Socio-Psychological Training to Enhance the Use of Conflict Resolution Strategies

Sociopsychological Training has the objective of promoting the contingent use of Conflict Resolution Strategies in the Board of Directors of a technical services organization located in Villa Clara province, Cuba. In contacts with the Management of this organization, the interest of the same in addressing the Conflict Resolution Strategies to improve the performance of the Board of Directors when facing Conflicts that in the internal dynamics and in the relations with the environment was presented. to the organization. The sample was made up of 12 of the members of the Board of Directors. Sociopsychological Training consists of 3 Stages: Diagnosis Stage, Intervention Stage and Verification Stage, they were developed in 11 group work sessions. Among the methods and techniques used are: Observations, Interviews, Questionnaires, Role play, Sociodrama, Debate and Analysis of situations; promoting individual self-analysis with them. The results obtained show that the Sociopsychological Training enhanced the contingent use of Conflict Resolution Strategies in the organization's Board of Directors. Keywords: Socio-psychological training, conflict resolution strategies, communication, organization. The results obtained show that the Sociopsychological Training enhanced the contingent use of Conflict Resolution Strategies in the organization's Board of Directors. Keywords: Socio-psychological training, conflict resolution strategies, communication, organization. The results obtained show that the Sociopsychological Training enhanced the contingent use of Conflict Resolution Strategies in the organization's Board of Directors. Keywords: Socio-psychological training, conflict resolution strategies, communication, organization.

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Organizations are created and are made up of people. Its reason for being is to facilitate the achievement of common purposes. The structure of any Organization must serve the needs of those who form it. Proper direction must be summarized as facilitating the achievement of common purposes using appropriate methods for this.

Therefore, it is important to train the directors and management bodies of the organization to perform adequately in their role. One way to do this is Sociopsychological Training , which is aimed at raising the capacity for development and active and conscious functioning of the personality before social demands; that is, to optimize the particularities of the subject, as well as the functioning of the group.

Sociopsychological Training has as a precedent the T Groups, which emerged in the United States in 1940, which have marked importance and methodological value. These groups evolved and gave rise to the Sensitivity Groups and the Instrumental Training Groups. The former sought to improve self-image by committing participants to a system of authentic interpersonal relationships. The second were aimed at guiding participants to collaborate more effectively in a group.

Sociopsychological Training is considered a method of psychological intervention, in which specific routes of transmission and assimilation of knowledge, skills and ways of acting are adopted that train people trained in the effective management of specific social demands. Each participant can structure new motivations, find directions, learn something new and be able to assess themselves and assess the behavior of the group.

M. Vorwerg, cited by Guerra and Segura (1998), states that regardless of whether specific psychic functions or essential component structures are trained with respect to a defined behavior, the effectiveness of the modification effort through training depends on the accuracy of the training. reproduction of the psychological structure of the demand in the simulated situation, of the experience that the participants have, of the initial state of the structure diagnosed in the "individual form of activity". As well as the learning capacity of the subjects, the duration of the training (10-15 hours), the effects resulting from the training (sleeper and motivation) and finally the social conditions of performance for an optimal behavior in the actual living conditions.

Oscar J. Blake, cited by Guerra and Segura (1998), considers Sociopsychological Training as a training method that allows the improvement of management activity. This training is aimed at satisfying the needs that Organizations have to incorporate knowledge, skills and attitudes in their members to contribute to the adaptation of new internal and external circumstances.

One of the aspects on which it has been possible to influence with this method is the resolution of conflicts and the strategies that are used for it.

Every manager spends a good part of his time in solving and responding to unexpected conflicts. Conflicts arise not just because inefficient managers ignore issues until they become conflicts, but also because skilled managers cannot anticipate all the consequences of the actions they take.

