On May 17th, 2016, IDI hosted the 7Cs Compass conflict resolution workshop, Resolution—The 7Cs Compass—given by Conciliators Without Borders President and CEO, Shahid Akhtar. His approach to workshops that teach conflict resolution is to rely on the strengths of those present. He asked people to introduce themselves and explain what their expectations of the workshop were. The main thing that he stressed was that you needed to be able to laugh at yourself. “If you can’t laugh or don’t have humour, there is no point in doing anything.”
Mr. Akhtar described that one of the main motive behind the conflict, and indeed everything in life wasself-intrest. What is in my best interest? Everything in one’s life is governed by self-interest, not in a selfish way but in a way where that is inherently how we perceive the world. He stressed that people were not just a speck in the universe, that this is not how we see ourselves, so any conflict resolution needs to take people’s self-interest into account.
The 7Cs Compass provides a roadmap for approaching conflicts and finding the best resolution available, even though it may not be the ideal resolution. Through practices of communication and compassion, we are able to come to a better understanding of where the other person is coming from—of what is in the best interest for the other person? In this way, two opposing parties can come to the table and work through their different perspectives to come to a common understanding.
Mr. Akhtar stressed that talking helps no matter what, that in the end people always come together for a resolution. This is true in the context of workplace conflicts, interpersonal conflicts, or even international or social conflicts. There is a price to pay for not talking, whether that is a toxic work environment or something as tragic as genocide, once it is over people come together to talk and find a resolution. It is his hope to skip the price to pay for not talking and go straight to a dialogue that will provide a good resolution for the current instance.
He asked the participants to split into pairs and talk about a conflict in their lives with their partner. Mr Akhtar then asked each partner to briefly summarize their respective partner’s conflict. In this way, we could hear the conflict spoken back to us, seeing the diversity of issues but also to help compartmentalize the conflict.
Mr. Akhtar wished to highlight the nature of conflict as something that happens to us, not something we asked for. However unavoidable conflict may be, it does not always have to be negative. There is an importance of making allowances for our humanity. When we approach a conflict with compassion and genuinely listen to the other party, we can see what is motivating the other person, the unintended consequences of decisions. The cost of workplace conflict is 325 billion dollars, in addition to the social and emotional cost. It is in our best interest to listen and participate and work to resolve conflicts, rather than let them grow.
Fail Safe Conflict Resolution -
The 7Cs Compass
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Click here for agenda
Intercultural Dialogue Institute
481 University, suite 711, Toronto ON M5G 2E9
President and CEO,
Conciliators Without Borders Services Inc.
Read more about Shahid
The 7Cs methodology is applicable to a range of personal and workplace conflicts. It provides unique appreciation of the role of conflict and a set of comprehensive strategies for effective conflict resolution. Participants will learn practical tools for managing adversarial relationships in personal and professional settings at a fraction of cost incurred in some other options.
Conflict is an unavoidable fact of life. How we manage it can be the difference between breaking or fostering a future relationship. We can either allow conflict to scar us for life or master it for growth and enrichment. Given this nature of conflict, we believe training in conflict resolution should be a combination of effective, affordable and accessible. It is this approach to conflict resolution that has inspired us to design and offer this workshop.