THIRD PARTY PEACE-MAKING INTERVENTIONS CHARACTERISTICS OF INTER-GROOUP CONFLICT 1. Perception of the other as the “enemy” 2. Stereotyping. 3. Decreased communication: Feedback and data input is typically cut off. 4. Communication is distorted and inaccurate. 5. Each group prises itself and its products more positively. 6. Each group believes that it can do no wrong and the other can do no right. 7. There may even be acts of sabotage against the other group. GENERAL STRATEGIES THAT HAVE BEEN USED TO DEAL WITH INTERGROUP CONFLICT Using the idea of a common enemy outside the group that both groups dislike to bring them closer. Increasing interaction and communication under favourable conditions. Finding a super - ordinate goal that both groups desire. Rotating members of the group. Training. INTERGROUP TEAM BUILDING INTERVENTION The aim of this type of intervention is to: Increase communication and interaction; Reduce unhealthy competition. BLAKE, SHEPARD AND MOUTON CAME UP WITH A METHOD WHICH IS USED BETWEEN GROUPS THAT ARE STRAINED AND OVERLY HOSTILE. The Process: I. To obtain commitment from the leaders of each group on their willingness to find procedures that will improve inter group relations. II. Groups are put in different rooms. The task of each group is to generate two lists. (1) Put down thoughts, attitudes, perceptions and feelings about the other group. (2) Predict what the other group will say about them. III. The groups come together and share their lists. No comments or discussions, only clarity. IV. The groups reconvene to (1) discuss their reactions to what they have learned about themselves from what the other group has said (2) Identify issues that still need to be resolved between the two groups. V. The two groups come together and share their lists, they set priorities, and they generate action steps and assign responsibilities. VI. A follow up meeting is convened to ensure that the action steps have been taken. VARIATION: FORDYCE AND WEIL This method can be used with more than two groups. It can be used where the hostility between the groups may not be extreme or severe. The Steps: I. Each group, separately compiles two types of lists: 1) A positive feedback list. 2) A bug list 3) An empathy list II. The two groups come together and share the lists; there is no discussion, except for seeking clarification. III. The total group: 1) Generates a list of major problems and unresolved issues between the two groups. 2) These issues are ranked in terms of importance. IV. Sub groups are formed with members from each group, who then discuss and work through each item. V. The sub-groups report to the larger group. On the basis of the report back and all the other information gathered, the group proceeds to: 1) Generate action steps for resolving the conflict. 2) Assign responsibilities for each step. 3) Record a date by which the steps ought to have been carried out. With this method (Fordyce and Weil) the two groups work together a lot more than Blake, Shephard and Mouton`s method. WALTON`S APPROACH TO THIRD PARTY PEACE MAKING INTERVENTIONS WALTON’S METHOD has a lot in common with group interventions but it is directed more towards, interpersonal conflict. Third party interventions involve confrontation and Walton outlines confrontation mechanisms. A major feature of these mechanisms is the ability to diagnose the problem accurately. The diagnostic model: The model is based on four elements: The conflict issues. Precipitating circumstances. Conflict relevant acts. The consequences of the conflict. It is also important to know the source of the conflict. Sources: Substantive issues, which is conflict related to practices, scarce resources, and differing conceptions of roles and responsibilities. Emotional issues, involve feelings between the parties, such as anger, hurt, fear, resentment, etc. The former require bargaining and problem solving. The latter require restructuring perceptions and working through negative feelings. Walton has outlined the ingredients of a productive confrontation( the process of addressing conflict), they are: 1. Mutual positive motivation, which refers to the willingness on both parties t resolve the conflict. 2. Balance of power. There ought not be any power differentials between the parties involved in a confrontation. 3. Synchronization of confrontation efforts. The two parties must address the conflict simultaneously. 4. Differentiation and integration of different phases of the intervention must be well paced. The intervention involves working through negative feelings and ambivalent positive feeling. The intervention must allow sufficient time for this process to take place. 5. Conditions that promote openness should be created. This could be done through setting appropriate norms and creating a structure that encourages openness. 6. Reliable communicative signals. This statement refers to using language that is understood by the parties involved in the confrontation. 7. Optimum tension in the situation. This means that the stress experienced by both parties ought to be sufficient to motivate them but not too excessive. GENERAL PRINCIPLES ON NEGOTIATION These principles were outlined by Fischer, Ury and Patton. They involve approaches to people, interests, options and criteria. People have different feelings and perceptions therefore it is important to separate people from feelings. Interest. Looking at party interests provide a vehicle for resolving conflict rather sticking to inflexible positions that entrench the conflict. Options ought to be generated in order to come up with best option for resolving conflict. Criteria for evaluating the success of the intervention ought to be clear and objective.
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