Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Group process approach for solving conflicts

Today I attended an English seminar regarding business management. The theme was the conflict. I participated in some group work, to learn a lot of things about it. It was a very informative session for me.

Here is the summary of todays seminar.

1. Conflict occurs based on the difference of roles.
This is a clear discipline. Conflict is a kind of dilemma between some different positions, such as teacher and student, employer and employee, and so on. Usually one side has a stronger power than the other. It is definitely important to recognize the structure.

2. The relationship between the roles and the persons who play a role is complicated.
Every person plays several roles at the same time. For myself, I am a psychiatrist, a teacher, a boss, a subordinate, a citizen, and so on. Meanwhile, there are lots of members in an organization. Thus, some persons often share one role.
In addition, a person involved in a conflict can be seen as if he takes another role. For example, a strong English speaker claims that they should speak English more frequently in the organization. At the same time, he is struggling to master the local custom in Japan as a foreigner. This kind of complexity makes it difficult to recognize the real surroundings.

3. Conflict always accompanies some emotion.
We experience some negative emotions once a conflict occurs. Therefore, logical negotiation or persuasion will never solve the conflict. Emotional acceptance is required for complete understanding. Group work is one of the methods for this.

4. To solve a conflict, dialectical way is useful.
Role playing is available to understand the opinion and feeling of the opposite side. Change the role and be aware what the opposite considers. After that, you should take the seat on the third position at which we can watch through the whole situation. This can help you to consider what is not a personal issue, but a systemic one about this matter.

5. Sharing the voices which are rarely audible is essential.
Finally, gathering information about the conflict is important to solve a conflict. However, we can easily drop some voices, especially from the weaker side. Hearing the invisible voices is inevitable to administrate the conflicting situation.

We had some group discussion in English at the session. I was so impressed that some participants spoke fluent English.


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