had gone into more detail with the explanation of it as it relates to us as individuals. I did not completely understand what the graph was explaining. I did appreciate Sheriff’s Nash’s openness in dealing with the Unrestored Spirit. All too often we, in law enforcement, want to continue to fix things and people. I appreciated that Sheriff Nash said if at all possible get rid of this type of person.
I thought Sheriff Nash was a great speaker and did a very good job explaining the concepts of conflict management. Understanding five of the many attitudes that lead to conflict helps relate to a lot of issues we see. I know I was already assigning names to each attitude when Nash made the comment about pigeon holing co-workers to a particular attitude. I know I hate dealing with internal agency conflict and it seems the most common way of handling the majority of conflicts is to let them work themselves out. This attitudes described made it obvious that there are a lot of things we assumed had fixed themselves, but realistically have not. I know it made me scratch my head about the decisions I've made with the mindset, "their adults, let them work it out."
This module if implemented within a department would cut down significantly on rumors and perceived conflict that drives many of the organizational issues that occur. Having leadership that is willing to confront the conflicts in a positive manner will lead to greater organizational success.
Breaking down the 4 maxims with an understanding of the different types of conflict combined with a solution-based approach to resolving conflict. I have observed many managers over the year allowing “unrestored spirits” to infect a shift and decrease morale and shift efficiency. As leaders I believe we have a duty to deal with these conflicts although they may involve difficult decisions.
I like your view on this! I was in a division once that thrived on department gossip and shenanigans. The division commander finally grew tired of it and posted a big sign that said "Drama Free Zone". He allowed the comradery related shenanigans, but put a halt to the rest of the drama. It stung at first, but quickly had a positive affect. He was also good about assigning projects to people with conflicts that needed to be completed together. Most of the time that helped resolve their issues.
I agree with you. But all too often the supervisors are the ones with the Bitter Spirit, Wounded Spirit, or Rebellious Spirit. As in all successful organizations you would need a leader that is able to use the Conflict Managment Strategy effectively starting at the top of the agency and working down.
Strong personalities and high levels of authority as law enforcement officers creates an environment that is ripe for this type of internal strife and conflict. Having it broken down along with strategies to manage, if not completely resolve the conflict, was eye opening and welcome.
I have to agree, most of my stress does come from internal issues. When I was not a supervisor, the most stress came from the job. I was never one to cross swords with my supervisors. We all have a job and a role. Some people don't like to be followers and put up roadblocks to success every chance they can.
Shifting over to the attitudes leading to conflict, I could see many of my experiences in this part of the module. It also helped me to start to understand some who have landed in the rebellious spirit. As the instructor pointed out, "get rid of them" isn't the easiest thing to do in our business. Unions stand in the way too often and keep bad eggs employed. It was interesting to see how he laid out the progression of those types of employees. I see the bitter spirit example through like-minded employees banding together and continually try to bring the organization down.
Great point. I have always felt more stress from the internal relationships and situations than that of the external stressors. It is something that I have always thought we should work to manage and control better. It works against us if we can not manage the internal relationships in a positive way.
Until this lesson, I honestly considered stress in a law enforcement career to come from the actual calls and situations that we are put in with the public. However, this lesson made me realize that most of the stress that I have comes from people that I work with. One person that I work with is notorious for being passive aggressive and often sends e-mails that are either very vague and harsh, or are making an issue out of nothing that is major at all. This person doesn't only send them to a few people. They also send them to management and it is often chalked to be "he is in one of his moods". This person is extremely challenging to work with and often impacts the moral and attitudes of other negatively. Most avoid confronting him about it and just wait until he is in a "better mood".
As Colin Powell would say, "never walk past a mistake." In other words, that behavior only reinforces the behavior, in my opinion. As the module here indicated, why is this person doing this? There has to be something more. Has this person landed in the bitter spirit category? Maybe it's time to put these lessons to work in our organizations. Thanks for sharing, I feel your pain here.
It was amazing to hear what the citizens think are the stressors within the law enforcement community and to actually find out that it is within the agencies. The five internal attitudes was so spot on. As the overseer of our Peer Support team, we deal with some of these on a constant basis. I will definitely pass the conflict management strategy onto my staff. This was definitely a great lecture.
Do you agree that internal stressors are the most common in your agency? Agreed on the good lesson, lots of meat here.
I agree with your assessment. This was an excellent module that clearly broke down the areas of conflict and also provided strategies to manage the conflict.
Sheriff Nash was spot on with the 4 Maxims he described related to conflict management. As a supervisor Maxim 1 makes a lot of sense to me. Law enforcement is trained a high level to deal with critical incidents, we are even given resources for after the critical incident, but we really struggle sometimes with inner turmoil of the department. I think that Maxim 4 really struck a note with me. Law enforcement officers seem to really have a hard time forgiving their own people for equity issues in their career. To work together we need to learn from those issues in the workplace and forgive. I also believe that many of the issues that pop up with in a department are perceived or felt, then never really resolved. It makes you wonder how many times in your career the conflict was real. I am going to try the conflict management strategy Sheriff Nash described. It really allows officers or supervisors involved to take some responsibility while saving face.
I thought his idea of taking 10% ownership was a very unique way to approach the conflict. What's funny here is we're talking about adult men and women who carry firearms, drive fast cars, make life-changing decisions as a matter of routine and we have to talk to them like they are in junior high school. If it works, great though. I see this in my own agency, I just have never been able to understand the drama that some bring and who refuse to take any ownership.
Sheriff Nash is right on point when it comes to internal conflicts. I have personally dealt with this between peers and now subordinates. The common term we call it is “high school mentality”. It is very frustrating to try and “fix” the issues and perhaps that is the problem. We can’t fix the conflicts, only manage them. I like the simplicity of the 5 attitudes leading to conflicts and the solutions to managing these attitudes with opposing character response. It will be interesting the first time I try his conflict management strategy.
Jacqueline, you are so correct, we also call it "high school drama". Sometimes it's unnecessary drama that should have been resolved years ago.
I think your point about managing the issues is exactly right. I feel like I am a person that is always wanting to fix issues, when in reality I just need to manage them. We also have certain people within our agency that have the "high school mentality" and it is extremely challenging. As Sheriff Nash was going through each of the 5 attitudes I was able to think of at least one person that fit each one, and one person in particular fit 3 of them. Being able to manage individuals that continue to impact the department negatively is something that needs to be addressed immediately. Going through each of those types of attitudes shows that if it isn't fixed, it will most likely only get worse.
After reading many of my classmates posts, I am completely agree with them in saying it is 100% the truth that MOST of our stress comes from internal conflict. I look at myself in our department and see myself struggling at times to get along with everyone. Most of the that stress comes from perceived competition or past differences that have never been resolved. I think the advice/strategy that Sheriff Nash offers is a unique way to resolve the problem and let the other "80%" get absorbed in forgiveness. The next time I have an issue present itself I will be sure to try this out.
The thing that resonated the most with me in this module is the idea that most of the stress in law enforcement comes from internal relationships rather than external events. I think back on my own career, and its striking to realize the truth in this. External stresses and conflicts with citizens happen, but are often quickly forgotten as we move on to the next calls or incidents. The stresses from relationships within our organizations seem much more complicated and longer lasting. I think this training would be eye opening for all LE officers to see, not just supervisors. It seems we are focusing on conflict management skills/training with citizens/suspects, but we ignore conflict management with those we interact with inside of our agencies. As supervisors, it is important to practice and share and develop conflict management skills within our staff which will build a more cohesive and better functioning team.
Sheriff Nash made a lot of interesting points. What really stuck out to me was letting go of perceived rights. I have the power to relinquish what I believe to be mine in order to better relationships and avoid unnecessary conflicts.
I agree. As cops we often have the mindset of "it's my way or the highway". This need to do things our way can cause so many problems, not just at work but, in our personal lives too.
The video by Lauren Mackler was eye opening, people are driven by running assumptions instead of doing reality checks. Far to often we catch ourselves in these situations and having a conversation could clear up so much but we don't simply do it. The tips when the conversation happens are great tools and some that I will use when needed.
I wasn't surprised to hear that the number one stressor for law enforcement is internal relationships. I think we have all heard it, my job is easy, dealing with my peers is the hardest part.
I liked that video from Mackler as well. The idea of a reality check is important, along with staying calm and using Emotional Intelligence. So much of conflict is not maintaining a level head to be able to see things clearly to avoid it being blown out of proportion.
Agree. If we just have a conversation with another individual instead of creating assumptions, then many conflicts would never actually be conflicts. Rumor and assumption created conflict are highly detrimental to morale within an organization.
As I look back at my 20+ year career in law enforcement and reflect on the hardest times, I continue to go back to the internal conflicts within the departments. Going to traumatic scenes, or high stress incidents, is a known factor of the job. Don't get me wrong, that stuff stays with you, but when you take that oath on day one, you know you are going to have those experiences. I think the unknown is the internal struggle within the department. These struggles can be peer to peer, mentor to mentee, or supervisor to subordinate. Honestly and internal struggle can be policy related as well. When we enter the field we have this perception of family and comradery. However, when that support is not found, and quite the opposite, when it feels like one is being attacked from the inside, that is a betrayal that is very difficult to overcome.
