Johan Galtung defined conflict as “Relationships between parties who have, or believe they have, incompatible interests or goals”.
Conflict is a normal feature of relationships, groups and organisations; it is necessary in order to resolve issues, improve communication and deepen connections. If handled well, it can create better group dynamics. So why is conflict often regarded as a negative concept?
This talk will offered insights on questions such as:
- Why is conflict good for groups?
- Why do conflicts turn violent?
- What are the subtle ways that lead conflict to turn violent and why are they not always easy to detect?
- Can conflicts be resolved, without transforming relationships?
- Is a ‘happy ever after’ state ever possible following a conflict?
This talk also introduced a particular methodology for dialogue, which is ordinarily used for peace negotiations; and discussed how it can be used to improve group dynamics, even between those who hold polarised views.
Yeshim Harris works with conflict management, multi-track diplomacy, stakeholder engagement, sustainable dialogue building and advocacy training. She has initiated and led high-level platforms for comparative learning between Cyprus, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Turkey and the Balkans. Her MSc is on EU expansion and the European Regional Development Fund. She also has a Diploma in Conflict Resolution and Facilitation, and a Certificate of Mediation and Peace-Making in Complex Conflicts.