Study and Learn to Help People Resolve Conflict
Conflict is a normal part of life. Conflicts abound in our everyday life. Most conflict arises out of disagreements between how we should behave/act or even think and feel. Conflict is a natural part of life, and without it, we would not challenge each other to do or be better but would merely passively accept what is dished out to us, like robots!
More often than not, it’s not the conflict that is the problem, but how we choose to deal with it that brings us negative results and depleted relationships. Most of us have been conditioned to view conflict as an unpleasant thing. However, conflict is the manifestation of how people think and behave according to their different personal and social histories. It also occurs as a response to frustration, and some would say as an expression of aggressive and competitive instincts. Inner conflicts reflect our difficulties in coming to terms with life’s challenges or in accepting ourselves as we truly are (this does not mean that we must put up with how we are!).
The most valuable aspect of conflict is the energy that it generates. Conflict management is not an attempt to suppress this energy, but to use it constructively.
Conflict caused by differing viewpoints may lead to harsh and painful situations, or it can be transformed into creative and productive dialogue.
Conflict will become easier to manage if we see it as inevitable but not necessarily destructive, and as a problem to be solved rather than a battle to be won.
This course will explore the causes and effects of conflict, and learn how to manage it through effective communication, active listening, and problem solving.
Develop your ability to use facilitation, negotiation or mediation in group situations to achieve win-win solutions. Whether you want to improve your ability to handle conflict in your life or to help others manage conflict better, you will find this course very beneficial.
There are eight lessons in this course, as follows:
1. Conflict Management and Anger
- What is Conflict
- Conflict Handling Techniques
- Conflict Handling Styles
- Comparing Strategies to Handle Conflict
- Scope and Nature of Anger
- Approaches to Handling Anger
- Anger Management Techniques
- Dealing with Anger in Yourself and Others
- Channels of Communication
- Stages of Listening
- Obstacles to Listening
- Empathic Listening
- Ground Rules for Listening
- Listeners in Control
- Traps for Listeners
- Scope and Nature of Negotiating
- The Establishment Group
- The Community Group
- Bargaining in Negotiations
- Win-Win Bargaining or Integrative Bargaining
- Being a Skilled Negotiator
- The Joint Problem Solving Approach
- Writing a Brief
- Negotiating Mistakes
- Dealing with Difficult People
- Finding a Solution
- What is Mediation
- When is Mediation Called for
- The Mediators Role
- The Mediation Process
- Team Work
- Mediation Model
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Scope and Nature of Facilitation
- Preparing the Facilitation Meeting
- Attributes of a Good Facilitator
- Stress and the Fight or Flight Response
- Symptoms and Effect of Stress
- A Stress Management Response Program
6. Balance of Power
- Problems with Negotiation
- Problem of Re-entry
- Balance of Power
- Dealing with Power Imbalance
- Verbal Bullying
- Asking Questions
- Information and Experience
- Agenda Setting
- Role Playing
- Needs Exploration
- Ending a Meeting
7. Discussion and Group Work
- Group Conflict Management Exercises
- Anger Exercises
- Listening Exercises
- Negotiation and Mediation Exercises
- Joint Problem Solving Exercises
- Role Play Exercises
- Conducting Structured Exercises in Small Groups
- What to Avoid
8. Crisis Analysis and Responses
- Nature and Scope of a Crisis
- Response to Crisis
- Principles and Goals of Crisis Intervention
- Crisis Intervention Techniques
WHAT THE COURSE COVERS
Here are just some of the things you may cover:
- Different conflict handling styles
- Dealing with Anger
- Controlling listening and Traps for listeners
- Empathic listening
- Negotiation between community and establishment
- Practical suggestions for negotiation, breaking the rules, alternatives
- Responsibilities of a mediator, mediation processes, agreements, team work, settling behaviours
- Factors influencing the balance of power
- Role play
- Conducting structured experiences in small groups
- Describe the nature of human conflict and ways to manage it.
- Explain the importance of listening when dealing with conflict situations, and appreciate different listening techniques.
- Define negotiation and discuss the process of negotiation
- Define mediation and discuss the process of mediation
- Define facilitation and discuss the process of facilitation
- Discuss problems that may arise through negotiation, in particular, balance of power and its connotations
- Explain the importance of working in groups as a means of learning how to deal with group conflicts
- Explain ways of understanding and dealing with different types of crisis.
Duration 100 hours
Tips for Handling Conflict
In many conflict situations we can choose how to behave and how to respond.
There are five main styles which can be adopted to handle conflict: competing, soothing, avoiding, compromising or joint problem solving.
Competing is aggressive and uncooperative. It involves an individual pursuing their own concerns at another person’s expense. This is a power oriented mode in which one uses whatever power seems appropriate to win one’s own position – one’s ability to argue, one’s rank, economic sanctions. Competing might mean standing up for your rights, defending a position which you believe is correct, or simply trying to win.
Soothing is passive and cooperative; often tantamount to giving in. A soothing individual attempts to preserve the relationship at all costs, emphasising areas of agreement and failing to confront thorny issues.
Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative. The individual does not immediately pursue his/her own concerns or those of the other person. He/she does not address the conflict. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping the issue, postponing the issue until a later/better time (that never eventuates) or simply withdrawing from a threatening position.
Compromising is intermediate between assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective is to find expedient, mutually acceptable solutions that partially satisfy both parties. It falls in the middle ground between competing and accommodating. It addresses issues more directly than avoiding, but it doesn't explore it in as much depth as in joint problem solving. Compromising might mean "splitting the difference", exchanging concessions, or speaking a quick middle ground position.
Joint Problem Solving is both assertive and cooperative - the opposite of avoiding. It involves an attempt to work with the other person to find some mutually satisfying solution. It means digging into an issue to identify the underlying concerns of the two individuals and to find an alternative that meets both sets of concerns. Joint problem solving might take the form of exploring a disagreement, in order to learn from each others insights, then jointly working out possibly options that may resolve the issue.
It is important to remember that each of these ways of handling conflict can be the right one under certain circumstances, and as a negotiator you may explore all of them at some point. Reflection and experience will develop your skill in selecting the most appropriate strategies as the negotiation moves through its various stages.
If you want to improve your conflict-management skills or if you want to help others improve theirs, you will find this course very beneficial.