Because of the importance of the contingent use of conflict resolution strategies to maintain the internal balance of the organization and the relationships it establishes with the environment; It is proposed to promote the contingent use of conflict resolution strategies in the board of directors of the organization in which the socio-psychological training takes place. Therefore, the following specific objectives are proposed :

  • Diagnosing of solution strategies of conflict and contingencial use thereof.
  • Promote contingency use of conflict resolution strategies, through socio-psychological training for the members of the board of directors.
  • Verify the contingent use of conflict resolution strategies, once the socio-psychological training has been developed.

It is necessary to specify essential aspects in relation to conflicts and the strategies for solving them on which this work is based.

Societies are heterogeneous, and not all people share the same world within a society. Individuals, classes and professional interests can be in Conflict as their objectives and modes of action are contradictory.

Therefore, one of the aspects that is inherent to the life of the Organization is the Conflict; which has been approached from different points of view :

  • The Traditional: It assumes that all Conflict is negative and therefore should be avoided. Conflict is seen as a dysfunctional result of poor communication, a lack of openness among people, and a failure of managers to respond to the needs and aspirations of their employees. This point of view corresponds to the attitudes that prevailed regarding group behavior in the 1930s and 1940s.
  • That of Human Relations: It takes for granted that the Conflict is a natural fact in all groups and Organizations and advocates for the acceptance of the Conflict, states that it cannot be eliminated and that there are times when it can be beneficial for the performance of the group . This point of view dominated Conflict theory from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s.
  • The Interactionist: Stimulates Conflict on the basis that a harmonious, calm and cooperative group is prone to remain static and unable to respond to their needs for change, innovation. Therefore, the main contribution is to encourage group leaders to maintain a minimum and continuous level of Conflict, which makes the group viable, self-critical and creative.
  • In the work "Administration: theory and practice", Stephen P. Robins (1994) defines conflict as a process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected him in something that the first party believes. This concept allows adaptation to the diversity of conflict situations and their intensity in the workplace.

Five intentions are identified for managing a Conflict, which other authors call Conflict Resolution Strategies. They are:

  • Competing, when the person seeks to satisfy their interests regardless of the impact it has on the other people involved in the conflict.
  • Evade: A person may recognize that a conflict exists and wishes to withdraw or suppress it.
  • Pleasing: When a party seeks to appease its opponent above its interests, a party sacrifices its interests.
  • Collaborate: When the parties in conflict wish to personally satisfy the concern of all parties, the intention of the parties is to resolve the conflict by clarifying the differences, rather than interposing different points of view (win-win).
  • Settlement with Concessions: Each party to the conflict tries to give up something, a participation takes place, which leads to an intermediate result. There is no definite winner or loser.
The important thing when facing the conflict is not to consider that there is a single strategy with which to solve all of them, but that the diversity of aspects that characterize each of the circumstances must be taken into account and a particular analysis that allows adapt the strategy to the current situation depending on the uses they have. In short, this refers to employing conflict resolution strategies contingently.

Kenneth Clocke and Joan Goldsmith (1995) based on professional experiences offer certain uses for each of the Strategies:

  • Evade: when the matter seems trivial; in order to cool down, reduce tensions or regain composure; when the matter is tangential or symptomatic.
  • Compete: to achieve decisive and quick actions; In an emergency; to enforce unpopular rules and discipline.
  • Please: When one is wrong or to show that one is reasonable; to obtain credits; to preserve harmony or avoid breakdowns.
  • Settlement with Concessions: When your goals are moderately important; to achieve a temporary adjustment of complex matters; to arrive at expedited solutions under time pressure.
  • Collaborate: When the objective is to learn; when long-term solutions are required; to gain commitment by making consensual decisions; to encourage one or both participants.
Communication plays an essential role in the emergence of Conflicts and in the behavior that is followed when using the Strategies for the solution that is intended to be given to the

Communication is defined as a process by which people try to share meaning through the transmission of symbolic messages. This definition includes three essential points: People, and therefore to understand Communication it is necessary to try to understand how people relate to each other; it is about sharing meaning, which means that in order for people to communicate, they have to accept the definitions of the words they are using; it is symbolic, the sounds, gestures, letters, numbers and words only represent or are an approximation of the ideas you are using.

