Duration: 3-4 hours (tailored to the needs of client)
Participant Number: Up to 30
All of who we are—i.e. our race, gender, class, ability, age—and how the diverse cultures in our society view conflicts affect how we navigate difficult conversations and situations. Conflicts can destroy or be a catalyst for change and action. How we approach conflicts matter. Raising our awareness of how we engage with conflicts both individually and systemically can greatly change the outcome. Disputes in the United States often end up being handled through the legal system, taking the power to make decisions out of the hands of those who are most affected. White institutional culture encourages competition and situations quickly become a “zero-sum” game in which there is a winner and a loser. Competitive environments without an understanding of the impacts of institutional racism create inequities and discourage mutual understanding and collaboration.
Dimensions of diversity greatly inform and affect the way we perceive and respond to conflict. Conflict is complicated enough. When we add the dimension of diversity, it can become explosive. Our tendency to avoid conflicts could further harm the situation. The longer people wait to resolve their conflicts, the more they “harden” and dig into their positions. Organizationally, this can lead to diminished productivity, effectiveness, and wellness. Conflict takes both financial and emotional tolls on all of us.
This training explores conflicts through experiential exercises, theory, and discussion. Participants will learn a structural framework to address the conflicts that inevitably arise in communities and organizations, and gain an awareness of their own conflict tendencies as well as how their reactions impact the outcome. We will explore communication skills, both basic and specialized to address power and privilege. Participants will develop the capacity to manage multilayered conflicts when they arise.
Conflicts are inevitable. Race is an integral component in this country. It is our goal to introduce skills to help transform conflicts involving race into healthy conversations that increase resiliency, creative problem solving and deeper empathy to create a sustainable culture of collaboration.