This module presented us with valuable tools for conflict management. I found it interesting that the majority of law enforcement stress is caused internally. The three-question strategy for managing conflict was simple, straightforward and something I will work towards implementing in my leadership journey.
I thought the conflict management strategy outlined at the end of the module was interesting. If you can agree with both sides of an argument to agree to take even the smallest percentage of blame for a conflict. Most people understand that there are two sides to every conflict and if we can get them to acknowledge that we can move forward. Then, convincing them to ask forgiveness for that small part and granting forgiveness to the other side of the argument for their part. Amazing that if you can get both sides to agree to take responsibility for even the smallest portion, the other 80% will just evaporate.
Just read your post Paul and it's funny because I pretty much said the same thing. We have both seen problems inside our own departments that have festered for years and no one has taken the lead to try and fix. One would think if we were to use Sheriff Nash's strategy and both sides were to take "10%" and the other 80% goes by the wayside that we could clear up a lot of issues.
Internal conflicts are absolutely the primary source of stress. We expect the "clients" (detainees, or general public) to act in a way that we need to intervene. If we were not needed to intervene, we wouldn't be dealing with them so we mentally prepare and know there will be conflict. It is the internal conflict we didn't know or expect. Most in this profession as set in their way and have their own specific style. Most of these styles fall within policy and procedure but nobody is exactly the same. So when we see others doing it differently some automatically assume different means wrong. I liked the part talking about the 5 attitudes leading to conflict. I found myself assigning names to each of those... I really enjoyed the small section by Laren Mackler. Her first suggestion of not making assumptions is spot on. Far to often people get part of the facts and start assuming the rest. This ultimately leads to conflict.
The section by Lauren Mackler was very informative. Leaders need to do a reality check and not take things at face value. Keep a neutral tone and don't cause people to feel attacked. I definitely need to use more "I" sentences to help manage conflict effectively. I also need to stop telling people they should do something. I need to rephrase it with softer language.
"I" statements are great and very difficult to fire back on when you use them as "I feel" versus, "You made me feel." I also think there is a lot to be said about talking to a person face to face so the "softer" body language can be seen and heard. So often, we have become so dependent on texting and email to communicate, and so much of the communication is lost via this method.
I think body language has a lot to do with communication and so much is lost without that face to face. And I agree with using "I" statements. I can think back to my last big internal conflict and I did use "you" when really it was about how "I" felt.
I was not surprised to learn that most law enforcement stress comes from internal sources. We are all type A personality people who have strong opinions, strong beliefs and want it our way. So when that is challenged by anyone in our group who we typically agree with we become upset and carry that issue forward throughout our careers. I also liked conflict maxim number 2 that states that leaders understand that conflicts are rarely resolved so they must be managed. Anybody know what the percentage of law enforcement professionals that take ownership and resolve conflict with their peers is? I'm just going to guess that it is not very high, when we disagree with others strongly we tend to avoid them not work with them to resolve the concern.
Very true Robert. I would not only agree that when we disagree with others strongly, we tend to avoid them, but I also think many officers spread that anger or disagreement to their co-workers instead of resolving it with the person involved. At times it's almost as though we are back in high school trying to deal with the rumor mill, as officers get older instead of rumor's it just turns into avoidance. Departments need to spend more money on training and communication at an internal level.
I was not surprised at all to see that internal conflict was the primary stressor in a LEOs career. I appreciate how this module broke down the three types of conflict. I am sure it would be almost impossible to know but I would be curious to know what the average make up each conflict type is amongst LEOs, specifically when it comes to perceived conflicts. How much of our time is spent worrying about conflict that doesn’t even exist?
Going further I would venture to guess that we spend more time stressing about real and felt conflict as appose to addressing it with the other person. I appreciate Mackler’s tips on managing this conflict but I couldn’t help but think that there are some people whom have conflict that just are not open to discussing it. For these few people perhaps we just accept that we tried to resolve the issue and move on from there.
I was not surprised to hear that internal conflicts are the primary source of stress in this profession, but I’ve never been able to figure out why this is the case. This module really put things into perspective for me and truly goes to show that knowledge is power. You can’t attempt to address something if you are unable to identify and understand it first. I also appreciated the discussion on attitudes that lead to conflict. There were several Aha! moments as I watched the lecture and needless to say, I feel like my eyes have been opened.
As leaders, we need to pay attention to these attitudes and intervene promptly. If we don’t do that, we allow the independent, wounded, bitter, rebellious and unrestored spirits to drag everyone else down with them. Failing to do our job makes us complicit and enables them to continue acting this way. Although it seems like a daunting task to start addressing negative attitudes, Sheriff Nash made me feel like there is hope that we can make a positive impact on some of these people. Even a small chance that someone may be able to turn things around is worth the effort. I really appreciated the information in this module and feel that I am better prepared to identify conflicts in the future. I also hope that I can learn to manage conflict more effectively.
I agree. If we can get both sides to admit to and ask forgiveness for even the smallest portion, the conflict will generally be resolved. That was a very interesting portion of the module.
Sheriff Nash did a good job with this module. It was interesting to hear him speak about the different attitudes that lead to conflict. Anyone with any time on the job has seen most, if not all of these spirits internally and externally. His solution to dealing with the conflict did seem a bit hokie, but when I gave it some time to sink in, it made sense.
I plan on trying it out as well. I think the odd part is actually speaking to people in a sympathetic way, its outside my normal realm, but I will give it a try.
This was an interesting module on conflict management. I, as a law enforcement professional, was not shocked to hear that the highest amount of stress comes form internal conflict within an agency. As some is actual conflict and some is perceived conflict that the officer is putting on themselves that may not be actual conflict other than in there own mind. Of course this causes undo stress. It easy to see the "Bitter Sprits" in an agency as they love to commiserate together and air all of the problems that they see. You know they are part of the bitter club because all they want to do is air problems and not provide any workable solutions or put them into action. Dealing with conflict within an agency is important. If conflict is allowed to fester without being addressed it will have negative impacts.
I agree Ryan, it can be evident when the bitter club starts to commiserate. Especially with our agency where we have some many new, young, and impressionable officers it’s important that the bitterness be addressed. Our job is hard enough, it’s important that we grow and develop these officers into positive LEOs
so many times I've seen a supervisor cause a conflict between workers. I think if the supervisors would used tips to manage conflict like defusing, staying neutral and not use powerful words like shouldn't have most conflicts would be minimal.
Sheriff Nash's examples of the 5 attitudes that lead to conflict were spot on. These different types of attitudes start because of internal conflict. I really don't contribute these attitudes to the demands of the job. Unfortunately the 3 different types of conflict can turn a good member into the unrestorable individual. I believe that as leaders we need to spend more time identifying and preventing conflict. When we are involved in managing conflict its already too late. It is important that we as leaders understand our own feelings about conflict and recognize that our words and actions can trigger one of the 3 different types of conflict including perceived, felt and real. It has been my experience that the perceived and felt conflicts often originates during our roll-call. There are times certain topics need to addressed and discussed in order to improve our operations. As general practice I speak with the officers about the briefing topic and ask for their opinion afterwards. Interesting enough some officers perceived and felt they were the ones that did something wrong and resented what I said. This was my opportunity to clarify and prevent any type of conflict before it became a problem. I learned this technique from a great mentor who made this a common practice and talked his people individually about briefing topics.
The five attitudes that lead to internal conflict are tied together and could progress rapidly. In my previous department, the internal conflicts between line officers and sergeants made it very difficult to work there. Sadly, the command staff leaders never paid attention to the issues that were brought to their attention by the officers. Sergeants excessively used coercive power and abused their authority which led to the "us" vs "them" mentality and no forgiveness or restoration would ever take place. The majority of people in this organization with attitudes that led to conflict were in positions of power. They avoided conflict rather than addressing it. After this lecture I will make sure to use some of the tips for dealing with conflict. I will assist those employees that have not reached the unrestorable phase to fix their attitudes and help them use emotional intelligence to deal with conflict.
In his presentation, Sheriff Nash hit on several key topics applicable to the law enforcement leader. The first, was the Maxim that most of our stress comes from inside the organization. I see shifts band together to solve a problem but when its concluded they break into clicks and the drama begins. The second, was the Maxim that conflicts are rarely resolved so they must be managed. It amazes me when officers bring up some perceived slight from the past when discussing the context of a new issue. I thought that the information about the 3 types of conflict was also important. I never really thought about the actual definitions. I think we all perceive possible conflict but professionals talk to the other person to resolve the issue. Most of the time you find out it was a miscommunication or the perception was unfounded. These are the easiest to resolve. Felt Conflict and Real Conflict are tougher because one (felt) deals with feelings and the other (real) is actual observable conflict. Feelings are one of the toughest things to overcome especially when anger, bitterness or jealousy are involved. Sheriff Nash's segment on the 5 attitudes (Independent, Wounded, Bitter, Rebellious and Unrestored) was very enlightening. "knowing is half the battle" (GI-Joe). I found it interesting when Sheriff Nash said these individuals infect others and that they seek each other out (create clicks). I thought of my own organization and could immediately see these individuals as I associated them with each of the attitudes and how they have negatively influenced the other staff they work with. Addressing these issues can be a full time job. Leaders can't wait to remediate the problem through formal sanctions. Most officers who fall into one of the 5 attitudes know exactly how far they can push something before they cross the line and get in formal trouble. Character/ ethics based restoration is about the only way to address the situation. that said, never forget the importance of self assessment to first ensure that leader not the one with the attitude problem.
