Communication and conflict resolution

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(Under Construction)

Exercise - Communication and interpretation

This is an individual group practice. All participants need a piece of copy paper.

The leader says:

We will fold the paper together after my instructions. So that you don't see how the other folks folds the paper, close your eyes and keep them closed during the entire exercixe. Do not talk.

-Here we go - Fold paper in half.

-Fold paper in the middle again.

-Tear off the upper right corner.

-Fold the paper again.

-Fold it the other way.

-Tear off the top corners.

-Open your eyes and unfold the paper.

Go through all the paper and see if anyone has the same pattern. If the group is large, they can compare with just their neighbors.

Open questions -

-Was there anyone who thought the instructions were difficult?

-Why were the patterns in the papers so different with the same instructions?

-How could I instruct you in such a way that everyone got the same paper pattern?

-How would you you tell me something so I know it's not misinterpreted?


If you give the exact same information to different people, they will interpret it differently. It is a common source of conflict. Now you are all aware of that!

Valuation Practice (Word Asscoiation)

Everyone also needs paper for this, and something to write with. Toss out some words for people and have them write down the absolute first thing they think of, then have them evaluate the word with a plus or minus.

Some suggested words:


















Extreme stress reactions

Sometimes, words and behaviors trigger extreme stress in other people. The topic can be quite uncontroversial for most people but triggers something unknown by the respondent. Reactions may include anger and hatred, verbal outcome or a mental lock when people only think of running away and looking at the door. He is definitely no longer open to argument. We can no longer communicate with the person in this position. The brain's central switchboard has been knocked out and disconnected from his the intellect. Locking can be from several minutes to hours.

Some examples of non-Pirate issues that can trigger extreme stress at a Pirate meeting Child / parent relationships The Economy Alcohol/Drugs and their policy

Sometimes, what seems like an insignificant conflict can cause severe and permanent damage in the communication between two people.

Effective feedback

Caveat: To start, while the group is small, too much criticism too soon is counter productive. Folks are just coming on board and not sure how they feel about joining. You have to weigh how important the correction is vs encouraging people. Certainly you don't want to chastise tardiness on a potential member the first time they cross the thresh hold, for example. "Hello, dude who came only once before. You do realize the meeting started an hour ago?!" Not helpful. That said:

Good social relationships are a prerequisite for the work of a group to be effective.

Fortunately, you can learn to work in groups. EQ is therefore something you can learn. If one of a group can ask these three questions, there are conditions to accelerate the achievement of the goal.

-How do the others perceive how I work in the group?

-Do people in the group feel that they can constuctively critisize others?

-Can people express their feelings?

The aim of feedback is to help others to work well within the group. Feedback is normally difficult, but there are no rules. Anyone can offer feedback describing their reactions to the other's behavior. The recipient decides whether, and if so, how he wants to use this information.

-Describe the behavior you see and what effect it has on you. Do not keep score. Not you are sloppy , but specifically not you posted the letter I asked you about.

-Provide specific feedback rather than general. General statements do not provide a basis for change. Not you should dress better , but your pants are torn.

-Feedback should be directed solely against the behaviors that the person can do something about. Speak clearly!

-Ask the person you are targeting to talk about how he understood what you said. Listen especially for what you get for your reply!

-Give timely feedback. Feedback after just one performance or occurrence has more power than if it comes later. Not: "You came late every day last week," but: "When you do come on time, it is difficult to work with you."

-Give the right amount of feedback. Too much feedback can make him impervious and lead to deadlock.

-Feedback is desired perceived and accepted better than feedback that is enforced.

-The recipient should be able to verify received feedback with others.