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Conflict Cycle


I am trying to design a course for the voluntary and community sector on 'Understanding Conflict' and one of the learning outcomes is around understanding the phases of the conflict cycle and recognising each stage in thier own conflict situation.

I am having some problems as there are around 4 conflict cycles on the internet and I do not know which will be best to use and how to describe it.

Can anyone help with this or give me some tips generally on conflict?

Thanks for your time with this.

Claire Nolan

7 Responses

  1. Resource: The Eight Essential Steps to Conflict Resolution
    The best resource I have ever come across regarding conflict is the book ‘The Eight Essentail Steps to Conflict Resolution – Preserving Relationships at Work, at Home, and in the Community’ by Dudley Weeks ISBN 0-87477-751-8.

    This is the only book on conflict that I have read and thought – yes, I can see how that would work – it’s very practical and has good case studies.

  2. TA
    You might also want to include some aspects of Transactional Analysis – excellent for managing (and avoiding) conflict.

    Try ‘Games People Play’ by Eric Berne as an overview of the topic or ‘Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure’ by Robert De Board – an excellent book.


  3. Conflict Resolution
    Yay to Annah’s suggestion of TA – but you may need an intro on quite why, first, if this is new to you, as there is more here than meets the eye! Email me if you wish?

    Do also consider MBTI and the understanding of why different people are allowably quite different – and difficult! (Again – email if you wish? And there is some additional GREAT research using MBTI on influencing styles by Dr Susan Brock if you are interested…)

    Finally – consider reframing the issue from ‘conflict resolution’ (often used in some quarters where people just disagree dysfunctionally??) to’negotiation’ (with a focus on getting the outcome you want, more often independent of the causes of the conflict)?

    Does it help to define negotiation as ‘the resolution of conflict through the exchange of concessions’? If so, have a scan of How to Negotiate Better Deals – in all UK libraries I think – if you don’t mind a small amount of self promotion by the author? (s)

    Good luck!


  4. Thomas Kilman conflict model
    Hi Claire

    agree with other respondents, and I have found the Thomas Kilman model for dealing with conflict very useful – 5 styles avoiding, accommodating, competing, compromising and colloborating.
    – you can buy copies of the questionnaire (and if required a facilitators guide) from MLR – their phone number is 01267 281661
    questionnaires cost £6.75 each and the facilitators guide costs I think about £89.00 Hope this of use Jacqueline

  5. Conflict resolution
    Hi Claire
    we work alongside an NFP organisation which is also part of a business network in conflict resolution and thinking through to win/win solutions.
    Have a look at which is the charitable NFP and it’s business provider network through they already work around the world and are well proven. If i can help further do not hesitate to contact me.

  6. Don’t understand, cope…

    I’m going off at a tangent slightly…

    Why understand whether it’s at the trigger, the up-ramp, the plateau, the down-grade, the bump or the aftershock…. What is the benefit in knowing?

    Surely it’s better to focus on the specific current situation and how best to deal with it (at that moment) so as to resolve conflict.

    I fully accept that as someone who teaches conflict resolution strategies and as someone who isn’t too bothered about labeling behaviours and people I am very biased, but what the heck.

    All the best.



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