Supervisory Skills Problem Solving

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					Supervisory Skills: Problem Solving

         Presenter: Michele Adams
      “Task” vs. “People” Challenges

– Learn and Practice Solutions to “Task
  Oriented Problems”
– Learn and Practice Solutions to “People
  Oriented Problems”
– Learn about communication and conflict
  management tools
– Discover the process of critical thinking
            Goals: “Task” Problems

Increase proficiency in:
  – Rational problem solving and critical
  – Recognizing personal blocks to solving
    problems and making decisions
  – Enhancing productivity by overcoming
    blocks to independent problem solving
  – Taking independent action using new
         Benefits of Thinking Critically

• Critical thinkers can raise vital questions and
  problems, as well as formulate and present them
• Critical thinkers can gather and assess
  information and interpret it effectively
• Critical thinkers can reach well-reasoned
  conclusions and solutions to problems while
  comparing them to relevant regulations and
• Critical thinkers can be open-minded
• Critical thinkers can clearly communicate ideas,
  positions, and solutions to others
A Necessary Condition
to the Development of
 Critical Thinking is:

A Questioning
               Process for Critical Thinking

                    1. (Re)state
6. Implement                             2. Identify
  Solutions                               Triggers

 5. Identify                             3. Identify
 Resources                                Barriers

                    4. Identify
          Step 1: (Re)state the problem

Paraphrase the problem from the
 participant’s/co-worker’s point of view
  – “It sounds like you are having difficulty
    with……is that right?”
  – “May I ask a few questions so we can get
    to the bottom of this?”
             Step 2: Identify Triggers

What circumstances or situations
 triggered the problem?
  – Differentiate fact from opinion
  – Specify underlying causes
  – State the problem explicitly
  – Identify what standard is violated
  – Determine whose problem it is
             Step 3: Identify Barriers

•   What barriers stand in the way of
    solving the problem?
    1. People Centered?
    2. Task Centered?
    3. System Centered?
      Step 4: Identify Stakeholders

Who is involved in the problem?
  – Who have you spoken to?

Who can help implement the
  – Who has the answers the customer
  – Who can resolve the issue?
          Step 5: Identify Resources

What resources are available to help
 solve the problem?
  – People resources?
  – What system or resource can I call
    upon to help?
           Step 6: Implement Solutions

What solutions can we implement to
 solve the problem?
  – Identify short- and long-term solutions
  – Get solutions from multiple resources
  – Match solutions to customer needs
  – Commit to customer “I will do what by
  – Follow up until the problem is resolved
              Exercise – Scenario Analysis

Task: In teams, use the Critical Thinking
  Model to find the quickest way to resolve
  the following scenario…
• Identify the triggers, barriers, stakeholders,
  resources and possible solutions to the
• 15 minutes working time
• One (or more) team members will “present”
  your idea to the class
• The class will vote on the “best” idea
                        Decision Making Styles

A.   You solve the problem or make the decision yourself, using
     information available to you at that time.
B.   You obtain the necessary information from your colleague(s), then
     decide on the solution to the problem yourself.
C.   You share the problem with relevant colleagues individually, getting
     their ideas and suggestions without bringing them together as a
     group. Then you make the decision that may or may not reflect your
     colleagues influence.
D.   You share the problem with your colleagues as a group, collectively
     obtaining their ideas and suggestions. Then you make the decision
     that may or may not reflect your colleagues influence.
E.   You share a problem with your colleagues as a group. Together you
     generate and evaluate alternatives and attempt to reach agreement
     (consensus) on a solution.
Thinking Through the Implications of
      Your Potential Decisions
The ability to think through the implications of a decision you
are faced with or a problem you are trying to solve is an
important intellectual skill. In this activity, think of a problem
you need to find a solution to or a decision you need to make.
Complete these statements:

1. The problem or decision I am facing is…
2. Some potential solutions to the problem or
    decisions I might make are…
3. For each of these “solutions” or
    “decisions,” some implications which would
    logically follow from my acting upon the
    solution or decision are…
             Rational Problem Solving

Problems Can Be Handled Three Ways

1. Solving the problem
 Optimize: Find the solution with the
 best combination of benefits.
            Rational Problem Solving

Problems Can Be Handled Three Ways

2. Resolving the problem
  Suffice: settle for a solution that is
   good enough rather than the best
                 Rational Problem Solving

Problems Can Be Handled Three Ways

3. Dissolving the problem
  Idealize: change the situation so that the
  problem no longer exists.
      •   Dissolve space issues by building a waiting area
      •   Accept problems as needing continuous
            Group Decision Making

 How to improve group decision
  – Brainstorming

  – Lateral Thinking

– Group members actively generate as
  many ideas and alternatives as
  possible, and they do so relatively
  quickly and without inhibitions.
– Brainstorming rules.
  •   All criticism is ruled out.
  •   Free-wheeling is welcomed.
  •   Quantity is wanted.
  •   Piggy-backing is good.
         Exercise – Name That Soft Drink

