Monday 3 December 2018

Dealing with Conflict (Part One)

Is the Player always right?
The customer is not always right – but the customer does come first. A friend of mine, Phil Cox standing in the middle of Football Park on 6th July 1996, said the following:
Never let your emotions overrule your judgment when the emotions of the players are at a peak.”
That is, the players and the game come first, but they are not always right.
So how do we develop the skills and attributes to handle the wide varieties of conflict that occur between personalities on the field?

What is conflict?
Definition: The fight, collision, struggle or contest between the player or competitor and the official.
Explanation: Opposition of opinions or purposes and can cause mental strife.
What is it? Actual or perceived
To answer the question of conflict we need to understand the strategies that can equip you and help you better resolve conflict on and off the field.

Strategies for dealing with conflict
1. Avoid the conflict: It is impossible to avoid dealing with conflict. We need to adopt PREVENTION strategies to help reduce the amount and type of conflict you face during a competition.
2. Smooth over the situation: By employing the correct conflict resolution strategy – each situation has a different solution to the particular situation – often you can smooth over the conflict.
3. One or both parties compromise: Resolution strategies should provide common ground to negotiate compromise.
4. Confrontation: Be firm, not aggressive or arrogant in heated situation. Use the laws and playing conditions to assist, not in a confrontational manner.
5. Address the problem not the emotions: Addressing emotions only inflame situations and increases the level of conflict.
6. Focus on the person: Treat others as you in their situation would want to be treated.
- Don’t treat them as objects
- Don’t be officious
- Show empathy for them
- Know a little about them personally

Start a dialogue with the competitors Essential to ensure game has structure and guidance, and clear lines of communication and dialogue. That is, acknowledge cricketers abilities, experiences, emotions etc.
If it starts to get a bit hot
- Don’t over react
- Don’t try to bluff your way out of unjustified rulings
- If possible adopt a low key posture
- Be factual and honest
- Maintain composure under pressure
- Work together with your colleague

Involve the group
- Seek assistance from the captain
- Seek support from umpiring colleagues
- Get captain to accept responsibility for offending player
Consensus: A decision that players are comfortable with and will reasonably accept and support.
Remember 50% of conflict occurs not with the decision but what was said and the tone in which it was said. Conflict resolution strategies.

Isolate facts from emotions: It has been said ‘sport is simply life with the volume turned up’. Statements like this help to demonstrate just how emotional sport can become. It is easy for the official to get caught up by the emotion, but they must try to remove as much emotion from the decision-making process as possible. Only by demonstrating that your decisions are based on the facts and the evidence available, can the official be recognised by the competitor as having made a fair and accurate decision.

Task versus relationship: An official’s support for a particular team or individual can never impact on the final decision. Officials are human just like spectators, coaches and players and will support a particular team or individual. Decisions must be made according to due process and the laws of natural justice, while all personal relationships and feelings are set to one side.

Listen more: The officials who listen to both the competitor’s verbal and non-verbal messages tend to gather more evidence by which to make accurate and fair decisions.

Try to empathize with the person: Officials who show empathy for competitors’ concerns usually receive reciprocal understanding by the competitors of the official’s role in applying the rules. The reverse applies to the official who is not prepared to show empathy for competitor’s concerns, with competitors showing little respect for the decisions the official makes.

Don’t be defensive or try to justify your actions: Clarifying decisions made during a competition should be a simple process when the decision is based on the facts and evidence presented. It is only when an official makes a difficult decision with no facts or evidence to back up the decision that officials will find it difficult to provide clarification.

1 comment:

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