A dynamic struggle between contrasting forces is necessary-it creates ideas and drives change. But as everyone knows, life is also filled with hurtful and even tragic forms of conflict. Students learn about both types of opposition in this video, which illustrates ways to use conflict constructively while avoiding violence, alienation, and resentment. Beginning with the notion that we deal with conflict largely through patterns learned as children, the program explores four behaviors that push conflict into the destructive zone: miscommunication, demonizing, refusal to negotiate, and “kitchen sinking” or pulling past events and unrelated frustrations into a present disagreement. The pitfalls of a “conflict loop” are also discussed. Viewers gain an understanding of the potential rewards of recognizing an opponent’s needs as well as one’s own. Mediation, including peer mediation and the “third side” method of negotiation, are examined. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online. A Cambridge Educational Production. Part of the series Combating Conflict with Character. (30 minutes)
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