You have a very good point when you said that addressing bad attitudes can be a full-time job. I also think that once the leader starts addressing negative attitudes consistently, things will either get better with time, or these negative spirits will learn to watch their attitude around people who hold them accountable. Imagine if multiple leaders banded together to work on the same problem! And you are absolutely right, we need to watch our own attitudes and assess how we can make things better as well.
It was interesting to hear about the five attitudes that lead to conflict. within the last few years, our agency had an individual whom had been going through these stages for a long time. This did ultimately lead to a resignation. What Sheriff Nash stated about the un-restorable spirit was accurate, this particular individual was influenced by another deputy years prior who was a bitter spirit, eventually they travelled down the same rabbit hole and neither one of them are currently employed within our organization. If the initial virus spreader had been addressed the way Sheriff Nash suggested, it's possible that the damage could have been prevented and two careers could have been salvaged.
I also enjoyed listening to the 5 attitudes leading to conflict. I have seen a couple people go through this progression and I found myself remembering some of the things those people did as the presenter spoke. It would have been interesting to see if some of the methods they described in this training were used if it could have saved these folks careers.
I was very interested in the Five Attitudes Leading to Conflict presented by Sheriff Nash. As he discussed each attitude, I could not help myself, but think of a current individual who is currently on Administrative leave for his actions. The individual was not selected for a high ranking position within the organization and has gone through the Five Attitudes Leading to Conflict. He did not need the organization anymore and built up walls of hostility and began blaming other people for his problems and circumstances. He became mad at everything to a point where he began to undermine authority. That is where we now stand and unfortunately as Sheriff Nash stated, you must terminate such employee. The lesson was very informative and I am sure that every organization has such an employee.
I related to Ray's comment and Sheriff Nash's statement about listening to the presentation and visually putting employees in each of the different attitudes. I find that staff who display these traits are tough to deal with unless they clearly cross a line that can be documented. Most of these officers, especially if they have progressed to the "Wounded Spirit", "Bitter Spirit" or "Rebellious Spirit", know exactly how close to the edge they can get without crossing over. Particularly frustrating are those times when you engage them about their behavior and they appear to be receptive to the conversation (at least to your face). You walk away feeling that you made a positive inroad only to learn later that they were shining you on. It is hard to use Sheriff Nash's forgiveness strategy on people who genuinely have no interest in anyone but themselves.
Nice post Ray, it is difficult to watch people in our organizations go down this path. Even when you pull them in and have honest conversations with them they typically deflect or will not take ownership. Over time they become more and more disillusioned and must be let go. Hard to understand and watch.
I found it very interesting how the five attitudes leading to conflict are not only tied intimately with the four maxims, but how each attitude really becomes the foundation to transitioning to the next attitude. This is very similar in the way types of conflict can transition from perception to reality. I have never heard conflict resolution referred to as a path to restoration, or the four qualities that are key to making it happen; obedience, meekness, forgiveness and faithfulness. Forgiveness is a huge part, but understanding that we need to be able to practice all of these principles is extraordinarily important when trying to resolve others’, and our own, conflicts.
I agree with you Jacobson. You would think that resolving conflicts would be more complicated than just using four maxims. Breaking each one down leads one to believe than you can resolve conflict with only four maxims.
I have long believed what Sheriff Nash opened with, that being that most Law Enforcement stress comes internally (although the last few months have really out that theory to the test...) Additionally, the four maxims discussed really do cover the "four corners" of conflict management. The last two (unfulfilled expectations and forgiveness) cover just about every situation and incident I have seen in my time in this job. I was actually surprised by Laura Mackler's short video segment with tips on managing conflict- She comes from Harvard business background yet all of what she spoke on directly applies to public safety, too. Going through the different spirits and the "Five Attitudes Leading to Conflict"section allowed me to think of people in my own organization- past and present- and assigning each to a person I have worked with brought the content home. Perhaps more telling was to see where I have been in some of those categories myself throughout my career. Lastly, I have used a modified version Sheriff Nash's conflict management strategy - not as well designed but similar in theory- so it was a nice conclusion to the module and its contents.
Sheriff Ray Nash did an excellent job of explaining conflict management. I was particularly interested when he discussed the 5 attitudes leading to conflict. As he was going through them I was thinking in my head of the people I have worked with in the past and who I know at other agencies and coming up with my own examples of each spirit. The character based model of the path to restoration did a good job of reinforcing the character attributes that can get you past the 5 attitudes leading to conflict. The next time there is conflict in my agency between two people I am going to use the conflict management strategy that he discussed at the end of the module.
The nice thing about the conflict resolution strategy noted in the end of the module is that it can be equally applied in the workplace or personal life. It is just an overall good life skill.
As Nash discussed the five attitudes, people came to mind that I relate to each of the categories. At some point, I recognized what I was doing and had to step back. As I tried to pigeonhole people into a category, I found I was judging them and with my personal criteria on offense. Taking the step back made me reevaluate the situations and I found myself a contributor to many of those situations. Whether it was rebellious, wounded, bitter, or independent I myself have been down those roads. As an emerging leader, did I by default contribute to another person in assuming one of these characteristics?
This module was very informative and describes an area in leadership that is important to focus on whether as an authority figure or not. It's very important to discover the true meaning of being in the fight together. We all sometimes carry difference of opinion and treat situations differently, which may cause conflict. Sheriff Ray Nash described the, “Path of Restoration.” We need to keep our personal desires and egos in check and communicate effectively if issues arise. I find it very rewarding at our office that we are open to discussion with our subordinates and within our team members in order to resolve issues. Although there is sometimes disagreement, we always end up respecting each other in order to reach the same common goal. We also get together beyond work, sometimes with our families, or sometimes as a crew to promote positive energy and attitudes. Many crew members get together for a round of golf to decompress and indulge in communication beyond our work duties. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by positive individuals who are not afraid to admit mistakes and apologize if they felt like they were out of line.
It is very sad but often times true that a majority of our law enforcement conflicts and stressors come from our agencies internal relationships as Sheriff Ray Nash mentions in this module. In addition it is also sad that rather than resolving the conflicts we end up managing the conflict. I think this is really disheartening but know that it is true the amount of time and energy that goes into conflict internally within our organizations is very time consuming.
I am very interested to try some of the strategies outlined in this module for attempting to address conflict to see if we can resolve some of our issues internally.
I agree with you Sheriff, it is rather sad to see/know that a lot of time we are just managing conflict instead of solving it. That time and effort could be directed towards so many other things, but the fact that we have this module speaks on it being an issue in many agencies. When I go through these modules and see that kind of information, it makes me wish that so many more of the staff in my agency would take this same class and see where we could be doing so much better. It is encouraging to me though, that there is a core group now that will be future leaders that have, are, or will go through this course and hopefully be applying what is learned as we go forward.
A agree, many people spend far too much time "managing" conflict rather than solving it. There is often a deeper problem (PTSD, Anxiety, alcohol abuse,) that may be manifesting as a behavior (anger, short temper, etc.).
I agree 100%. What I see often is instead of solving the conflict, or even managing the conflict is one part of the conflict gets moved. We move the problem instead of solving it.
I agree Jim. I do find some comfort in the fact that some of the changes that we are currently going through at RPD seem to be aligned with some of the principles being taught in this training. As much as I have complained about the extra work of going through this training, I really am getting a lot out of it and am also wondering if this training should be a requirement for not only our official leaders, but also the next generation of department leadership?
Sheriff Jahner, I too think we cause ourselves too much stress. I am the commander of a division that I am the only male. Yes, I supervise all females. The largest challenge for me is to prevent some of them from completely destroying each other. I tell them often that as females I think they should be building each other up instead of tearing one another down. There is a lot of rumor that goes around. My subordinates know that rumors come to me to die. I let them know often that I do not entertain rumors. I too will employ some of Sheriff Nash's strategies to resolve/mamange internal conflict.
This module was interesting with the explanation of the different spirits within an agency by Sheriff Ray Nash. I have experienced these spirits within the correctional division during my career. Listening to Sheriff Nash break down the attitudes and the four steps of restoration involves consistency from their leader. Leaders must spend time developing their team members. When the spirits come into play the leader has a better grasp on assisting them into restoration when effective communication is used.
Good morning. I also found the explanation on the different spirits to be very interesting. Honestly, I have become the "bitter" spirit at one point in my career but my mentor helped me restore my spirt. Back then I did not know the about the path to restoration but my mentor did. It was because of his consistency I was able to break away from my bitterness. Currently, there are two very skilled officers under my command with a combination of wounded and bitter spirits. I have been working with them because I used to be in their shoes. After this lecture, I will be use better communication to assist them into restoration.
