|Exercise, handout number||Time||Method||material|
|Opening session||10 min||Exchange in a circle – what has happened since our last meeting regarding conflicts?|
|Conflict definition||10 min||Brainstorming of the students and then presentation of the Glasl definition||Copies|
|Guideline conflict styles||40 min||Self-assessment: How do you handle conflicts? Understanding of behavior patterns||Copies|
|Types of conflict||15 min||Copies|
|Conflict escalation model||15-30 min||Copies|
At two who interact
There is a difference in goals, values, interests, needs, perceptions, ideas, resources
Negative emotions arise
At least one person is hindered in what he/she wants to achieve.
Self-assessment: How do you handle conflicts?
In order to understand behavior patterns of other persons (students) in a conflict situation it is helpful to reflect one´s own conflict behavior. How do the participants handle conflicts? Is a direct confrontation preferred or other strategies (e.g. avoidance, distraction, finding compromises)?
Flipchart and markers
|Instruction for implementation:
The facilitators/trainers inform the participants that they will introduce an exercise reflecting different conflict behavior patterns. There are five different personal types which are symbolized by animal metaphors:
Tiger – Attack
Dog – Defense
Mouse – Escape
Fox – Distraction
The trainers ask the participants to choose an animal which reflects their own patterns, not to a hundred percent but as the main characteristic. Form working groups according to the animal identification. Ask the participants to brainstorm advantages and disadvantages of the specific conflict type.
The working groups meet for appr. 20 minutes, afterward the facilitators collect the results on a flipchart.
Evaluation procedure: Participants will be encouraged to discuss whether there is an optimal strategy how to deal with conflicts and will discover that each behavior pattern offers chances but has also traps. The position of the owl is representative of an attitude which tries to see both sides of a conflict.
Conflicts over information and priorities
- Are not sufficiently informed.
- Have different opinions/ priorities concerning facts or data.
- Got the wrong information.
- Different sets of criteria.
Conflicts of interest
- Have different interests and needs.
- Experience assumed or actual competition
- Try to enlarge their personal power.
- Experience strong positive or negative feelings with regard to another student.
- Don´t communicate appropriately anymore .
- Don´t listen to each other.
- Develop false perceptions or prejudices.
- Have different values and norms.
- Pursue differing goals.
- Represent differing lifestyles, basic convictions, religious views, ideologies, values…
- Show destructive patterns in their behavior and interaction.
- Have different personal or social resources.
- There is an imbalance of power and authority.
9 stages of conflict escalation – Background information for trainers
The Dynamics of Escalation in Conflicts
Friedrich Glasl defines nine stages of conflict escalation to describe the dynamics of escalation.
A central task within the framework of constructively dealing with conflicts is to compare signs of escalation in conflict with the various stages of de-escalation and find answers and potential for action at all stages, in order to limit violence or prevent it altogether and achieve cooperation and solutions for negotiation. Sensitivity and a realistic perception of what is happening in the conflict are just as important as consciously rethinking and planning one’s own steps.
The Nine Stages of Conflict Escalation according to Friedrich Glasl
Standpoints harden and take on a collision course. Awareness of the impending impact leads to agitation. Despite this, the conviction still remains that tension can be dissipated through discussion. The parties or positions are still flexible.
Polarisation of thought, emotion and will take place. Thinking in terms of black and white occurs along with a viewpoint of superiority and inferiority.
- Actions, not Words
The idea that ‘talking no longer helps’ and the strategy of fait accompli gains in importance. Empathy for the ‘other side’ diminishes, and the danger of wrong interpretations grows.
Rumors spread, stereotypes and clichés are formed. The parties manoeuvre each other into negative positions and fight. A search for supporters takes place.
- Loss of face
Open and direct aggression (unlawful) ensues which aims to cause the opponent to lose face.
- Strategies of threats
Threats and counter threats increase. Escalation of the conflict accelerates due to ultimatums.
- Limited attempts to overthrow the opponent
The opponent is no longer viewed as a person.
Limited attempts to overthrow the opponent are seen as a ‘fitting’ and carried out. Reversal of values: relatively slight personal damage is seen as a victory.
The destruction and dissolution of the hostile system are pursued intensively as a goal.
- Together into the abyss
Total confrontation ensues and there is no way back. Extermination of the opponent at the price of self-extermination is seen and accepted.
Conflict escalation model adapted for students: Until the bitter end
- The guy/girl is getting on my nerves – tension
He/she is staring at me. He/she talks behind my back. I can´t stand him/her.
- I should talk with him/her – first verbal attacks
I will talk to him but not listen anymore. I´m not putting up with anything anymore.
I think about his/her bad sides and talk to others about them.
- I´ll show it to him/her – actions, not words
I will show him/her what I am able to do. He/she is going to remember that.
I will teach him/her a lesson
- I will look for friends and supporters – enemy images and allies
I will involve my friends. I will draw others who are impartial on my side.
I am completely innocent, he/she started.
- I will embarrass him/her – loss of face
I will arrange embarrassing situations. I will put him/her down in front of others.
I spread rumors about him/her.
- If I catch you I will… – threats
I think about something mean. I threaten him/her.
- I will wear him/her down – limited strikes
I carry out my threats. I just want him/her lying on the ground.
- I can´t retreat anymore – destruction
I don´t listen to others anymore. Too much has happened so I can´t give up.
- The bitter end – together into the abyssWe successfully destroyed each other. The costs were high but we made it. I don´t really remember what it was all about in the beginning but – I didn´t give up because at the end it was all his/her fault.