Conflict can be seen as a crisis in human interaction.
It often causes people to feel weak and self-absorbed; weak because they feel unsettled, confused, fearful, disorganised and unsure of what to do and self-absorbed because they feel self-protective, defensive, suspicious and incapable of stepping outside their own model of the world.
But conflict can also be productive. It has the potential for -
Empowerment, because people can grow calmer, clearer, more confident, more organised, more decisive, regain a sense of strength and be able to handle life's problems.
Recognition, because people can choose to be more open, attentive, responsive to others and explore other perspectives.
Empowerment is achieved when parties become clearer and more confident about their ability to deal with the difficulties they face. There is a general movement from weakness to strength.
| Unsettled ||Calmer|
Recognition is achieved when, with some sense of empowerment, people are more willing to acknowledge and be responsive to other people's situations. There is a general movement from self-absorption to responsiveness.
|Self absorbed ||Responsive to others|
|Self protective||More attentive to other|
|Suspicious||More willing to accept other's good faith|
|Incapable of stepping outside own framework||More able to see other's perspective|
Empowerment and recognition work together. Achieving empowerment is likely to lead to the achievement of recognition and reinforce empowerment.
from The Promise of Mediation, Bush & Folger