Sadly, I agree with Sheriff Nash's assessment that officers' work-related stress comes from internal relationships and not external factors. With the risks associated with this profession, this should not be the case.
Additionally, the five attitudes that lead to conflict are certainly something that I have witnessed over the years within my agency. When they aren't dealt with appropriately, these officers can be cancerous and attempt to bring people down with them. Like cancer, they cannot be allowed to go untreated and must be dealt with accordingly.
With the work-related stress coming from primarily internal relationships and not external factors, it's important leaders keep their finger on the pulse of their agency. Once a person gets to the unrestored spirit, they need to be let go. That's not always as simple as just firing them but I agree that they need to be dealt with accordingly and not allowed to continue to go unchecked.
After this module, the biggest problem today is some leaders do not know what is happening in their divisions. There are leaders in my agency that are oblivious to what is going on and cannot figure out how to manage conflict of any sort. Even after discussing and presented with ideas on what should be done, it is still is a discarded matter because they refuse to listen.
I do agree, most rumors do start conflict. I feel that if they can grow up and act like adults , professionals most of the conflicts would never happen. And it is our responsibility to address these issues when they do.
It is surprising how fast perceived conflict will make its way through a law enforcement agency. A lot of times it will start with rumors and grow, with little to no foundation of truth. I believe a lot of perceived conflicts can be avoided with effective communication. It is our responsibility as leaders to make sure these conflicts are addressed as soon as possible.
I 100% agree with your assessment that most conflicts start with rumors and that most not try to seek all of the information before forming opinions. What has always been more interesting to me is that we are dealing with law enforcement officers who try to get both sides of the story each and everyday when it comes to taking calls and reports but when it comes to something they are involved with only get one side of the story. If most obtained all of the information I think we would have less conflict.
I also agree that conflict is started by rumors. Although I'm just as guilty and join in sometimes, I try to take it upon myself to avoid the conflict and step away from the situation if I'm aware that it will turn into a negative experience, or if my name gets involved in the rumor.
Sadly, Sheriff Nash's commentary on law enforcement is spot on. We face all kinds of evils everyday while out in the field, yet our greatest adversaries are ourselves. There can be so much open hostility toward coworkers, supervisors even the Chief or Sheriff themselves. Being able to proactively work through the attitudes and use good conflict resolution is a must have skill nowadays. At any given time all of the five attitudes that lead to conflict can and will show themselves. As supervisors, we must be sensitive and in touch with our people to recognize they are occurring and look to end them before they dismantle your agency.
I agree Jeff. Police officers are masters at resolving conflicts out on the street, but struggle when it comes to resolving conflict among those in our ranks.
I couldn’t agree with you more and we need strong leaders capable of shifting the perception…that it is not okay to tolerate conflict any longer. And to actually get rid of some supervisors that generate conflict. I am fortunate to work in a great organization, but I do see room for improvement. Sometimes our perceptions get so out of whack and we need great people to shine a light on reality and do it tactfully.
I could not agree with you more about our employees displaying so much hostility to others within the workplace. What is so ironic is that we send our officers out into our communities to deal with conflict management or resolution with total strangers. Yet, it is difficult for them to find it in their hearts to set the record straight. We must model the way and restore such relationships within our organization.
Totally agree with you Lt. It is sad that some of our officers dealing with the evil on the streets feel more threatened by internal conflict. I have seen officers treat inmates or arrestees better than their co-workers. We have to proactively tackle these types of attitudes and recognize that this could have long lasting damaging effects at the individual and institutional level.
This training module was very informative. As a leader, we hold our officers and personnel to a standard of performance and behavior. We as leaders do realize that conflicts are rarely resolved, therefore they must be managed.
I really liked this module because managing conflict what we do most but probably understand least. The ability to manage conflict is so important to our jobs. I particularly liked the Conflict Management Strategy and plan on trying it the next time I am called upon to resolve a conflict.
Conflict management. Arguably the single most utilized tool we use as public safety professionals today. And, as shared by Sheriff Nash, perhaps we use conflict management more within the agency and team that we operate in our official capacity than in any other scenario. However, as also discussed by Sheriff Nash, this finer points of conflict management that we use among those with which we labor beside, those we supervise and those we answer to, are more sensitive and intricate for sure, and depending on which of these we are addressing, can be much more involving and challenging.
Wow, where to start with the amount of info we received. So many well laden points that Sheriff Nash has spoken about. The different personalities and conflict personalities are people we have and/or may encounter in our profession. People who are colleagues can help to make or break your organization when its positive or negative. Leaders and peers need to be filters and watchdogs to help root out these negative connotations. As co-workers, the need to build each other up and keep each other honest, filled with integrity, and passion to do your job are essential. Resolving conflict often and early as needed can change things to a positive light.
There was a lot of useful information in this module. The conflict resolution technique is very interesting. i think the biggest problem is going to be that some leaders do not know what is going on. So they are inept to the conflict that surrounds them and their people. And not knowing they can never try to manage the conflict therefore that person begins to slip down from independent to the unrestored categories.
You are 100% correct in that assessment. Many leaders do not feel that conflict resolution with their subordinates is their responsibility. They hide their head in the sand while hoping the problem either goes away or fixes it self. All it does is fester and begin growing new conflicts.
This training module was very informative. As the instructor began defining the different types of attitudes, I couldn't help thinking about some of the deputies I work with and what category they belonged to. Then, I began to wonder what category I belong to. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
Overall I would say the information in this module was very accurate and will be beneficial for future training material. However, I was a little upset with the end of the module. I expected that more time and focus would be spent discussing conflict management strategies. In the end, I understand the message and agree with the method. I just thought the strategy was a pretty basic and common approach that is already used by most when it comes to managing conflicts.
I think we all have encountered people within our organization that has possessed one of the five spirits mentioned. Besides the unrestorable spirit, I think if this training was presented to us earlier we as supervisors could've made a change in those people. I believe we might have been able to save some of these people from themselves.
In this module, Sheriff Nash shared four character qualities that will help manage and resolve stress within an agency. In my department, we are often faced with internal conflict. I will make sure that when we are dealing with a conflict within my department we used the qualities of obedience, forgiveness, meekness, and faithfulness to manage the conflict.
After watching this module, I can clearly see that the majority of stress in our occupation is the internal stressors from within. I've witnessed internal conflict since day one on the job. I've seen very faithful employees become each of the spirits described. It is difficult to get control of this, as with my experience, most police officers are not very in touch or emotionally intelligent to recognize this, and I think most are unwilling to discuss issues to come to a resolution. But, as it seems my current job description is to handle conflict all day long, the conflict management strategy is certainly worth trying.
I agree with you. I see and deal with the different spirits all the time mostly within my own agency. Now to try these strategies to achieve some conflict management within our organization.
I found Sheriff's Nash lecture on the five attitudes leading to conflict and the path to restoration very interesting. So much of what we do deals with communicating with each other; whether it is written, verbal or body language we communicate many intentional and unintentional messages constantly. I reflect on times when I have mistakenly perceived some type of conflict based on the signals i received from someone else, only to find out that the other person never perceived any real conflict and that I just misinterpreted the message.
Additionally, I reflect on some individuals I have worked with that were once faithful employees who somehow became one of the five attitudes Sheriff Nash mentioned at some point. In some, it seemed like a progression from independent to wounded, from wounded to bitter and bitter to rebellious. I wish we would have had the knowledge and skills then to help restore them. Some had a tremendous amount of skills and knowledge and were pretty far along in their careers. Hopefully, we can use these paths to restoration to work towards restoring attitudes/spirits and inspire coworkers once again to join us in fulfilling our collective vision.
In the past, I witnessed some employees that possessed one or more of the five attitudes. I wish that we had the knowledge and skills to help them. I feel that if we knew how to properly address the conflict, it would have positively impacted our culture.
Officer attitudes can strengthen or destroy an organizations morale. In my agency, we have several young officers, especially in Patrol. These young officers are very interested in doing a good job and genuinely love what they are doing. The phrase people do not leave bad companies they leave bad bosses is very true. Young officers, especially those who have not had this much direction in their life, are easily swayed by officers who display the toxic traits as explained in the officer attitudes. These young officers have nothing vested in remaining in a position that they feel is undesirable, so they move on. This loss of a potentially good employee is the result of their beliefs that this is the culture of the entire agency. When, in fact, the problem was with one or more people and a leader’s inability to resolve the issue.
Darren, I absolutely agree with you. It's amazing how one or two toxic employees can spread that toxicity across an entire shift, or division. Good officers have fallen by the wayside because of supervisors failing to recognize the effects these troubled employees cause.
I agree except at the end. So many "leaders" just refuse to deal with these situations and if they attempt it they seem to make them worse. This whole Command College packaged is needed so badly now more than ever!!
In law enforcement, there will always be some internal conflict. Most police officers are strong will, stubborn, and still have to be right all the time. As leaders, it is essential to be aware that there is a conflict and either resolve or manage it. I have witnessed people with an "un-restored spirit" bring down many of the people that surround them. When that said person retired, everyone was relieved. That person's supervisor knew about the conflict, but I don't think he knew how to solve the conflict or manage it.
I agree on the difficulties of dealing with police and we being strong willed and stubborn. Although most issues should be easily solved, only if people's perceptions of others' thoughts wouldn't get in the way. If communication was frequent, or at least early on during the conflict, I do believe most of these problems can dissolve. It does take a strong leader to confront these problems early and head on.
Like most others, I began labeling people in my organization while listening to Sheriff Nash speak of the 5 attitudes leading to conflict. I agree that the Unrestorable Spirits are few and far between, however, they are out there. I have personally watched someone like this destroy divisions, commanders, and attempt to destroy careers. Mostly because leaders didn't have the knowledge to deal with them. The biggest problem I see is when they are put into supervisory roles, by default or carelessness and now they have the ability to influence people under there command.
I bet we have placed the same people in these categories. I have noticed there are not as many "un-restored spirits" as they use to have in the department. I agree with you that those supervisors were put in those spots by default. I believe that once the majority of supervisors in the department know how to deal with these conflicts, it will give the department a better work environment.
I knew from past experience how much officers complained about their internal conflict, I did not realize how much I have, over the years. It is true, conflict has to be managed. I know that I have people that hold grudges against me for things that are decades old, on and off the job. I have a family member that will not speak to me to this day not because of something I did, but something my father, not to them but their father when we were around 3 or 4 years old. As for on the job, I know people that hold grudges against me and there are people that I still hold grudges against. This is something that I am still working on in my own personal development.
As leaders in law enforcement, a large portion of our jobs revolves around conflict management. Sheriff Nash's statement about a large amount of our stress coming from inside the agency is 100 percent accurate. We have all experienced it at one time in our career or have witnessed a co-worker experience the internal stress. The way Sheriff Nash broke down the three types of conflict and the five attitudes that lead to conflict was very beneficial. As leaders, we need to start identifying and addressing the internal stressors faster to ensure a more productive work environment.
One problem some officers have is that they do not deal with conflict at all. Some leaders hope the issue will resolve itself or act like they aren’t aware an issue exists. Then when the issue spirals out of control, it is harder for the leader to manage or resolve the problem.
Very great segment and is one of the most desired skill I think a leader should have. So nice to resolve conflicts and prevent one party from separating from the organization because of leaders not wanting to assist in the resolution. Retainment is so much more valuable than recruitment.
I have seen several instances of perceived conflict. Especially younger officers often feel like their supervisor doesn't like them. They stress over it and most times they feel this way only because the supervisor is correcting them and trying to teach them to do the job correctly. Also, the spirits section was spot on. These individuals can bring down an entire organization in a short amount of time.
I agree about the spirits....why I feel it is so important to try and solve the spirit before it progresses to rebellious unnrestore-able. I see too many times some leaders ignore, hoping it will go away because they are afraid of the conflict themselves.
This lesson has taught me that most conflicts can easily be resolved, by understanding the types of conflicts and how to communicate through them can help resolve them.
Conflict Management can sum up a great portion of the jobs we do in our community on a daily basis. It startled me to hear that we are stressed more due to internal conflict, and then I thought about it and realized how true it was. How can we allow the extra stress from within to continue to manifest, when our jobs for the most part consist of regular conflict management. We must do our part to resolve or manage the internal conflicts so as they do not adversely effect the atmosphere of the agency. The knowledge presented to us through this lesson should be a good start at resolving and managing the different maxims within our agency.
It's crazy to think of the stress the job has and how much we continue to conjure up ourselves. I have to do a better job myself of recognizing internal conflicts, especially now that it seems as though they are better hidden from me being a Lieutenant. I know my guys and girls will talk more openly about conflicts with each other to the Sergeant, feeling that I shouldn't be bothered with them.
As we look at Conflict Management, it is different for us as leaders and managers. We have to make sure that we heal our past relationships at whatever cost so we can be fair, firm, and consistent.
I agree with this maximum that we must manage department conflict, and attempt to help those broken relationships. If we can not get them resolved, managing it is a must to maintain peace inside the agency.
I can not wait to try the conflict management theory presented in this lecture. If this really works like they say, this could not only heal broken relationships, but improve agency morale.
I never really paid attention to internal conflicts as them being the greater stress in an officers life. After listening to everything in the module it makes perfect sense. We learn to deal with the issues that we see on a daily basis out in the world. If we can manage the conflicts with our co-workers them that will only help us do our jobs better and make the organization look better.
Absolutely agreed! If you notice from my post, I touch upon much of what you say here. Once we understand and adhere to the finer details of conflict management within our own sphere of communication and influence, venturing out into the world and helping others becomes much more understandable, relatable and service oriented!
I enjoyed this module. I never realized it until watching this how much more I hear deputies complain about work and co-workers than doing their job. I am interested in trying to use the conflict management strategy to see what kind of success I would have with it. Still a little skeptical on that it would work on all conflicts.
During the part on the Attitudes Leading to Conflict, I began to start thinking about the people with whom I have worked and those who have and still work for me. I started saying this one fits this profile, that one here, and was trying to formulate a plan of how to salvage them. As I thought more on it, I found myself thinking about how I fit into these attitudes. I began to realize I traveled down the road almost to the point of being a rebellious spirit.
Often in management we just label these employees are complainers or disgruntled. There may be merit behind their gripes but most of the time they just bring us problems with no solutions, so we avoid them. I believe sometimes this avoidance lends to them also traveling down this path farther and farther. I know I had a rough time getting out of the hole into which I was digging myself, and I still have a little way to go, but by learning some of the management strategies and applying them, hopefully we can save these employees.
It is interesting on how you mentioned that "there may be merit behind their gripes but most of time with no solutions so we avoid them". That is very insightful!
One of the ways my current supervisor began to help develop me is when I present a problem to him, he instructs me to propose at least one practical solution. He does the same for many of the others who he oversees.
I have noticed that this helped to cause a shift in my perception, self-confidence and productivity. I used to dread to be the bearer of bad news. Now I don't mind going to him because I feel like I can be part of the solution.
Looking at conflict resolution from another angle, how much could a department save every year if they had effective conflict identification and resolution practices in place? How many man hours saved? I suspect it would be significant, one internal investigation, even a minor complaint takes one of my supervisors several days to investigate and document, even cutting a few of these out a year would be worth it.
Very good point. It would be interesting to see the money and hours saved if this was to become the norm.
This was a great module, from learning the 4 maxims, the 3 types of Conflicts to the examples of the different levels of attitude an employee can reach. All great information on their own, but learning the path to restoration and the 3 steps of Conflict Management Strategy was simple and impressive. Definitely will added to my toolbox when dealing with internal and external conflict.
It was interesting to consider that a majority of stress in this profession is internal. While i have had many discussions about stress and the handling of stress in the Law Enforcement Career, this module really drove home the idea that the internal conflicts are the most long lasting and need to be addressed. There is a push for courses on De-Escalation in today's law enforcement culture. I fear that too much of that is focused only on external conflict and not enough of internal. Sometimes the aggression or frustration that officers are accused of taking out on suspects could actually be the product of internal stress. I have certainly seen and can identify fellow officers with all 5 attitudes that lead to Conflict.
The maxims of conflicts rarely being resolved so they must be managed is so true, yet ignored. Very seldom do two people who despise each other talk for 10 or 15 minutes and solve all the world's problems. One doesn't negotiate with a terrorist thinking we will change years or even a lifetime of beliefs in a conversation or even a day. With this realization, we can always work at improving but have to realize that managing the situation is the prudent course of action.
In module 6, Conflict Management knowing that in the law enforcement environment internal conflict is the perceived stressor. Sheriff Nash explained this module so well, from giving the strategies, tips and maxims. The path to restoration is what every law enforcement agency needs to resolve all conflict.
I agree, restoration is what is needed. If we can work on our relationship as officers we can only better serve the communities that we are here to protect.
Managing conflict is a dilemma that every leader will ultimately face. I enjoyed the way Sheriff Nash presented the material of instruction by adding a personal touch. Most of the conflict I have dealt with so far in my career have usually fallen into the Perceived conflict category. Most people perceive there is a conflict without even learning the facts. Keeping open lines of communication is crucial for me in helping resolve these perceived conflicts. This coincided with one of the ways of managing conflict which was "don't run on assumption." Going forward in the future I will use the 5 different types of attitudes leading to conflict to help me identify the different spirits of conflict.
I agree that the perceived conflict is very prevalent. I have honestly seen myself fall into this category more than once. Thankfully I have matured and learned to slow down and look at a situation for the other person's perspective. I also believe the lack of body language and tone in emails, texts, and other social media often contributes to the mistakes of assumption.
I agree communication through electronic devices can sometimes contribute to conflicts. Being leaders we should always communicate face to resolve any issues
It was interesting to see that most law enforcement stress comes from within the agency; I do see the internal issues, but due to the nature of the job, I figured most stress would come from outside influence. The 10% concept makes sense, and I believe once you get both parties to assume some responsibility to the conflict, it is much easier to manage or resolve. I will utilize this concept in the future.
