Today began a three-day workshop on managing conflict. Mr Andrew Otsieno is the presenter, a person who has vast experience in this field, working with the business community as well as with religious. Instead of using the term ‘managing conflict’, Andrew preferred to use the term conflict transformation, and explained that conflict is normal and the challenge is to work towards transforming it when it proves to be potentially unhealthy.
Andrew explained the connection between stress and conflict, showing that the stress is the result of the way we view the situation of conflict. He presented the iceberg model of conflict to explain how very often the issues that are causing the stress are only symptoms of some deeper issues that may be either unspoken or out of awareness.
He showed that conflicts arise from the differences of individual needs, values, motivations and/or perceptions.
Finally, Andrew charted the dynamic of conflict by outlining the spiral of experiences, leading to feelings, on to behaviours, and ending with reactions. He gave the example from the Bible where Joseph became the focus of conflict with his brothers who sold him into slavery out of jealousy.