Do you speak wolf or giraffe?
How people communicate can significantly influence the level of conflict in a society.This is what we learned during the first week of January 2016 in partnership with international volunteers from the Norwegian Peace Corps (fredskorpset).
During this week, we facilitated a conflict workshop. The Red Cross Street Mediation is a methodology that gives youth tools and skills to solve conflicts without the use of violence.
The point of the methodology is to make youth aware of their own reactions, feelings, and behavior in personal conflict situations. Through participatory games, reflective dialogues and role-play, we learn the importance of non-violent communication (which we call "giraffe language") to prevent a conflict from escalating.
Here are some contributions from the participants to sum up the workshops learning outcomes:
- Do not be too defensive. Give room for the other person's opinions. In some situations, try to be like a giraffe; calm, and with big ears and big heart.
-It is important to seek assistance from a third party in case the two parties fail to agree.
-The change starts with yourself, and then transfers to the next person.
The goal is not to avoid all the conflict, but to find way to manage the conflicts positively and constructively.
Understanding culture differences between them can help to find solutions to conflicts.