I agree with your response, taking accountability would help you manage so many things. Learning the different conflicts when it comes to managing will help the department as a whole.
It's like sales, but for an idea. In a sense you're getting them to buy a portion of the fault.
I also believe that Sheriff Nash's approach to applying the 10% concept appears to be an extremely useful tool for leaders to utilize and resolve conflict swiftly and efficiently.
Most stress in law enforcement is internal. I liked the Sheriff’s way of resolving a conflict. Getting both parties to take 10 percent of the blame. I think this is a good way of getting people to start a civil conversation on the path to forgiveness. It is hard for law enforcement officers to say I forgive you. It often takes a good leader to bring them together and start the process.
I found the way Sheriff Nash explained the 10 percent blame strategy to be extremely insightful. With each person taking a portion of the blame, acknowledging a portion of the blame and then asking for forgiveness seems like a great way to resolve conflict. The tactic of not allowing each person to use the 10 percent blame when asking for forgiveness from the other person. Allows both individuals the freedom to accept the apology from the other person.
i found that strategy as brilliant, especially once the blame is accepted by all and the conflict is over. The 80% of the conflict is completely forgotten about. Makes one wonder how important are the internal conflicts within an Agency.
I agree with Sheriff Nash’s strategy in owning and dividing blame. This seems to be a diplomatic approach if you are dealing with employees that are casting judgment against each other. I am fortunate that the team I serve with will recognize fault and work through the issues for a positive resolution. If and when I encounter opposition between team members, I will incorporate the concept.
I have never thought about the attitudes that cause interior conflict in such a linear fashion. It helps to add definitions to the attitudes. It makes it easier for me to differentiate and form an action plan to deal with the conflict attitudes and hopefully bring the member back into the fold before it is to late. The bitter spirit attracting others sure was true. Misery loves company.
In speaking of misery loving company, I really like the way Sheriff Nash brought up the group of women who were overhead by his daughter. It really made me think about some of these types of gatherings at work. I know I have participated in them, probably most of us have, but now knowing how they come about, maybe we can do something to make them positive rather than feeding the negative beast.
This module allowed me to see the five different attitudes leading to conflict. I unknowing until now have experienced all these behaviors in others throughout my professional career, and these negative outlooks can affect the morale of others quickly. I enjoyed the lecture points on how we can manage those personalities to ensure that harmony is occurring through our work place.
I agree with Sheriff Nash that most stress comes from within the agency. The demand for working for an elected official can bring great fear in job security. It’s hard to keep up with what seems like very demanding policies, rules, and standards. The time allotment to meet them really isn’t there. This is what I believe contributes to these stressors. However, if we look to our internal selves, we may find that we aren’t managing our own time with the greatest efficiency which could reduce the stress. A lot of times the stress causes us to lash out. If we are responsible for our own character, we’ll catch it on the spot and correct it. If not, now we are at odds with others over something that is usually frivolous.
I agree that stress makes us lash out on people for the smallest things. I think we can all manage our time much better and think before we speak. If we all could do this there would be fewer conflicts in our lives.
In a leadership role, we must be willing to resolve conflict amongst employees. Sheriff Nash’s three question conflict management strategy was quite interesting. Accepting responsibility for one’s own fault, accepting forgiveness, and giving forgiveness were simple incorporated into his three questions. When both parties invest in that responsibility the conflict gets resolved. I will definitely attempt to use this strategy in my next conflict management.
Its worth a try. I'm not sure if I would use his exact language but will try something similar in a low grade conflict and see if I can pull it off.
I agree that we not only have to be willing to resolve conflict outside of the department, but also within our agencies to manage the internal stressors. I also will be looking for an opportunity to utilize this 10% strategy in the community and workplace alike...I do not however believe I will attempt this one with my significant other though!
The different spirits discussed in this module really hit home for me. I could picture a particular deputy for every spirit listed and how it accurately described them. It gave me a lot of perspective on how I should handle these types of people and how they perceive conflict.
“I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system”
I enjoyed Sheriff Nash's strategy on resolving conflict by getting each person to accept partial blame, while still asking and accepting the other person for forgiveness. Also while he was discussing the different types of spirits, I was thinking of the people I work with who fit into that category.
I'm not sure if his strategy of partial acceptance would work all of the time. I believe over the years officers would catch on to this tactic. I also started picturing every deputy that fit the different spirits discussed.
I am taking a LOT away from this module.
As I'm sure most of us did, I identified several people that fit into each category. I thought of one that fit into the last, but he has been gone for some time. I don't know anyone else I would consider a lost cause.
I simply cannot wait for the opportunity to try the resolution method he details at the end!
Christian I felt the same way. Almost to the point of excitement, I await the clash of two personalities so I can test this new tool set.
Very true. there was alot of people i was placing into each group. And cant wait to try this approach to resolve conflict.
Agreed with all leaders that could identify someone they have encountered with these conflict ideologies. While 4 of 5 conflicts can be saved/reversed, we all hope co-workers can be "shown the light". We all want each other to succeed, we want to help our coworkers that NEED help. There can only be healing when we can identify things to help repair. We need to lead by example and engage others often for positive reasons. Any agency can benefit from better dialogues all around.
I learned the three types of conflict consist of perceived, felt and real. People enter law enforcement with their own expectations. When those expectations are not reached and the real world sets in, this can cause issues in relationships. There are so many conflicts that's been in existence for many years. Forgiveness is key to resolving the conflict, but sometimes egos can get in the way.
I found that the five attitudes interesting. I have either worked with people or for people that fit in each of the different types of attitude. The way that the lesson describes each one was like he knew the people that i worked with.
Some conflicts can lasts for many years and might never be resolved. I can also point out people who have these types of attitudes as well.
This is true. Some conflicts even spill over onto others. I have seen it happen.
I have seen almost all types also and feel like the Bitter Spirit tends to be older senior officers that may have been overlooked for a position. I remember 22 years ago as a rookie coming across those disgruntled older guys.
I agree, over my 20yr career older officers were stuck in their ways and refused to promote change, it caused conflict.
We've all been involved in multiple conflict management situations in our personal and professional lives. Sheriff Nash's conflict management strategy is so simple yet powerful. Can wait to use it.
The five attitudes leading to conflict explained by Sheriff Nash was the most interesting that I found. When he was explaining each of the spirts, I was thinking about individuals within my agency and placing them into each category. What is most interesting is that each of the spirits can be restored, except for the unrestored spirit, if leaders were to put some time into helping restore that spirit. We can all identify someone in each category, but we should also do some self-reflection to see what we as leaders can do to help them along their path.
Conflict Management training is something that should added to in-service. I think it’s something that most people fail out because it’s easier to just let continue and fester. The Path of Restoration steps gave good insight on how to work on managing conflict. I like the Integrity Check and the management strategy seems that it could be effective.
Agreed Amanda. To add to that, management is often culpable for certain conflicts, because we fail to address them.
I agree conflict management should be implemented in-service but also should be a requirement of all supervisors.
I would agree with that. Often times we are friends with the people we work with. We usually try to ignore things that offend or working relationship. But they get tucked away in the back of mind and fester. It’s best to address them right away and this module gave us tools to do that; even a pretty good strategy at the end.
Internal Conflicts is an issue most people do not want to face. They can deal with the conflicts on the street but not their own. Listening to Sheriff Nash’s lecture, I can think of several bitter and rebellious people in our agency. The strategy he explained seems to be a great strategy, however, you would have a hard time getting some of the bitter people to except any blame.
I agree Laurie. A lot of people wound rather place the blame then acknowledge they are at fault.
Yes. There are conflicts within our organization that have lasted for years. Newer employees don’t even know about some of those conflicts because they happened decades ago. If these people would get together and wipe the slate clean, it would create a better work environment for all parties involved.
I agree that internal conflict is one issue that people go out of their way not to face. It is sad that dealing with strangers on the streets is better in someone's mind rather than dealing with their own brothers and sisters in the agency.
This was my favorite topic discussed so far, because this can lead to destruction in so many ways. We as humans typically shy away from resolving conflicts, whether they are work-related, spouse related, or family-related. We sometimes act like we owe the conflict money, but don’t want to pay our debt, so we avoid dealing with it. I have personally formed dislikes toward other subordinates and supervisors, just based on perceived conflict. I later identified that my perception was invalid, and we “squashed the issues.” I think the strategy for conflict resolution is ingenious, and I will put it in my tool bag.
I agree, Clint.
I believe that miscommunication and wrong perceptions lead to most of the conflict we deal with.
After this module, we can easily deal with those, and more fact-based conflicts.
I gained quite a lot with this one.
Not surprising that maxim # 1 explains that most L.E. stress comes from internal, not external influences. There is so much disgruntlement within our agency with many officers believing any other method is better except the one in practice. Officers focus on the negatives instead of the positives all too often. Perceived injustices are frequently incorrect and spread like wildfire in the rumor mill.
