Conflict Transformation

The Conflict Transformation course is designed for groups and organisations wanting to resource themselves and/ or be resources for conflict transformation in their local, national, or international communities.

The course is run to fit your context:

  • for groups or organisations identifying with a particular faith tradition, the course is grounded within your tradition; and 
  • for groups and organisations with another type of core identity, the course is grounded in your vision and values. 

Either way, the Conflict Transformation programme is for any group or organization that wants to learn to embrace conflict as an opportunity for growth and innovation. The training is tailored for your context – whether professional, community, or faith-based.

Conflict is normal!

Conflict is a normal part of human life, embedded in our biology and brain processes, in our relationships and social interactions.

Yet, conflicts between groups and individuals with clashing worldviews and differing value commitments can feel so huge they seem irresolvable.

Research shows that dialogue without preparation can perpetuate and entrench destructive conflict (Kelman and Fisher, 2003, p.321). 

This course addresses the reasons why negotiations often fail before they begin

  • lack of trust in opposing parties’ values or worldviews
  • history of mutual harm, expectations of yet more harm
  • inability to see any potential gains from negotiations
  • fear of losing what one already has
  • absolute values are at stake and are considered ‘taboo for trade-off’ (Albin 1993, Tetlock 2003). 

Through carefully designed presentations and group exercises, the course equips participants with the capacities and skills to build trust and discover potential solutions to entrenched conflicts, instilling confidence that entering negotiation is worthwhile.  Participating groups and organisations learn to address their conflicts as experienced in their context in order to ‘live well and creatively with difference and disagreement’ equipped with new ICthinking® capacities and life skills.

Conflict Transformation Courses have 12 to 18 participants. Each course is tailored for clients’ own group or organizational context – whether professional, community, or faith-based.

The course is validated empirically: it does what it ‘says on the tin’!

Each course is empirically evaluated for effectiveness, using the Integrative Complexity (IC) coding system that can detect ‘faked’ responses (Suedfeld 2010). We really do know whether or not the course is effective with each individual and group!  

Results continually show that participants emerge from the course with the capacity to move from black and white polarized thinking toward perceiving some validity in differing viewpoints, even those with which they disagree, while retaining their own important values, and with skills to work toward realistic solutions. These results predict pro-social, peaceful outcomes to conflict.

See Research Base for Conflict Transformation

We have delivered Conflict Transformation Courses (at varying levels) to

  • Senior church leaders (bishops and their equivalent in six mainline denominations)
  • Multi-disciplinary students (including nursing, social work, counselling, and pastoral training) enrolled in a Department of Counselling and Psychotherapy course, University of Edinburgh
  • Students and staff in a London area Jewish Reform Seminary
  • New (ordinands) and Established (incumbent) clergy enrolled in theological colleges and continuing education training courses at Oxford and Cambridge Universities for four concurrent years
  • Students and practitioners enrolled in professional counselling training and other ‘helping profession’ courses
  • Women who are leaders and members of a faith-based international women’s network in Europe
 
Conflict Transformation Courses enable participants to
  • explore the cognitive, emotional, biological and social processes of conflict, using individual and group exercises and tools
  • embrace conflict as an opportunity for learning and growth on multiple levels - cognitive, emotional, social, and (as appropriate) spiritual - leveraging a ‘cultural shift’ so that conflict is viewed as a positive turning point for development
  • engage in experiential learning within a supportive environment in which participants can discuss concerns and extend their self-, other-, and group- awareness
  • experience how the ICthinking® method leverages a measurable change in thinking and interacting


 Participants gain a permanent resource in the form of

 

Participant Booklets featuring the complete ICthinking® materials covered during 5 day course


In Brief interactive booklets with ‘IC preparedness toolkit’ comprising prompts and questions that enable

 participants to design an ongoing programme to maintain conflict transformation and IC fitness after the course

 

Individual Profiles and Group Profiles based on questionnaires (perceptual style, conflict style, and neurological strengths) that help participants to understand their own approach to conflict and how different factors play out in conflict situations, on both the individual and group levels (two additional questionnaires are included in courses run with faith-based communities)

 

Also available

 

Individual and Group ICthinking® Profiles and Analysis Report

 

Certificate of Completion for Level I of ICthinking® Conflict Transformation, a course developed at the University of Cambridge, with learned skills named on the Certificate for use with employment and education applications

 

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