Heather Dillabaugh – Prairie School for Union Women

Prairie School for Union Women

June 9-13, 2013

Report by Heather Dillabaugh 

I attended the Transforming Conflict into Union Activism.  The course was geared towards being able to understand basic conflict resolution theory, the difference between functional and dysfunctional conflict and how gender and culture affect how we view and act in conflict.

The week was centered around learning a Solidarity Skill Set to be used in conflict. There were seven key areas we focused on.

After a week of education, we all left with the following skills:

  1. Encouraging the Speaker (Body Language)
  2. Open-Ended Questions
  3. Restating Key Points
  4. Reflecting Emotions
  5. Validating Values, Indentifying Interests
  6. Generating Options, Choosing a Solution
  7. Setting Limits, Taking Action

There were 21 people registered in the class and we had two instructors.  We did a lot of role playing in groups of three. One person (speaker) would tell their story of conflict, the next person (questioner), using tools they learned in the class, would ask questions and the third person was the observer and would assess our body language, the questions asked, etc.  Feedback was given to both from the Observer. It was an excellent model to learn from.

I encourage all members to get union education.  You will leave feeling empowered!