We spend more time with our coworkers, then our own families sometimes. This leads to no surprise that maxim #1 is so true. We can best describe it as a “rollercoaster of emotions,” we have our ups and downs. We must learn how to manage it because we all count on each other at the end of the day.
I think the video is right on about the internal conflicts. I like the break down and defining each of the 5 attitudes that generate conflict. He really hits it when he says that we also need to look at ourselves to see if the problem is us and to really evaluate ourselves to see if we are any of these attitudes. I think defining the attitudes helps to identify what you might be dealing with in different people or to see and recognized where someone might be and to prevent it from escalating. This would be a time for us to defuse a situation because that is ultimately our goal. Stop a cancer from getting worse or spreading.
I enjoyed learning about the 5 attitudes leading to conflict. This module helped me identify certain subordinates that project these types of attitudes. The path of restoration will hopefully guide me in handling these different spirits. The conflict management strategy proposed by Sheriff Nash is pretty touchy feely for law enforcement and might be difficult for veteran supervisors/management to attempt with conflicting subordinates. However, if it achieves the intended goal of conflict resolution, I'd be willing to try it.
This lecture was good i enjoyed learning more about dealing with conflicts. I know in my case i have my office conflicts carry over to my family life. I have found that when officers come to work with bad attitudes, i will ask them if every thing is alright at home and they will advise they are having a conflict at home. I am excited about trying this conflict management exercise in real life.
Yes I agree, very good lecture on breaking it down in identifying conflicts. But like you I do sometimes let these conflicts carry over into my family life but mostly venting about how to deal with them. It is very difficult to deal with peoples conflicts that are in their personal life spilling into work or as you said bringing the bad attitude to work. This exercise gives me a different way of approaching it,
I agree, allowing yourself to open up and listen to the officers needs will also build a strong bond of trust. I have experienced sometimes just letting someone vent in a safe neutral place prevents exposing a negative atmosphere for others.
You are not alone in allowing work related conflict to spill into your personal life. I think at any point, we have all dealt with someone who is carrying that weight, or have been the one spoiling the milk. Having a supervisor or peer hold us accountable and offer a resolution is generally what is needed to refocus and move forward.
This module was great. Forgiveness is very powerful in any situation. This module provided me with some good advice on how to help resolve conflict professionally and personally.
The lecture is correct, most of the stress on law enforcement officers comes from internal conflict. I have witnessed this many times at my department. Some officers within our department believe they are entitled to certain information when in fact they are not. Several officers have sent public records request to attempt to find out information. When the information requested is found to be privileged, then rumors are started among the lower ranking officers. A small group of disgruntled employees can cause serious internal issues if it is not addressed by the administration.
Internal conflict has created more issues in our department than anything else. We have officers who leak information to the media just to cause disarray. Officers will have members of the media to do public information requests about internal memos which contains nothing. In our department, we are in the process of a leader change and the suck-ups who got jobs they didn't deserve are now bitter/rebellious spirits.
I agree, there is a clique in every organization and it changes with each new leader. Officers not in the current clique so often feel slighted and looked over. It is human nature to want to be included and part of the culture.
I recognized that internal conflict was a big part of stress in my department. There has always been individuals in my department who appeared to strive in creating conflict with others and rejoicing in the madness they created. It was as if they lived off of the emotions that were generated from confusing. Alot of what I took from this section described the Bitter/rebellious spirit. Mad, angry yet assigning fault for the issues intentionally created.
Mike, i agree with you. There are a small amount of people that cause issues for the entire department. They blame others for issues they created never taking responsibility themselves.
I agree with your point on the video. I know a lot of bitter and rebellious spirited people in my agency. I also have been around people in other organizations that were complaining about the unfair stuff that goes on in their agency.
I've witness the same in my agency. The silver lining for my department is a lot of these bitter, wounded, and rebellious spirits are close to retirement. I just hope we can change the culture so that our younger officers do not take their place once they are gone.
You are right Mike, I believe every organization have those people that are truly not happy unless there is conflict. There are people that are miserable therefore, want to make others miserable with them. Those are the same people that most likely would never take 10% of the blame to resolve a situation.
We have the same issues at our agency. When I began my career in law enforcement, I never would have imagined that my biggest source of stress and conflict would be with the agency I worked for or my fellow officers. Unfortunately, that has been somewhat of a reality.
Conflict has always existed; it will always exist. How it is dealt with will be the game changer. There are varying degrees of conflict what we will see and for some using the conflict management strategy may work. For others will require looking deeper into the root of the true problem and dealing with it from there. Having relationships with people, listening and using emotional intelligence is always key when dealing with sensitive issues and conflict. Patience and understanding goes a long way too. Although its no surprise, I do find it interesting that internal conflict is the biggest stressors for police officers. I also find it interesting they are hired to deal with conflict on the street daily. Most are great negotiators and can find resolutions to most conflict peacefully. They diffuse situations and communicate well with the angriest of citizens and de-escalate incidents successfully. I suppose because there are degrees of separation when they are on the street it may be easier to do and the conflict they have to deal with internally is personal to them creates a different level and type of stress.
This module on conflict management and identification is crucial. We, as law enforcement leaders, must recognize the root cause of internal personnel conflicts, identify the attitudes and have an idea of how to possibly resolve the issues. It was also important that we self-reflect to identify if we are part of the problem. Often, I have seen the management refuse to take responsibility and then attempt to fix the problems they've created. The component discussing the path of restoration is helpful not only professionally, but in our personal lives.
The lecture by Sheriff Nash mentioning that the stressors in the law enforcement profession is caused from internal conflict is 100% correct. During my law enforcement career, I have only noted a few external incidents that really affected the officer’s involved. Perceived conflict, however, is rampage in this profession. When speaking with officer’s it is amazing to learn of the perceived conflict that they feel is happening to them. I have resolved many of these instances by just providing effective communication. It is my belief that because we don’t provide effective communication regularly in our organizations that rumors and misleading information flows throughout causing much of the perceived conflict. I have experience this myself and learned that by simply speaking with the other party and listening to what they have to say usually resolves the conflict. Sheriff Nash mentioned the 10% fault strategy in the lecture and although it is a simple approach I believe it would work. The only problem that you run into is if your organization provides some of the other leadership training to their employees. Our agency requires leadership training in order to advance, so most of the personnel within the agency have seen the lecture with Sheriff Nash and know about the 10% fault strategy.
Conflict management whether perceived, felt or real is seen in law enforcement on a regular basis. How it is dealt with unfortunately, is to ignore and it will just go away. Or, there are grudges that are held within and unfortunately are seen from a 3rd party and they just watch of how they play out, instead of intervening. If everyone within the organization identified with the 5 attitudes, 4 conflict maxims and paths to restoration, we might have a better understanding in handling these conflicts. Most conflicts are controlled by an “ego, but if they would step back with a tad of humility instead, follow these guidelines, our inner organization conflicts would possibly decrease. Until we take a stand to deal with conflict head on, it will be the norm to just turn a blind eye like I have seen so many times.
Dealing with conflict, whether in the work place or in our personal lives, is rarely something that anyone looks forward to. As discussed in this module, it is important to understand where conflict comes from and the attitudes that allow conflict to persist. Deescalating conflict and working to resolve issues takes emotional intelligence and the ability for one to remove their personal emotions and expectations from the equation. It is important, especially as a supervisor, to manage conflict and not allow it to fester within your organization, because the attitudes that result from unresolved conflict are carcinogenic and can easily lead to unrestorable attitudes as discussed in this module. As supervisors, we must work hard to continually guide our personnel to remain under the umbrella of our organization's expectations and the respect that we owe one another as we all navigate through the stressful and difficult career of law enforcement. We must work to turn the tide on the stressors that effect our employees so we move further away from creating or allowing internal stressors to impact our organizations.
Absolutely we never look forward to conflict and at times I’ve seen they tend to ignore it and just hope it works itself out. As a 3rd party when the conflict is seen or heard, you hear the “it’s not my problem” saying. I will intervene when I see it but not get involved in the logistics of the conflict if it doesn’t concern me but into the personal solution of how to come to an agreement of the two parties. I guess you could say I play mediator, trying to ensure everyone gets along in our organization is priority because we are a team. Again, just as you said, meet our stressors head on and not allow internal stressors affect the organization.
Conflict in law enforcement. I was surprised to hear that most of the conflict for a law enforcement professional lies internally. I can’t say that I see that in my department or at least in my division. I guess there could be some perceived conflict or felt conflict that just has not reared it’s head yet. This was an interesting module, it will open my eyes to look for things other than the outright physical or verbal conflict that we mostly are used to.
Jason, I have experience that perceived conflict is usually related to the lack of communication. Most of the time this doesn’t occur on a shift if the leaders are effective communicators and speak to their personnel. As I noted in my post, I regularly speak with employees of our organization and the perceived conflict is real. After providing truthful information about things that I am aware of, the employee is normally satisfied and the conflict is resolved.
It is sometimes surprising that the majority of conflict is internal within our agencies. It is extremely unfortunate and sometimes surprising. I feel that as a manager, we create an open and safe environment, but not always seeing it from the subordinates perspective.
