News

Reflections on the limitations and opportunities of conflict dialogue.

The current Russian war in Ukraine raises - once again - the question of the extent to which the concept of conflict dialogue is viable. Especially in these times, it is important not to hastily narrow the efforts for dialogue and negotiations. It is precisely in these war-torn times that the concept of dialogue must prove its worth - within and between societies and states, in organizations, families, and in neighborhoods. To this end, the article by Jürgen Habermas in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (https://www.sueddeutsche.de/projekte/artikel/kultur/the-dilemma-of-the-west-juergen-habermas-on-the-war-in-ukraine-e032431/) seems to be of great importance. 

The war changes the DAAD Project 2022: two project lines

The planned and approved DAAD project on de-escalating communication in police operations was split into two project lines due to the war in Ukraine. This is because there is now a great need in Ukraine for psychosocial support for refugees and others in severe distress. Volunteers are being trained for this purpose. Thus, over 10 Ukrainian teams are now conducting training in conflict-sensitive psychosocial support for people in distress. The focus is on war-torn areas in the east and south of the country. 
Four teams from Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Germany are implementing the originally planned project on de-escalating communication for police officers.
These changes in the project plan were approved very quickly and flexibly by the DAAD, so that we were able to start work quickly.

Research and development Project 2022: De-Escalating Communication in Police Operations 

Our application for the year 2022 was approved by the DAAD. We will develop training units on de-escalating communication for police forces and test them in the 10 project regions. Mediation offices of universities and non-governmental organizations in Chișinău (Moldova), Tiraspol (Transnistria), Kiev, Vinnitsa, Odessa, Bakmhut and Sloviansk (Ukraine), Bishkek and Osh (Kyrgyzstan) as well as in Hamburg (Germany) will be involved.


Final Report on DAAD Project 2021 "Transformation of Mediation Methods into Online Formats": What contributes to the success of online mediation? 

Ten project teams from four countries planned in March 2021 to transform a number of mediation methods for online mediation and to test them in the regions of the project teams in university seminars, mediation trainings and also in real mediations. 16 methods were tested in 97 four-hour simulations with an average of 15 participants and 11 real mediations with 2 to 20 participants. In the project teams' evaluations, brainstorming and conflict mapping scored highest. Overall, the collective experiences in this project suggest that the successful application of an online mediation method depends on how familiar the mediators are with conferencing software such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, BigBlueButton, Webex, Skype, etc., and whether the application software for co-creating decision-making queries, graphics, and texts is familiar to the conflict parties. More on this can be found in the final report (in German).

The results of the project 2020 on conflict coaching are available and the next project was approved

The Russian version of mediation trainer's manual on mediative conflict coaching is now available here. It presents important basic knowledge and training units on well-known and special methods for the coaching of one partner in conflict. The concept of mediative conflict coaching is committed to fair conflict resolutions and focuses on change of perspective in the most stages of the coaching. The spectrum of methods contains ressource and value analyses as well as role-playing and others.

The German Academic Exchange Service has accepted our proposal for 2021. The new project will transform interactive mediation methods into online-methods. Meanwhile, the project is carried by 10 partners from Kyrgystan, Ukraine, Moldova and Germany. In 2021, we will firstly develop 10 online mediation methods. Then, we will test these online methods in all regions of the partners. Thus, every method will be tested 10 times. The result of the project will be a mediator's manual with these 10 methods that will be published online for free in Spring 2022 (see above).

Conference presentation on project results

The results from the DAAD project "Activating Survey on the Need and Demand for Mediation (2018)" were presented by Alexander Redlich on October 16, 2020 at the Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium at the European University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, which was conducted by the German Mediation Research Group. It will be published in the Journal "KonfliktDynamik" in July.

An offer for online conflict coaching as part of a research project

Within the Conflict Dialogue project, the psychologist, mediator, and coaching specialist Yuliya Zhygulina-Fahl and Psychology professor Alexander Redlich offer mediative online coaching in the Russian language for people who have conflicts. It's free. (See also the new presentation about mediative conflict coaching. Open Microsoft Office programs (Powerpoint, Word, etc) without Microsoft Office? Download Internet Explorer and use the material by the browser!)

Mostly, conflict coaching lasts between 2 and 10 hours within 1-6 weeks. The goal is to support the coached person (“coachee”) emotionally and specifically in clarifying and solving their conflict themselves. To this end, the coach and coachee first discuss the background of the conflict from the coachee's perspective. They also include the perspective of the conflict partner. Based on this clarification, both then develop solution ideas and work out the best ideas so precisely that the coachee can implement them competently. The coach supports this implementation.