Hi I'm Ellen Ott Marshall and I teach conflict transformation at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Welcome to the third week of our course in conflict transformation. This lesson examines the causes of conflict and offers you tools for analyzing conflict. Now I'm going to need you to hang in there with me while I define some concepts and terms and just explain some structures of things and then we'll get to the fun part of application. We'll have a chance to try out three different tools for understanding and analyzing conflict using a role play and it's truly a lot of fun. The first point to make, before we start looking at these mechanisms of analysis, is that in the analyzing conflict well, is part of engaging it well. We did all of this work in the last module on self-assessment. And that is also part of this process, of constructively engaging conflict. It's the same thing with this work, of analyzing the conflict itself. We have to really understand, as best we can, what's going on. Understanding and analyzing conflict, that's part of a transformation process. You might think of it as the pre-work or the homework. But either way it's absolutely essential. There are many different mechanisms and resources for helping us to do this. And this module just introduces you to some of them. John Paul Letterack gives us a very helpful starting point for understanding and analyzing conflict. His method is called the three piece. People, process and problem. And this is a great basic orientation to our conflict helping just kind of Ts apart the kind of triangle mass which is like conflict usually appear to be when we first experience them, so the first thread people out Is the people thread. Who is involved in the conflict, right? What issues of perception are in play? So who are the parties to it and also how is their embodiment, right, in the conflict? How's their participation in the conflict contributing to it over time? The second p is process, right, and here we're looking at a little bit of the history that led up to the conflict. To see in what ways this conflict might've been fueled by processes of decision making, for example. Often times there's a dispute that gets traced back to moments where key people were not included in a process that then affected there lives, right? So this connection between process and fairness in how those pieces setup the conflict are important to analyze. So people and process. The third is problem, right? What is at stake? What are people fighting over? That's the third set of questions that helps us that tease out the elements of the conflict. People, process and problem. Now of course, on this last point of problem, we know that we fight over many different things. So there's a whole other set of tools that can help us think about these different root causes, right? We can gain some clarity about these root causes with another tool that's called the Conflict Wheel. The conflict wheel gives us six causes of conflict in a structure. Now, it's always difficult to capture something as dynamic as conflict with a stagnant piece of paper like this. So, take this for what it's worth and then we can think about how this causes of conflict are interacting with one another. As we move forward. But it is just a hopeful sort of orienting mechanism, to see six different root causes of conflict. So, think about this again as the six things that people are fighting over, right? Six different causes for dispute. So, the first is simply information. Sometimes we'll have different amounts of information, different access to it, right. Contradictory information. And that sets up a disagreement of some kinds. So, sometimes it's simply that. The second is resources. Sometimes people are fighting over things that we can quantify, right. There's a dispute over Allocation of funds in an organization. There's a dispute over property lines in a neighborhood right? Resources, this is pertaining to material needs or things that we can quantify right? The third is relationships and this is where things begun to get a little bit more dynamic. Some causes of conflict are related to relationships. The dynamics between people, the way in which they have been interdependent, right, and that kind of interdependent relationship is causing some friction as one tries to disagree or pull away, or the other has needs that are not met, but part of the dynamic of a conflict is the way in which the parties are related to one another and have been related to one another. So, this slice of the pie or the section of the wheel called relationship is also the place where we capture the history of the parties, right. What happened to these people? In their relationships with one another before this episode appeared. The fourth is interests or needs. What's interesting always to me in this process of analyzing conflict. Is that often the things that appear to be about information or resources have deeper issues underneath them. And what you're trying to do when you're working with people in a conflict, is to get to that deeper material, which is much more about interests or needs. So a minute ago, I put air quotes around information. It's just information. In my experience, things are rarely just information or just resources. This two issues that seem really tidy and quantifiable are related to people's deeper needs and interest. Two of this are worth mentioning right from the start and will see more needs and interest to merge as we work with our role play and particular examples of conflict. But two persistent needs are often in play in conflict. The first is identity, my sense of who I am, right, your sense of who you are. And the second one is respect, right, often times part of what's fueling even the most simple seeming, Conflict. Are seemed deep concerns about people not feeling recognized. Not feeling appreciated. Right? Being somehow disrespected. So, what seems to be a dispute about information for example. Catherine was given this information, and Zoe was not. That's a quantifiable. Piece of data there. She received this on this date and she did not. But what's underneath that might be that one of them feels validated, seen and respected, and the other feels dismissed. So, it's not just about who got the information but it's about the deeper needs that are unmet when one gets information that the other doesn't. So, you can already see how these different features on the conflict we're interacting with one another. Back to the wheel, the fifth is structures. Now, we've talked about structures a couple of different ways already in previous modules. That again what we're trying to do is to get deeper and deeper into the understanding and to look at the architecture or the what's under the tip of the iceberg. Or down in the epicenter, right. These are things are pointing us deeper and deeper into the structures that are effecting people's lives. So, sometimes it's a structural dispute that's in play. Oftentimes there's a structural dispute underneath all of the other things. So, structures here is referring to social groups or organizations. Right? So, it could be disputes between people representing different groups. But it can also be about power. So, when we are looking for a structural causes in a conflict, we're also attending, we are attending to the different ways in which people have power, exercise power or feel dismissed or excluded. The last cause of conflict portion on our wheel is values and believes, right. So, here we have all kinds of examples of the ways in which values and beliefs generate and sustain conflict in our society. So often times values and beliefs are underneath they're part of the materials that you discover as you investigate interests and needs and kind of get beneath those a little bit more. But sometimes the dispute over values and beliefs is right on the surface, right, it's plain to see. So, that's another important cause of conflict to see and to begin to unpack. So, we've got these six causes of conflict we'll keep working with. A couple of quick takeaways, there's never just one cause of conflict, right? Our conflict itself is impacted by these different causes. The second main point is that they interact with one another, right? And sometimes in complicating and unhelpful ways. Is a conflict about information can be exacerbated because of conflicts over structures, or the history of a relationship. So, we're going to dig into this work of analysis using three different tools, ABC, which stands for attitudes, behaviors, context. The onion and the tree. For each lesson, what I'll do is introduce the tool. And then, we will see it in action. Alright? And then, we'll spend some time talking about what's helpful about that tool and what's problematic about that tool. So, in the immediate next lesson, we're going to give you a roleplay, so that we'll all be on the same page. And then, we have three following lessons, when we'll try out each of these tools. ABC, attitudes, behaviors, context, the onion, and the tree.