At my agency I have seen internal conflict. Most of what I have seen seems to stem from people competing for the same thing, which causes conflict. I think a lot of that could be avoided if we collaborated more and worked together instead of doing or own thing and competing against each other.
I liked the conflict resolution strategy in this module. If you can get each party to look inward and accept a small amount of the blame then forgiveness should be forthcoming. In learning about the 5 Attitudes I have to say you can't always terminate the Unrestorable Spirit. In a Civil Service Environment an act has to be pretty serious to rise to that level. When this person is placed where they have minimal impact as the lecture suggests, it doesn't always send the best message to the rest of the organization.
The conflict resolution strategy seems too simple. But as they always say, use the KISS method. With each agreeing to take some blame, the conflict is resolved. Even though I am not civil service, during the module when that was mentioned, I thought about the civil service side and thought getting rid of that person was easier said than done.
Joey, I agree with your statement of not placing a person where they have minimal impact sends the wrong message to the members of the department. I also don’t believe in finding ways to terminate a person because they are an “unrestored spirit”. At least at my agency it would require a lot of documentation and progressive discipline or a gross violation of law or policy for termination to be recommended. Every effort would be made to work with this person. Fortunately, we don’t have people like that for now at the department.
I agree Joey, the best part of the lecture for me was the conflict resolution strategy. Seeing how that worked made good sense. Most people don't like to being in a conflict because of the internal stress it causes.
I agree with you Joey, but I would like to add if we can use god conflict management skills when dealing with our conflicts, we can minimize our internal stress.
The lecturer is "dead on" with the comment about the #1 stress in Law Enforcement is from Internal. From the beginning a new officer is told of all the dangers of the suspect, however very little training is dedicated about the stress from with in the agency. That stress comes from immediate supervisors all the way up to the chief. I believe more training in the area from the agency may help eliminate some of the conflicts before they start.
This module reminds me of my undergraduate studies at CSULB. I was a criminal justice major and conducted a research paper on stress in law enforcement. I created a questionnaire for police officers to fill out and return back to me for my research paper. I still recall how the majority of the responses attributed their stress to internal issues within their department. I came down to a lack of trust by the rank and file with their supervisors and command staff. The survey was completed by two police departments and a local Sheriff's substation. Admittedly, it was not a scientific study, but the same leadership challenges over 30+ years ago are still affecting our profession today. I found the conflict management strategy (10% acceptance) to be a very effective strategy. Most reasonable people would agree that they have some amount of ownership in workplace conflict. Look forward to actually using this strategy in the workplace. The four character traits will also help you to work through our own personal conflict in the workplace-personal growth is optional!
I agree, taking personal responsibility is the key to acceptance and forgiveness. It humanizes conflict and reinforces the idea that we are all human and have our own part in conflict. It is humbling and empowering.
When dealing with conflict management within our organization, it is important to know the different attitudes that lead to conflict: Independent, Wounded, Bitter, Rebellious and Unrestorable. I have personally witnessed each of these attitudes by personnel in the workplace. With the exception of the Unrestorable Spirit, who is glad to be bitter and is likely not to change, there are courses of action that can set the others on a path to restoration. One remarkable approach to handling conflict is taking your own personal accountability in the matter as well as approaching conflict with a calm demeanor. When you speak with someone who cannot contain their emotions due to their perceived inequity, a calm tone can typically unconsciously make them lower their voice and calm down, if not just to listen to what you have to say.
I agree with your comments about reaction with a calm demeanor. I have seen it work several times, not only in the workplace, but also on the street. If we take out the "ego" portion many conflicts can be resolved, sometimes before they start.
Monte I agree with you, especially about taking out the ego. In my opinion taking the ego out of the situation results in the situation being resolved twice as easily. Often the cause, or majority of the cause, of the conflict was centered around ego to begin with. When ego and pride are removed from a situation, a positive outcome will come much more easily.
Frank, I think you nailed it to talk about the importance of taking personal accountability. We don't have a superpower to change others, but we do have complete control over our own response and emotions to conflict. Giving others space to talk about perceived or real inequity goes a long way to building rapport and trust because it lets that person know that you care enough to listen. Sometimes that is all someone needs to move past an issue.
Nancy I couldn't agree with you more. In my department I have found that allowing people the opportunity to talk has done a lot to build respect and trust. And yes, sometimes they just want to know that you do care enough to just listen.
I agree, Frank. Approaching things with a calm tone greatly impacts the outcome with an emotionally charged individual. I find that not immediately responding to a person like that and allowing the situation to settle before trying to change something (when you're able to anyway) is extremely helpful as well.
I agree, knowing where to start is important as well as what roles the organization has in the conflict. I have often found in such situations that offering clarity and simple redirection resolves most situations. Knowing the "why" often defuses situations but it always has to come from a point of validation and respect.
I would personally be interested in getting more details about the conflict that is reported within a police department. Is it generally between officers or employees of the same rank or different ranks such as supervisor to subordinate? I think this would make a big difference in how it is approached as an organization. Generally, within my organization I have seen more stress come as a result of supervisors having high, even unreasonable, expectations of their subordinates. This results in conflict between ranks and additional stress for all involved. Referring back to the previous model, it would seem that these unreasonable expectations result in a supervisor using coercive stress to get short term results. As an organization, leadership could stress the importance of other forms of "power" to influence other's behavior which would benefit the organization because it would produce less stress, increased morale, and longer term results.
Kyle, all your points are valid, but it has been my experience that the majority of workplace conflict involves a subordinate/supervisor relationship for the reasons you stated. However, an important part of leadership is holding everyone accountable, many times, rank and file, and supervisory personnel will not hold themselves accountable, which requires management intervention. The troops all know those that are not carrying their weight.
I also have seen stress brought about by supervisors placing high, even unreasonable, expectations on their subordinates. The best way that I have found to ensure that I don't perpetuate this onto my folks is to follow Abrashoff's 3-step process when assigning tasks, which is to ensure that 1) the goals are clearly understood; 2) adequate resources are made available; and 3) the persons assigned the task are adequately trained. If any of these three are missing, stress and conflict are sure to follow.
Given how close-knit the law enforcement community is, I was surprised to learn that most of the conflict that officers face in their workplaces comes from internal sources. While this is unfortunate, the good news is that because it originates in our halls, it means that we absolutely have the ability to address it and provide our personnel with the positive, professional work environment and culture that they deserve. The "tips to manage conflict effectively" look very useful and I am going to share them with our training cadre to see whether they might include them within our in-house training on communication. Finally, the Path to Restoration also looks like a very useful tool and one that we may need to find room for in our advanced supervisory training.
As a police officer and someone who has been in law enforcement over 21 years now, I feel the assessment that most of the job-related stress comes from within is accurate. Whether it is self-imposed (perceived) or real, most who want to perform at a high level impose levels of stress upon themselves which others, who are average performers, do not experience. In addition, some decisions and directions made by command can cause internal stress for those who resist change.
I absolutely agree! The self induced stress is through the roof in most agencies I think. There are so many variable within the job it really takes effort to not stress yourself over what are minor details in hind sight.
I agree but the most stressful part of an officers job is what takes place inside the police department. The internal stress is very hard to deal with for so many people. Management must see the stress and address it before it destroys the department
Jarvis, I agree that the most stressful part of an officer's job is what takes place inside the agency. The internal stress is hard to deal with, but after watching this module I feel that these practices and tips will be very useful in helping with the stress and conflict within the agency.
Frank, I agree with you and believe most stress is internal. Lack of communication within an agency or poor decisions or shall we say decisions that certain officers might not like are all examples of internal stress. I know that I have made myself stressed over perceived issues that never actually appeared. I feel communication is key to resolving much of this stress
I'm afraid I wasn't surprised. I have watched relationships change dynamics throughout the years at my agency. I've heard it said, "you get here and are friends with everyone, by the time you leave you hate everybody." It is unfortunate, but I think fixable.
I was not surprised about the complaint regarding internal conflict within Law Enforcement agencies, however, I would not have imagined it to be one of the primary sources of our stress. I do believe as leaders we need to make certain that we are practicing good character traits to be a model for our employees.
From my personal experience I agree that that most of the L.E. stress comes from within the department. Officers are more stressed out about potential discipline if they make mistakes. They are comfortable dealing with issues out on the road as they received training for that. There is none or very little training like this on conflict management and how to deal with internal conflicts
I feel this is so true, most street cops worry more about making a mistake, potential discipline and even being fired. These days no one knows what will set the media off and next thing you have is protests and then riots.
I was also surprised when I heard that a majority of conflict comes from within! However, as I began to reflect on it I realized that it makes a lot of sense. As a group, we are very much so type A personalities that are similar in many ways. I think the similarity between officers many times results in natural conflicts developing. I really think the path to restoration will be a great tool to overcome the attitudes that leads to the internal conflicts.
Chris, I am really interested in trying Sheriff's "10%" method in trying to resolve my next internal conflict with my deputies. It seems like it is a very logical way to simply and effectively resolve a conflict.