When conflict occurs in a workshop or training, it can throw off the entire day if left unaddressed. What are some strategies for handling conflict when it comes up in the room?
In Meg’s response above she describes how to name the conflict and validate it’s presence before continuing to on with a training.
- acknowledge what is present in the room
- validate the conflict you see
- then respond
Check out more of Meg’s social justice facilitation work here.
Question: How do you handle conflict in the room?
MB: “I think the most important thing for me when I’m handling conflict is just to acknowledge what is present in the room.
I think some people move on and are very quickly like, “OK, let’s just not talk about that right now!” and move over here.
And I think saying that like, “I see there is a lot of energy around this,” or “it sounds like we have a bunch of different views in the room.” Or just acknowledging what’s happening even if that then leads to me saying, “OK! Let’s take a break.” Or, “we’re going to side-line this conversation and we’re going to go somewhere else.”
I think for me that validating and acknowledging what’s happening first and foremost before I make any next decision or next move is where I start when I see conflict arising.”