Conflict Resolution and Mediation
A few years ago (2013), under the direction of Therese Bermingham, who was Chief Commissioner (Adult Resources) at the time, a training course on this important aspect was organised for members of the National Adult Resources Committee and some of the support staff. The course was provided by Northside Mediation and led by Geoffrey Corry (Athena Mediation), a very experienced mediator.
Following that course the relevant policies were reviewed and updated and as the need arose over the coming months, individuals who had attended the course were called on to provide a mediated approach to Conflict Resolution, mainly issues in Scout Groups around the country. At the time there were a few trained individuals in each Scout Province.
Continuity in overseeing this support may have suffered somewhat when the National Adult Resources Committee stopped meeting over two years and it is unclear if the new Volunteer Resource Management and Group Support Department has found traction in promoting this competency. However, if you feel you could benefit from some support in this area then an enquiry to any member of your Provincial Support and Management Team might prove beneficial, they will know who would have the training and experience you might need.
Some of the principles are outlined in this article in the hope that they may be of assistance to you.
This material is based on the course some of us attended and must be credited to the originators.
The Conflict Spiral
The training proposes that each conflict situation contains predictable elements and dynamics. The conflict proceeds through a number of identifiable phases, and once it has progressed it is very difficult to go back.
This is set out in this document “The Escalatory Spiral of Unmanaged conflict” and it is summarised in the following diagram.
Approaches to Dealing with Conflict
The approach an organisation will adopt to dealing with any specific conflict situation may vary depending on a range of circumstances which might include; the issues involved, the impact the conflict is having on the operation of the organisation, the risk posed to the organisation if the conflict escalates.
The range of approaches may be summarised as follows:
Principles of Conflict Resolution
The principles adopted in the mediation approach are outlined in this document “The Principles of Conflict Resolution”.
They may be summarised as follows: