Conflict Resolution Day aims to raise awareness of conflict in schools, families, and businesses, while advocating resolution through creative and peaceful means. In our work at RPfT we are always looking at how best to resolve conflict.
At base level, conflict is often a symptom of poor communication and/or unmet needs. Whatever the cause, conflict in the workplace is natural and even healthy to an extent, but unresolved conflict can be very debilitating for several reasons; it can cause anxiety, loss of productivity, avoidance, a toxic culture, sickness, aggression, and even physical violence. None of these symptoms are good for your business or your team members, so finding positive, constructive ways to resolve conflict is crucial.
Drama-based training is uniquely positioned to be successful in this area, by allowing participants to really embed learning, through experiential learning. We start by inviting participants to think about what conflict really is, and our Actor/Facilitators help demonstrate some of the behaviours that often arise during conflict. For instance, we might examine when assertiveness becomes aggression. In many cases, participants will have differing opinions about the grey areas around these behaviours and drama-based training allows space for a healthy debate and also provides real-life opportunities to trial various ways of resolving conflict in a safe space.
Our Actor/Facilitators can enhance the experience by providing suitable challenges through credible and believable verbal and non-verbal responses. This work can be enriched by the Actor/Facilitators embodying variations in personality types and external influences to represent a fully developed cross section of conflict scenarios. It’s important to remember that all conflict goes in at least two directions: how leaders and team members react to the triggers of conflict, can soothe, or exacerbate the situation and strong listening and communication skills can be really helpful here. Our sessions on conflict resolution ensure participants think about their own emotional responses to conflict and how this might impact their own composure in the face of it. Normally, prior to the learning sessions we would work with the client in the design and development stage, to find out if there were any key triggers that provoked conflict that were unique to the organisation. It is often helpful for the participants to explore these, in a sensitive and constructive way as part of the session. There are also many psychometric models we use in the learning hat can enhance participants’ self awareness and thus resolve the conflict before it even starts.
If you’ve made it to the end of this piece, it’s quite likely that you are interested in the drama-based training methods for conflict resolution training outlined above. The process described, might make sense to you, and it could seem plausible that it would be successful. However, without the opportunity to experience the sessions described, and embed those experiences in your memory, the chances are that you will have forgotten much of the details by the time you are wrapping up work tonight, or certainly by the time the weekend comes around. That is exactly why drama-based training can make such a difference to resolving conflict, arming leaders and teams with both the knowledge and the actual experience to recognise, deflate, head-off and consciously resolve conflict, in the most effective ways possible.
Contact us now, to find out how we can help improve conflict resolution in your organisation.