What is conflict resolution

Pillars of conflict resolution

Pillar 3: Social skills and communication

  • Recognize and differentiate between effective and ineffective communication
  • Reflect on your own position on questions and theses and make them visible
  • Practice dialogical communication
  • Recognize your own typical communication patterns
  • Develop communication options in difficult situations
  • Training feedback
  • Expand the ability to cooperate
  • Be able to use methods of consensus decision-making

Misunderstandings, mistrust, the feeling of not being taken seriously and not being heard, often trigger anger and conflict. Without the ability and willingness to listen understandingly to the expressions of opinion and feelings of others, conflict situations are in danger of escalating.

Dialogic communication means turning to the other, recognizing that the other person has a truth of their own, listening. However, listening is not a matter of course, but has to be practiced over and over again.

Open communication does not mean already knowing everything, but rather asking open questions, being ready to listen to something and not just looking for a starting point for your own response. Openness for one's own change and also giving others the chance to change have their place here.

It can be learned that there is the possibility of rejecting a behavior or an attitude without belittling or despising the other person as a person. The experience and awareness of one's own feelings leads to the strengthening and (further) development of empathic competence, which means being able to put yourself emotionally in the shoes of another person - especially if you do not share your viewpoints or interpretations. The ability to make contact means being able to make contact with the opponent, being able to relate to the other instead of simply continuing your own train of thought past what the other person has said. Staying in contact also means developing ways of communication that help when the other side blocks, reacts verbally aggressively or evades.

Pillar 4: reflect on goals and set priorities

  • Know and differentiate between process-oriented and goal-oriented action
  • Discover hidden goals and modify them if necessary
  • Set goals and priorities realistically
  • Differentiate between interests, positions, motivation and beliefs (values)
  • Clarification of one's own role in the conflict

Not every action in conflict situations makes sense for every goal pursued. The clarification of goals, target groups (perpetrators, victims, me, other third parties, ...) and the setting of priorities increase the chances of de-escalating an escalated conflict or setting a constructive conflict process in motion. For this purpose, goals should be formulated positively, realistic, achievable and concrete. As much clarity as possible should be gained about what I do, what the other should do, what I want to achieve, why I do something.

It is important to distinguish between my intended solution and my interest. Conflict analysis methods as well as exercises and role-plays serve to clarify interests and positions in the given conflict as well as to clarify one's own role (primary party, solidarity party, mediator or third party) and help to develop and acquire alternative and effective options for behavior and action.

Pillar 5: Ideas for action, options for action (theory)

  • Reflection on one's own conflict behavior
  • Know and train intervention options for a wide variety of situations
  • Get to know creativity techniques for the search for ideas
  • Know escalating and de-escalating measures
  • Increase action competence and action repertoire in conflicts
  • Get to know conflict theories, theories of violence, conflict dynamics, non-violent understanding of conflict, conflict analysis

This training area is about dealing with one's own conflict behavior in order to use this level of knowledge to strengthen one's own ability to deal with conflicts and to gain greater security for one's own behavior and action in conflicts.

With the methods of role play and statue theater as well as supporting exercises, one's own skills are to be expanded to de-escalate and reduce violence in conflicts and to initiate constructive conflict management.

Further elements of this area are the presentation of theoretical knowledge about conflicts, violence and non-violence, as well as information and the development of ideas and actions for political work against forms of structural violence such as racism, sexism and economic oppression. Practicing imaginative, non-violent behavior in critical conflict situations is one way of reducing violence. Cooperating, networking, making contacts, developing social and political activities in order to build structures for violence prevention and for constructive conflict resolution or to change existing structures is another, important and necessary step.

Cf. Blum, H./Knittel,G .: Training on non-violent intervention against racism and right-wing extremist violence, Cologne training collective for non-violent action and creative conflict resolution, 1994 (out of print) - the model and the explanations are based primarily on the ideas of milan ( Member of the Cologne training collective).

Hints: The representation and description of the training concept of the Cologne training collective is primarily for your information. The conceptual background of training is of interest almost exclusively in advanced training seminars for multipliers. However, if a workshop is about answering the question "What skills can I train in order to cope better with threatening and discrimination situations?", It is good to know something about the five areas of competence of the concept. But remember: don't tell a novel, keep it short and rather answer further questions. If you notice that the topic is only of interest to one person, after briefly describing the areas of competence, ask that you answer the question in more detail during the break or at the end of the workshop. It is good to have a copy of the model ("TK-Haus") on hand.