What is Conflict Transformation?

An excerpt from Relevance of Conflict Transformation in Sports Presented at the 2022 Annual ACR Conference

What is Conflict?

According to Kenneth Boulding, conflict is “A form of competitive behaviour between different parties. It occurs when two or more parties compete over perceived or actual incompatible goals or limited resources (Boulding, 1962)”.

Under the conflict transformation school of thought, conflicts are opportunities. Conflicts are neither good nor bad, they just are. The choices we make when faced with conflict, end up making the situation positive or negative. 
Furthermore, under the conflict transformation school of thought, conflicts are a natural part of life. Nature often uses conflict as a motor of change. If we reflect on some big life decisions that may have helped set us on our path for life, we will also most likely remember a period just before it with conflict within it. It is a period of discomfort, followed by a period of growth and improvement provided we view conflict as an opportunity.
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Presence of Conflict

Conflict is present in various aspects of life and in various capacities. It occurs as internal conflict within our brains, all the way to global conflicts in the form of world wars that break nations apart.

It occurs internally, interpersonally- between people, in schools and offices, at a familial level between families, locally or at the grassroots levels within communities.

It occurs within countries amongst different districts/ provinces or states, and it occurs between the government, its people or between countries. It also occurs globally between multiple countries.
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How EmpowerAces uses Conflict Transformation Methodology?

With reference to this article, and the work that is done at Empower Aces, mainly focuses on conflict occurring internally or interpersonally.

Research suggests that individuals trained in skills to manage and transform their internal and interpersonal conflict, apply those skills to other aspects of their lives, including better relationships, improved mental health, reduced stress and an overall better quality of life. 
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Difference between Conflict Transformation and Conflict Resolution

People often ask what the difference is between conflict 'transformation' and the more commonly heard term conflict 'resolution' 
Conflict is bad
Conflict provides important opportunities to learn and grow
The 'other side' is my opponent/ enemy
The 'other side' is my conversation partner and fellow human
We should agree and get along
We should collaborate and create healthier ways of interacting
The highest priority is finding a solution that can SOLVE the conflict
The highest priority is understanding each other and building stronger relationships, so we can create trust and longevity
We should end conflict
We should identify and disarm the underlying causes of conflict and build something better
Conflict is making me uncomfortable and anxious. End these bad feelings now.
I am uncomfortable and anxious but I won't let these feelings rule my contributions. In the long run, working through hard feelings will be worth it
Above is a table that is adapted from the Little Book of Conflict Transformation[1] by John Paul Lederach, one of the leaders in this field. This simplified adaptation was provided by the Brave talk project[2][1]  (Lederach, 2003); Little Book of Conflict Transformation[2] 

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