Section: B) - Syllabus 3

Anna Gazdag posted 4 months ago, 2 Responses
The quote at the beginning of this section to me is about the intension to get past prejudice or any kind of concept, doctrine or other intellectual or moral weight that would cloud one’s judgement whether they are in a conflict or trying to help resolve a conflict. When someone gets to this form of existence they reveal their true personality. It is about a way of pure thinking.

Foxnews: Senate fails to override Trump veto on Iran war powers
“The Senate failed Thursday to override President Trump\'s veto of legislation that would have curbed his ability to unilaterally launch military action against Iran without congressional authorization.”

Who created this report? - Foxnews, an American conservative news channel

Is this report of an unbiased nature? - It is not unbiased. Fox News is known to favour republican views

Which part of the conflict do we witness? - We witness the internal tention in the USA about the way the USA should handle the conflict with Iran which is only a side-effect of the core conflict, the tension between the USA and Iran.

Where might the core conflict have its origin? - The original conflict came from an American intervention in the political leadership of Iran which later turned into several attacks on both sides which resulted in a more than 40 year long silent war between the two countries.

According to my experience power is the biggest impulse that motivates conflicts. Power can take many forms, like money, manipulation, connections etc. I want to be romantic and say love is the other biggest impulse but in my opinion if something motivates a conflict it cannot be a positive thing. So I would rather choose ego as the other motivator.

A cold conflict was a few month ago when my fiance’s headphones broke and he took them to the brand store because it was a new pair of headphones which was not supposed to have any kind of problem. The customer service person took the headphones for inspection and in the end the store exchanged it for a fresh pair and expressed regret about the unfortunately faulty piece. This was a seamingly tiny conflict but it could have lead to a break up between a brand and a faithful costumer forever. The root of the conflict was the faithful trust of the costumer and the sale of a faulty product which almost broke this trust.

A mixed conflict was recently when one of my friend’s contract was terminated because of the pandemic and she had to deal with the administrative and practical side of the termination of the contract as well as the emotional side of being let down by her employer with fake reasons (in stead of saying the truth) in this difficult time. The root of the conflict in this case is miscommunication and the betrayal of the employer, who was trusted to provide a stabile work environment in stead of abadoning the employee.

A hot conflict is the chemical attack in Syria, which happened a few days ago. It was clearly an agressive and loud expression of a conflict between the Syrian government and opposition groups that are fighting president Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The root of this conflict is the power struggel between the present regime and the opposition.

The empathic soft skills in a conflict situation where the parties are closed off is crutially important. Opening up the parties to see each other’s side is the only way to create a lasting solution. In my experience the most effektive way is by showing them understanding. In order to do that, the mediator first really needs to understand their perspective, why they react the way they react, what motivates their actions and what triggers their emotions. Then the mediator needs to communicate with the parties to make sure this understanding is correct and complete (kind of fine-tuning the connection like a sensitive instrument) and then they can make the parties feel like they are no longer alone with their opinion and emotions.
This is where the empathic soft skills play a role. They can share the feeling of hurt, the feeling of anger and many others. Once they “channeled” the parties in conflict they can also alter their perspective by showing them an optional shift in behaviour. When done right this connection works both ways. When the mediator gets a glimps of the internal storm of the parties the parties are also presented with the example of the mediator’s behavior. I don’t have to mention that it is essential to stay calm and show a positive example at this point. The soft skills are a key factor in monitoring the parties and realising how flexible the parties are to shift and changing strategy at the point of rigidness which can only be detected through sensitive soft skills like paying attention and detective every little change because the signes sometimes hide in the tinyest body language or choice of words. Sometimes it can almost be visualised how such empathy opens up a closed off person.
After this solid level of understanding is established the mediator can slowly build a solution on it through asking questions which are not triggering further negative emotions but are stimulating rational thinking and slowly brings the parties back together.

It was very fascinating to read about the multiple definitions of conflict. When I studied for my master’s degree in crisis and security management we had the same discussion about the definition of security. It is different for everyone, still there is a universal picture that comes to mind when we think about these commonly used concepts. It is still very impartant to keep in mind that we always need to be careful with these terms especially as professionals. If those people how spend years research and working with these concepts don’t agree on a definition how could we expect from a non-professional to have the same image in mind as we do when we talk about these concepts? The answer is simple, we can’t.

Dear Anna,

thank you for this feedback.

I hope the short conflict analysis or better said the use of the questions explained a bit the depth to be discovered behind pretty much everything, not only conflict but also commercials, etc.

I believe it is not necessary to put a definition into words. More often than not, we feel a truth inside of us. By listening to this inner voice or vibration we use it and act accordingly (hopefully). This action is also a way of communication, the vibration of our inner voice put into action.

BR, Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I agree, sometimes the closest we get to a definition is when we define something by how it makes us feel which can be an interpretation of the inner voice as you explained.

Best regards,
Anna