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Facilitation Conflict Techniques

Argument vs Debate :

  • Argument :
    • Participants continue to state their opinions without responding  to an opposing view
  • Debate:
    • Participant understands the opposing view
    • Focus on facts

Intervention During Conflicts :

  • When:
    • Arguments occurs.
  • Three approaches (focus on the situation)
    • –state your observation.(e.g. let’s take a process check. Are we off the  agenda? have we varied from our session rules?)
    • –state the impact of the argument(e.g. we have a limited amount of time  for our agenda. It is unprofessional, nonproductive, violates our session  rules).
    • –ask for help to resolve(e.g. how can we return to agenda? What will resolve this issue? ).

Steps for working towards consensus :

  • Step 1. listen:
    • –ask participants to explain feelings.
    • –ask participants what would improve the situation.
  • Step 2. emphasize and paraphrase:
    • –accept the participants’ views.
    • –Repeat or summarize the participants’ views.
  • Step 3. offer or ask for more information:
    • –emphasize facts rather than feelings.
  • Step 4. offer to work together(iterate steps if necessary):
    • –use analysis and decision category facilitation techniques.

Managing Conflicts between participants :

  • First, recognize there is an argument that needs intervention:
    • Be careful to stay neutral; focus on the situation
      • –describe the situation.
      • –Determine the impact.
      • –Ask participants for possible resolutions.
  • Ensure the opinions are voiced:
    • Participants must feel they have been heard.
    • Slow process down if emotional or political; call for a break.
    • Repeat participants’ words or paraphrase, then document them on a flip chart to clarify positions.
  • Attempt to resolve the issue by having the participants collaborate on a solution using an analysis and decision facilitation technique.

Note: Good facilitation skills cannot just “be  taught” they need to be learned and  experienced.

About Sudhir Aryasomayajula

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