The 4 Stages of Conflict
1. Contracting (who/what issues are present)
2. Clarifying positions (talking about it)
3. Working on the issues (having it) – notice points of resolution
4. Next steps (agreements)
Definition of Conflict (Presentation and discussion)
How do you know you are having one?
- different parts of ourselves, unconscious parts projected onto the other
- struggle for intimacy
- mirror of inner struggle
- holographic nature
- difficulty having it: tends to cycle/fear of explosion
- old abuse
- trauma disavowed/ shadow
- conflict is inevitable. What does it teach us?
it’s easier to see the rank of others, but less easy to see your own.
be aware of your own rank, so you can behave respectfully.
those with a higher rank have an easier time. those with lower rank find it harder to express things and may carry anger. they find it hard to say “no” to a higher rank’s ideas. it’s important for people with higher rank to open the space to allow lower-rankers to share their views with ease.
- physical rank ~ ie gender, race, skin tone, beauty, appearance, height, age etc
- social ~ ie wealth, education, language, behaviour, body-language etc
- psychological ~ ie family, confidence, authenticity, personality etc
- spiritual ~ humility, tradition, generosity, inner balance, purpose etc
dreamland ~ archetypal roles and emotions
essence ~ where we all come from, one human race
- Conflict happens all the time
- Underlying belief systems – big area that creates tension
- Seed for change is within it i.e. conflict is a creative opportunity
- Don’t try to avoid it – welcome it – learn from it
- What I find difficult in you is something to do with what I find difficult in myself
- Rank differences are an important aspect of conflict.
Conflicts will not resolve unless:
- I am able to take the other side, at least to some degree
- I care about the other person
- I am willing to lose my attachment to being right
Would I rather be right or happy?
Notes for facilitators:
- welcome conflict
- make a space for it
- make it bigger (amplify)
- slow things down
- useful question: what is the 1% of the accusation that you can agree with?
Tendency to move to resolution too soon, when both sides have not been fully,
powerfully, emotionally, energetically expressed
1. Inner Work
Think of a conflict you are in currently, or in the past.
How do you know that you are in conflict?
What does it feel like in your body?
Think about what the two sides are – yours and the other person’s.
What would resolution look like?
How would you know if it was resolved?
What is blocking it?
What action have you taken that works?
What action have you taken that hasn’t worked?
What will you try next?
What do you fear?
Discuss in pairs (5 minutes each)
2. Brainstorm (in small groups or in the main group)
How do you experience conflict?
What is most difficult for you?
What are your beliefs about conflict?
What do you want to learn? (i.e. what do you need for this session to be successful?)
Next (30 minutes): Write up on flip chart in groups of 6-7.
Walk around and look at others information.
Discuss in whole group
3. Exercise in Pairs
Think of a real conflict or difficulty that you have right now with someone.
Describe it. Show both sides.
Coach your partner, so they can play the opponent.
Take your own side strongly.
Notice when you feel uncomfortable in your own position.
Go onto the other side.
Go back to the original position and notice if anything has changed,
or continue until the conflict disappears, or until they’re in a win/win.
Unpack this, paying attention to the idea of temporary resolution.
We are constantly flowing between the different positions.
Often it is our attachment to the idea that we are in a conflict
that stops us noticing temporary resolution.
This is largely based on the work of Gill Emslie and Andrew Murray,
and is derived from Process Work, a transpersonal psychology developed by Arnold Mindell.
Structural Conflict in Communities
and Ten Ways to Reduce It
1. Learn the difference between “Structural Conflict” vs. Interpersonal Conflict. (It looks the same.)
2. Identify shared values, common vision, Mission & Purpose, and create vision documents.
3. Use a fair, participatory decision-making process. If it’s consensus, get trained in it first.
4. In choosing group cofounders and new members, if possible, select for resonance to your mission and purpose, and for the demonstrated ability to get along well in groups.
5. Do things to build trust and connection and a “sense of community” from the beginning.
6. Create clear agreements, in writing.
7. Help each other stay accountable to the group, to agreements.
8. Learn good communication and process skills; make clear communication and resolving conflicts a priority.
• Activities that build trust & connection
• Communication agreements
• Helping each other stay accountable to the group
• Graduated series of consequences
9. Learn the head skills and heart skills (left brain, right brain) you need to do to manifest your project.
10. Understand the crucial relationship between, your common mission and purpose, your new-member process, and your decision-making method.
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Cycle of reconciliation
~ ron kraybill
1. Relationship ~ in our relationship with other
2. Injury ~ the time we get hurt
3. Withdrawal ~ i withdraw because i feel anger, blame, grief.. etc “i’m not ready to resolve”
4. Reclaiming Identity ~ who am i/are we now? I step back to myself
5. Restoration of Risk ~ I risk resolving this conflict with the knowledge that i may be hurt again
6. Re-negotiation of needs
..And then back to the beginning again…
Ask the members of the group to think of a conflict and place themselves somewhere in this process. Ask each member to share. Ask where they think the other person may be in the cycle. Then ask how big is the step you can take to keep moving around. Sometimes only an inch, sometimes we’re not yet ready. Can use this when the group is in conflict. But need to have a good facilitator for this.