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Diversity and Conflict: Working Approaches Essay

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Updated: Jul 4th, 2021

Introduction

In the field of modern psychology, there are many ways to help people deal with their emotional problems, personal concerns, and other challenges that may change the quality of life. The goal of a counselor is not only to analyze a situation, but also focus on actors, and investigate their problems. A successful resolution of conflicts is a complex process that requires a number of steps to be taken.

During this module, the two books by the same author turn out to be the main readings. Arnold Mindell discussed the basics of conflict resolution, the worth of diversity, and leadership in his Sitting in the Fire and The Leader as Martial Artist. The chosen chapters enhance the possibilities of counselors to work in groups and identify their obligations at different stages of a process. Along with the evaluation of diversity and ranks in human behaviors and personal reflection, this essay will include the discussion of conflict causes and their main characteristics to understand what skills matter in conflict resolution.

Classification That Matters

Human relationships may be challenged by diverse reasons, and each situation has to be evaluated in a particular context. In his book, Mindell (2014) said that the potential power of communities is enormous. Many ways to be heard, understood, and followed are available to people, including riots, revolutions, or other examples of civil disobedience (Mindell, 2014). As a result, multiple conflicts emerge and determine human behaviors. Governments take some steps to regulate such situations in society, but there are also personal cases when a small group of people has to recognize and solve their problems.

According to Mindell (2014), inner problems, local issues, and international issues are interrelated in process-oriented psychology. It is not enough to find a conflict situation, but it is important to understand its reasons, possible consequences, and effects on people. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish and analyze ranks as a type of drug that provides people with power. Skin color, gender, sexual orientation, education, religion, profession, and expertise are the factors of conflicts (Mindell, 2014). These classifications and self-knowledge play a crucial role in counseling because they lead people and provide them with a sense.

Causes of Conflict

This course and this module, in particular, create good opportunities for counselors to understand their duties in regard to patients and study the basics of conflict as a process. In his discussion, Mindell (2014) used such terms as democracy, balance, tensions (time spirits), and meta skills to explain the peculiarities of a working process. For example, the imbalance of power is defined as one of the major causes of conflict (Mindell, 2014).

There can be several sides to a conflict, and the task of a counselor, as a facilitator, is to listen and look in order to understand the use of power and oppression. Human problems may be rooted in force fields and spirits or generated by people (Mindell, 1992). Therefore, any conflict is not an outcome of one particular problem that has to be solved alone. It is a combination of several (internal and external) factors that must be evaluated universally.

Elements of Conflict Resolution

Every counselor is free to choose the methods of work with clients. Sometimes, such a variety and the lack of standards are beneficial because each situation, as well as a patient, is unique and requires a specific approach. Mindell (1992) concluded that “the best we can do is to learn how to deal with events as they occur” (p. 22). This recommendation proves the importance of global processes, polarisation, and the recognition of skills.

What Mindell (1992) suggested is to use new terms in order to make oppositions and imply the conditions in a proper way. For example, time spirits are introduced as temporary and transitory tensions between roles that remind people about the transformational nature of the world around them (Mindell, 1992). Meta skills are also crucial for psychological practice as they aim at generating tools that are necessary for dealing with situations. Compassion is one of the examples of a meta-skill with the help of which a counselor is able to understand his or her role and facilitate a conflict. Self-balance should not be ignored because it is a chance for a person to lead minorities or other damaged groups.

Practical Skills

The duration of conflicts between individuals and organizations is hard to predict even for the most experienced counselors. However, the investigation offered by Mindell (1992) proved that it is still possible to have a common plan in terms of which work procedures and awareness of momentary states are the crucial elements. The author said about the importance to process conflicts as soon as they arise but never wait until they are polarised and introduced 14 stages of resolution that have to be studied. One of the first steps that every person tries to do when imbalance, concerns, or problems arise is to avoid conflict.

After some evaluations, it is possible to find out enough courage and reasons to notice a conflict. The next step includes the determination of the malignancy of a problem. Then, a moment to enter a conflict comes, and this personal choice has to be conscious. To predict complications or misunderstandings, it is important to address not only a problem but a partner. Awareness improvement, taking a side, neutrality, respect for a partner, cycling, and working in groups also matter in counseling.

Personal Reflection

During this module, I got a good chance to improve my understanding of conflict and the quality of human behaviors and relationships. In my group work, I had to perform different functions, including the one of a ghost role. In the beginning, it was hard for me to realize why the same situation may require the exchange of roles if every member has already been aware of the context. However, every new role was a possibility for me to recognize some new aspects of inner problems and local issues. There is an invisible connection between the factors that promote conflict or help to avoid it. Taking each other’s roles is not as easy as it seems to be.

The relativity of concepts impresses when an inner problem becomes an outer consequence or when something is defined as good by one group and bad by another. The evaluation of roles, leadership, and skills are integral to conflict resolution.

Conclusion

The analysis of conflict situations and the process of their resolution requires much attention, knowledge, and skills. This course module focuses on the books written by Mindell who demonstrates a strong understanding of the chosen topic. Diversity and conflicts are interrelated concepts, and counselors must evaluate each element to succeed in solving problems and improving the quality of life. Human relationships may be challenged by different factors, and the desire to achieve justice and understanding prevails. Process-oriented psychology is proved to be the field where new terms, concepts, and examples regularly emerge and facilitate counseling.

References

Mindell, A. (1992). The leader as martial artist: An introduction to deep democracy. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco.

Mindell, A. (2014). Sitting in the fire: Large group transformation using conflict and diversity. San Francisco, CA: Deep Democracy Exchange.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Diversity and Conflict: Working Approaches'. 4 July.

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