I have been thinking a lot about the link between theory and practice in relation to conflict resolution. The skills we use to manage and prevent conflict are very straightforward. We all know that open questions are a key skill … but why?
We know that skillful questions help us to gather information, explore a situation, understand and clarify. This relates to purpose and practice. But questions do so much more … they help us a practitioners to shift positions to interests, they unpick assumptions, they check out bias and attributions. Questions shift perspectives, they can break the cycle of self fulfilling prophesy and they can encourage cooperation rather than competition within relationships.
I believe it is important to know the reason that we make certain interventions and use specific skills in conflict resolution, ethically but also that we can improve our practice.
I would be keen to hear how other have used conflict resolution theory to influence their practice?