Our Community Care Workers (CCWs) reported that they were increasingly being called upon to help resolve family disputes in the community.  They felt unequipped and out of their depth.  So it was timely that Dottie Hickey, a Nursing Sister from New York, USA, and and old friend of ours, was visiting SA and able to conduct this workshop on Conflict Resolution. 

It was a great day of learning, interspersed with much laughter too, as all of the team reflected on themselves and how to cope with conflict in their own lives. 

Dottie introduced 5  common strategies people engage with when managing conflict.  The CCWs discussed and considered which they could most relate to.  Some said they tended to withdraw in difficult situations like a TURTLE, others admitted to forcing their views, as in the SHARK/LION prototype.  Many wished they could be more like the TEDDY BEAR always smoothing things over. The compromising FOX type person was also admired, as someone who is able to let go, for the sake of reaching agreement. Finally there is the OWL character that has the ability to problem solve and negotiate very skilfully in order to ensure that an agreement is sought that maximizes joint benifit and resolves tensions and negative feelings.  It was interesting to discover that all of these 5 strategies are equally important and appropriate in certain circumstances, depending on your goals and the relationship. 

Listening was another important tool that Dottie touched on, explaining the importance of making space for each person to speak and to feel heard.

With these new found tools under their belts, the Care Workers said that they felt excited and much more confident, and were looking forward to using them on their home visits in the community.