By Manel Hamdi

Webster’s dictionary defines conflict as a sharp disagreement or opposition of interests or ideas. Anytime people work together, conflict is a part of ‘doing business’. Conflict isa normal and natural part of any workplace. When it occurs, there is a tendency for morale to be lowered, an increase in absenteeism and decreased productivity. As conflict in the work place is unavoidable, one needs to adopt an efficient strategy to resolve it. Developing effective conflict resolution skill sets are an essential component to build a sustainable business model. Unresolved conflict often results in loss of productivity, the stifling of creativity, and the creation of barriers to cooperation and collaboration.

So, what creates conflict in the workplace? Opposing positions, competitive tensions, power struggles, ego, pride, jealousy, performance discrepancies, compensation issues, just someone having a bad day, etc. To solve this inevitable problem one can : calm himself/herself, restore order, hear their stories, listen carefully, generate solutions, agree on a solution and test for satisfaction to assure clear communication.

In this context, the AIC held a five days training in the governorate of Kasserine from the 13th to the 17thJune 2014 where they focused on the importance of dialogue and social connection with support from MEPI. It is worth noting here that Kasserine was one of the first governorates that started the demonstrations against Ben Ali’s regime. So, holding a training on conflict resolution in this specific area is very meaningful. Indeed, Kasserine has been a conflict area for more than three years now ; beginning with social uprising and the loss of tens of demonstrators during the revolution and finishing with more dramatic conflict in Chaambi mountains.

The training sessions on conflict resolution are part of the TOT cycle launched on May 2014, as a final chapter of ‘Tune in Tunisia program.’ T-I-T is a program that aims at increasing civic involvement, increasing citizen understanding of human rights/civic responsibilities and fostering a culture of social entrepreneurship. The training was led by Bacem Salhi and Hajer Salhi who are both leaders of the second version of Tune in Tunisia project (2.0) that was launched by AIC in 2012. Both of them are also leading members of the Youth Forum for Citizenship association, which mainly deals with conflict resolution issues.

Other subjects such as financial education and social entrepreneurship will be discussed in further trainings.



Hajer Salhi and Bacem Salhi are distributing the certificates



A brainstorming session on conflict resolution

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