Harriet Braiker in her book “Who’s Pulling your Strings” says that “Conflict can and should be handled constructively; when it is, relationships benefit. Conflict avoidance is NOT the hallmark of a good relationship. On the contrary, it is a symptom of serious problems and of poor communication.”
For senior managers and supervisors within the University of Belize community, from January 15-16, 2015, conflict and mediation were the main topics in a two-day training workshop entitled “Empowering UB by Enhancing Interpersonal and Conflict Management Skills”. The workshop had Dr. Neil Katz representing the Program for Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at Syracuse University as lead instructor. He was accompanied by UB’s Kathya Castañeda (ERI), Pio Saqui (FST) and Rudolph McKoy (FMSS).
Topics discussed included: Cost/Benefits of Workplace Conflict, Conflict Management Options, the Conflict Management Model, Core Listening (Reflective Listening Assertion, Prob;em Solving) and the Workplace Mediation Model just to name a few. Demonstations and exercises were also an integral part of this Interpersonal and Conflict Management Workshop.
This workshop for UB staff is the first of three sessions planned for this year. This initiative is part of a project funded by the OAK Foundation as part of a larger effort to build conflict management capacity in Belize. By holding sessions like these we can hopefully familiarize oneself with essential interpersonal communication and conflict management concepts and tools. Refine core communication and conflict management skills for interpersonal effectiveness. Understand and practice how to function as a third party intervener in workplace conflict. And increase confidence and competence
In addition to the sessions planned for UB staff, a customized workshop to be delivered in the summer, is being designed for environmental NGOs in Belize! This is definately something to watch out for!