The Journey of Conflict Resolution
To resolve a conflict it is necessary to understand the journey to conciliation. We researched all the major models of conflict resolution to identify the journey that people go on when they move from being mired in a conflict to both solving the problem and healing their relationship. We came up with seven phases in the journey. One colleague drew this picture of the non-linear way they work. We sometimes call it “the bow-tie model”.
The entry point is Initiating the Dialogue. Clarifying the Situation and Expressing the Experience continue until situation is clear and people’s reactions to the situation have all been expressed and understood. Then it is possible to Articulate the Substantial Issues. When the underlying issues are understood, the group can move to Generating Options and Creating Resolution, and finally Planning the Implementation of the resolution moves the whole group to a new stage where changes are implemented, the problem is solved, and a new relationship is created.
Note that this is a model of the whole journey when it works — people may get stuck, or exit before they have finished the journey. The role of a facilitator is to make it easier for people to move productively through the phases.
Click this link to download the visual image.
Bowtie model of phases of conciliation
We teach ToP tools you can use to move a group through this journey in our Facilitating Conciliation course, and also in Advanced ToP Tools.