Recently I have been in Tromsø and Bergen giving practical training on conflict resolution. First we brainstormed about what a conflict is, defining conflict as "a situation where there are 2 or more goals which are incompatible or seemingly incompatible". Using this definition we can see that conflict is not only inevitable, but is also necessary to bring about a better way of doing things. We then focused on the word "resolution", finding that it is very different from purely a solution, and if we think creatively, does not have to be only a compromise. One of the most important skills needed for a successful resolution is effective communication. The participants were introduced to the idea of Active Listening, where the listener takes an impartial but active role to help another person explore a conflict in which they are involved. An active listener is non-judgmental, non-directive and gives the other person time to externalise their conflict. The group used this technique in role plays involving fictional and real conflicts.
The second half of the workshop involved learning about a technique called Nonviolent Communication. This is a technique used to assist in identifying areas of a conflict by clarifying the facts, discovering how these facts make us feel, turning these feelings into a need which is not being met, then making a request to have the need met. You can learn more about Nonviolent Communication at website of The Center for Nonviolent Communication
You can click here to view or download the PowerPoint used in the workshop.
Below is an interview with the creator of Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg. In the first 3 minutes he explains how he used the technique of Nonviolent Communication in a refugee camp in Palestine.