Task: Create a new soft drink.
• Groups use Brainstorming
• 10 minutes working time
• On a flip chart write down:
  – Name of your proposed flavor
  – List of key ingredients
• One (or more) team members will “present”
  your name to the Group
• The Group will vote on the “best” name
           Exercise – Workplace Challenge

Task: Design a procedure based on
 the methods of this session that will
 address a problem solving
• Groups use Brainstorming
• 15 minutes working time
• One (or more) team members will
  “present” your idea to the class
• The class will vote on the “best” idea
     Six Thinking Hats (Edward De Bono)

Each hat serves a function:
What are the facts?
What do I feel about this?
What is wrong with this?
What are the good points?
What new ideas are possible?
What thinking is needed?
                       Application I

• Problem Solving
  Blue :     Definition of the problem
  White :    Information available
  Green :    Possible Solutions
  Yellow :   Feasibility of each solution
  Black :    Weakness of each solution
  White :    Match solutions to information.
             Are the solutions feasible, based on
             the information we have?
  Blue:      Choice of final solution and next step
   Use the process to answer the question:

“What should we do to increase our
    ability to solve participant
        issues/problems at
         Arbor WeCare?

   or a problem of your choosing…
        Goals: “People” Problems

• Explore a range of approaches and
  strategies in interpersonal
• Learn new methods for resolving
  disputes with difficult people
• Enhance skills in active listening and
  assertive communication
• Learn new techniques for generating
  partnership and trust
         Goals: “People” Problems

1. Barriers to Effective Communication
2. Collaborative Negotiation
    (Positions and Needs)
3. Active Listening
4. “Inquiring Behavior”
5. Practice Exercises
         Barriers to Effective Communication

 Negative Associations w/ Conflict
 Nature of the Human Mind

 Education
    – At work we spend:
       9% time reading
       16% time writing

       35% time speaking

       40% time listening

    TENDS to be:                    CAN be:
 Seen as negative              Seen as positive
 Viewed as a problem          Viewed as a possibility
 “It is broken and needs       Opportunity for growth
 to be fixed!”                 “We/I can be creative here”

   About competition             About communication

                    GOING to be:
         Uncomfortable and tense (at first)
         Emotional
         Demanding of energy, creativity, planning
           Sources of Daily Conflict

Schedules              Personalities
Priorities             Cost
Resource allocation    Divided loyalties
Technical              Ethical issues
Administrative         Coordination
 procedures             Performance issues
        Approaches to Conflict

 Competitive
 Accommodation

 Avoidance

 Compromise

 Collaborative
                            The Conflict Grid

    ACCOMMODATION                                   COLLABORATION
8   I lose / You Win                                Emphasis on
                                                    problem solving
    Other’s needs are
                                                    to meet the needs
7   paramount
                                                    of both sides
                                                    Separates people
6                             COMPROMISE            from the problem
                            Each party gives
5                           up part of what
                            they want.

4                           Frequently
                            thought to be the
                            best solution             COMPETITIVE
                                                    I win / You Lose
    Not dealing with
                                                    Focus more on
2   the situation
                                                    the outcome than
    Ignoring,                                       the relationship
    withdrawing or
1   postponing

0      1       2        3      4      5         6      7       8        9   Adapted from Pruitt/
                                                                            Rubin Dual Concerns
                                                                            and Thomas/Killman
                        Concern for self                                    Conflict Models

 I win / you lose
 Focus more on the outcome than the
 Sense that the other person (or their
objectives) are a threat
 The PERSON is the problem
 Limited resources

 I lose / you win
 Focus more on the relationship
  than the outcome
 Other’s needs are paramount

 Not dealing with the situation
 Can be through ignoring, withdrawing,
  postponing, or changing the subject

 Each party gives up part of what they want
 Partial winners
 Sometimes it is the only way to handle a
  difficult situation
 However, it may lead to two dissatisfied
                What’s your style?

 Write down names of people from your life
 Is there an approach you tend to take
 when the situation gets stressful?
 Does it depend on the person?
 Jot down the approach beside the name
 Share with a partner
            Collaborative Approach

 Frequently known as “win-win” or “fair-fair”
 Emphasis on problem-solving to meet the
  needs of BOTH parties
 Mutually acceptable solution that maintains or
 strengthens the relationship
 Separates the people from the problem
 Focus is on underlying interests/ needs and
 not the stated position
 From sitting on opposites sides of the table to
  sitting on the same side
            Underlying Needs

            Choice, Freedom, Learning,
         Self Love, Courage, Independence
              Respect, Recognition,
       Competence, Praise, Importance, Trust
Love, Friendship, Respect, Loyalty, Acceptance, Trust

          Clothing, Shelter, Warmth, Money

             Water, Food, Rest, Exercise
                                           *Based on theory of Abraham Maslow
                    Positions and Needs

