SouthDowns Studio, Mithras House, Brighton *****
Last Friday night saw the visit of Dr Tom Scholte, an educator and researcher from the University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver visiting the University of Brighton Radical Methodologies Research Group.
A group of people sit at tables on chairs. They are watching a role pay of two men at the front of the room. The men are sitting and standing in front of a screen with a diagram of a Perceptual Conflict Management Dashboard.
In this year’s first meeting of Brighton’s Radical Methodologies Research Group, Tom Scholte shared his recent work in resolving systemic conflicts through theatre practice.
The workshop saw University of Brighton staff, students, alumni and visitors demonstrate, roll play and question conflict techniques and approaches developed by Scholte. Discussions enabled open and unresolved conversations about interpretations of rationality, neurodiverse masking in conflict and confrontation situations, personal interpretations of managing internal conflicts of staying physically well, labelling, and facilitating research opportunities for junior colleagues.
Two men role play a conversation at the front of a room. One man is crouched in the centre, the other is standing and gesturing. They are both in front of a screen with a diagram of a Perceptual Conflict Management Dashboard.
This fantastic event on a dark January early evening has given all participants a lot to take away and process. Scholte’s energy and enthusiasm is incalculable. His approach whether you agree with it or not enables many different people to come together and talk about what matters to them. We need more of this! Thank you Tom!
Workshop details below.
Scholte has drawn on the creative arts to develop what he has termed “critical cybernetics“, focusing on the role that theatre can play in resolving conflict and bridging division. As the artistic director of Conflict Theatre at UBC — a collaboration between Human Resources, the Department of Theatre and Film, and Equity & Inclusion — Scholte uses theatre to help faculty and staff work approach workplace conflict differently.
WORKPLACE DRAMA: The Art and Science of Conflict Engagement
Have you got a “short fuse” or “hair trigger” that gets you into trouble with colleagues; or does fear of being disliked or disapproved of by your peers make you swallow your most urgent thoughts and ideas? Are you feeling drained from having to manage “difficult” people; or is your whole team so afraid of rocking the boat that no one will speak up and say what needs to be said?
In all these guises, and many more, an inability to productively engage with conflict in the workplace can damage organizations by undermining retention of valuable employees, stifling creativity, eroding productivity, and much more. It can also completely derail individual careers.
This interactive workshop offers you and your team concrete tools to transform workplace conflict from something to be avoided or “won” at all costs into generative opportunities to build mutual understanding and a clearer path to success. Combining cutting edge psychological theory with engaging practice exercises, this session will introduce you to the Perceptual Conflict Management Technique: an original and innovative new model of conflict engagement grounded in a foundational scientific theory of human behavior known as Perceptual Control Theory.
By focussing upon the unique ways that individuals perceive conflict situations, this method gently guides us to more clearly articulate the higher principles we hold that have been engaged by the circumstances and understand how they have been disturbed. At the same time, it helps us to cultivate curiosity regarding the higher principles of those with whom we find ourselves in conflict. Finally, it equips all parties to communicate across difference and move forward in ways that can mutually preserve the equilibrium of those combined higher principles.
Participants in this workshop will leave equipped with the basics of this effective, clear, repeatable, transferable and deeply practical approach to all manner of workplace conflict, either as a mediator or a direct participant.