Skills for Productive Conflict
People differ from one another on many important dimensions: We are men and women. We are of different races and cultures. For reasons including organizational role, some of us are more powerful while others are lacking in power. We differ in behavioral style and approach our work in a wide variety of ways. In fact, on virtually every dimension of human life, we are rather remarkable for our diversity. Such variety can, indeed, be the "spice of life", but too often, it becomes the source of difficult conflict.
Some people attempt to avoid conflicts, believing they produce little but pain. In many situations however, conflict stimulates great energy and creativity. Sometimes it brings people much closer together. Conflicts are often the source of valuable change, insight, and growth. When it is well resolved, conflict generates enormous individual and group benefit.
This six-day workshop is designed to support program participants as they learn more about the psychological forces, skills, and behaviors, that contribute to the productive resolution of conflict.
Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Participants in this program will develop an understanding of the issues that give rise to conflict. They will learn to differentiate between several types of conflict. They will explore the variety of forces which push conflicts in destructive, or productive directions.
- They will strengthen their capacity to manage the stress and discomfort that are sometimes associated with conflict.
- Program participants will learn more about the impact of such variables as gender, race, and culture, on the generation, development, and resolution of conflict.
- They will come to understand more about the personal and professional conflicts they experience. They will learn to recognize contributions they can make to the productive resolution of these conflicts, whether they are personally involved, or are acting to assist others.
- Participants will learn to differentiate between true resolution and the temporary conflict "solutions" we often seek.
- All program participants will experience conflict in a safe and supportive environment in which they can comfortably experiment with new approaches to their own behavior. They will discover, through experience, that their conflicts can be stimulating, rewarding, productive, and, in many circumstances, even fun.
- In Skills for Productive Conflict, the conflicts we explore will be real. Just as in any other setting in which people work together, conflicts will emerge as we do the work of our program. In this workshop, with the guidance of skilled staff consultants, participants will learn from these inevitable conflicts as they develop. They will enhance their knowledge of ways to make these conflicts more productive, and will practice the skills necessary to make the very best use of their new knowledge.
- We will have small group discussions as a core activity of the workshop. In addition, there will be occasional lectures, and some reading materials will be provided. Our daily schedule will be rigorous, but will provide ample free time for relaxation. We will work hard, but will have fun as we learn together