• Positions
    – Concrete demands.
    – Can be satisfied in
      only one way.
   Interests and Needs
    – Underlie the position.
    – Can be satisfied in a
      number of ways.
                    Positions and Needs

   Two sisters fight over an orange.
       Position: “I want the orange.”
       Needs
         • Little Sister needs: Fruit for eating
         • Big Sister needs: Peel for baking

   Israel and Egypt dispute.
   Position: “My country must have complete control”
      Needs
         • Egypt needs: Sovereignty
         • Israel needs: Security
              Positions and Needs

• Virtual team members
• How do we send urgent messages about
  the project?
• Positions: “Email vs. Telephone”
  – John’s need:     I need to feel informed.
  – Sarah’s need:    I need to feel informed.
• Reframe:
  – How can we resolve this so both John and
    Sarah feel fully informed about urgent project
      Exercise: Positions and Needs

• Choose a partner
• Identify position and underlying need
• Five minutes
          Assessment: Active Listening

• Active listening is a way of listening and
  responding to another person that
  improves mutual understanding.

Exercise: Take the Listening Self Assessment
            Skills for Active Listening

•   Attending
•   Paraphrasing
•   Reflecting Feelings
•   Probing
•   Self Disclosure
•   Checking Perceptions
•   Summarizing

• Definition
  – Providing verbal and non-verbal
• Examples:
  – Sitting Forward
  – Eye Contact
  – Nodding Head

• Definition
  – Restating what a stakeholder has said
    in your own words to ensure you both
    understand what was intended.

• Benefits
  – Encourages stakeholder to continue.
  – Stops stakeholder from repeating the same
    statement over and over.
  – Encourages stakeholder to explore and clarify.
            Elements of a Paraphrase
1. Sentence stem
      “It sounds like…”
      “Are you saying that…?”
      “Do you mean…?”
2. Repetition of stakeholder’s main ideas
      Use some of their key words.
3. The essence of what was said
      Clarify possibly confused statements into
      succinct, meaningful statements.
4. Check for accuracy
      Ask an ending question to ensure you have
      understood correctly “…Is that right?”
               Reflecting Feelings

• Definition
  – Reflecting feelings that have been heard or
    perceived through cues.
• Examples
  – “You’re feeling ____”
  – “It makes you _____ that….”

• Definition
  – Questioning in a supportive way. Asking
    for more clarification.

• Examples
  – “What happened after that?”
  – “Who was there?”
  – “What did they do?”
               Self Disclosure

• Definition
  – Sharing relevant personal information.

• Examples
  – “I had a similar experience…”
  – “I have been through something like that”
  – “That happened to me once too…”
          Checking perceptions

• Definition
  – Finding out if interpretations are accurate.

• Examples
  – “It seems to me that you are very brave
  – “So you were really taking some risks
    when you…”

• Definition
  – Bringing together in some way feelings
    and experiences.

• Examples
  – “So tomorrow is the report deadline and
    you are nervous…’
  – “You are feeling optimistic about floating
           Trying It Out

              Tell about some success
SPEAKER         you’ve had recently.

                   Practice skills:
LISTENER      Attending / Paraphrasing

            Make note of active listening
OBSERVER    skills being used. Feedback.
           Trying It Out

             Biggest challenge of being a
SPEAKER       Arbor WeCare employee?

                  Practice skills:
LISTENER        Check Feelings / Self

             Make note of active listening
OBSERVER     skills being used. Feedback.
               Paraphrase Exercise

• Concentric Circles or Triads
  – “My mother always….”
  – “My father never…”
  – “The person I rely on the most at work is ___
  – “My most recent success at work has been…”
                  Inquiring Behavior

1. Listen to the other side, and ask questions that
   draw them out.
2. Identify their underlying need(s).
3. Paraphrase what you heard. Are you on target?
      If NO… Start the process again.
      If YES… State your needs.
              See if the other side understands.
4. When both sides’ needs are clear,
   ask the “How can we…?” question.
5. Brainstorm possible solutions
   until all parties are satisfied.

1. Conflict from your own life –
    professional or personal

2. Paraphrase

3. Identify Positions and Needs

4. Attempt to resolve the problem
                   Dealing with Irate People
                     (Participants, families, co-workers)

1. On paper, each person describes a personal
   experience with a difficult…
2. As a team choose one experience to further
   describe and develop (on paper); situation,
   background, personality type, etc.
3. Teams devise a set of strategies for dealing
   with the problem they were given.
4. Role play for the larger group.
          Non-Verbal Communication

1. Emotional Impact of a Message
2. Choose a partner
3. Complete the exercise.
        Dealing with Difficult Colleagues

 Differences between colleagues and managers
 Review “I-Messages”
        The Power of Communication

• Imagine life as a “conversation”
• Conversational distinctions
   Assertion
   Commitment
   Request
   Declaration
• Certain conversations generate
  action, and contribute to “trust”

Description: Supervisory Skills Problem Solving, Managing Employees, Supervision, Project Management, Human Resources, Training and Development, Critical Thinking