The fact that there are interferences that limit the understanding of the messageemitted (Barriers) has a negative impact on the communicative act. In the interaction established by sender-receiver, the presence of these Communication Barriers can distort, in a Conflict situation, the image that each party has of the Conflict and the one that each of them has with respect to the other in the situation that face. From this derives the need to reduce the existence of Communication Barriers to ensure that the situation of Conflict is perceived as less distorted as possible, the position of the other with respect to his opponent and with respect to the Conflict and also the Strategy that he employs in those circumstances. All this will affect the success of the communication process and consequently in the resolution of the Conflict.


For the development of the socio-psychological training, a group of 12 members of the board of directors of the organization under study was selected, all of whom showed interest in participating in it.

The Sociopsychological Training is designed in 3 stages with 11 sessions of an hour and a half of group work. The diagnostic stage consisted of 3 sessions, the intervention stage with 6 sessions and the Confirmation stage with 2 sessions carried out 5 weeks after the intervention stage. The sessions have a weekly frequency and a duration of 2 hours.

Diagnosis Stage aimed to diagnose conflict resolution strategies and their contingent use. With the tasks: Observe a Board of Directors; form the working group; apply techniques that allow the identification of conflict resolution strategies and communication barriers; analyze the results obtained in the techniques; make an intervention proposal taking into account the results obtained.

Intervention Stage. Objectives: to promote the contingent use of conflict resolution strategies; promote the reduction of the Communication Barriers diagnosed. With the tasks: Implement work techniques for the development of the sessions; analyze the results of the techniques performed.

Verification Stage. Objective: to verify the contingent use of conflict resolution strategies. And lowering communication barriers. With the tasks: Carry out group work sessions where the expected changes are confirmed with the performance of techniques; compare the results of the Diagnosis Stage and the Verification Stage.

Analysis of the results

Diagnostic stage: It was revealed that in conflict situations, the strategies most used by the board of directors when working as a team are: collaborate used in 59.6% of cases and avoid used in 29.8%, in the rest of the cases. In conflict situations presented, the strategies compete, please and compromise with concessions are used, without any of them reaching the relevant hundreds.

When managers face conflict situations individually, the most used strategies are: they are to collaborate, compete and please.

The existence of Communication Barriers is also diagnosed: the habit of bad listening in 83.3% of the subjects; evaluation by 50.0%; emotions by 25.0% and stereotyping by 8.33%. The Physical Barriers affect 100% of the subjects and are present throughout the Stage.

Being evident the presence of communication barriers in the subjects and in the external environment where the group work sessions take place; It was decided to include two group work sessions in the Intervention Stage to promote their reduction and favor the development of Socio-psychological Training in the use of Conflict Resolution Strategies.

Verification Stage: It is revealed that the strategies most used by the board of directors when working as a team are; collaborate 49.6%, compete 20.8% and agreement with concessions 18.7%. The rest of the strategies do not reach relevant hundreds in frequency of use. Conflict resolution strategies are used contingentially in 84.37% of conflicts; and not contingently by 15.62%.

When working individually, the most used conflict resolution strategies are: collaborate, compromise, compete and please.

The personal communication barriers manifest themselves as follows: 18.18% evaluation of subjects; stereotyping in 9.09% and the habit of bad listening in 45.5%. 81.81% of the subjects report that they are affected by Physical Barriers.

When comparing the results in both stages, it is found that: the number of subjects who use conflict resolution strategies to collaborate, settle with concessions and compete increases. Decrease the number of subjects that employs the conflict resolution strategy to please. It is evidenced that the subjects incorporate Conflict Resolution Strategies that they did not use in the diagnosis stage. The number of situations in which conflict resolution strategies are contingently used is increasing. Personal communication barriers that are manifested in the work of these managers decrease, particularly those related to the habit of bad listening and evaluation; those referring to emotions no longer appear. The number of subjects who reported feeling affected by Physical Barriers decreased.

As a team, the use of conflict resolution strategies increases, collaborate, and compromise. Like the contingent use of conflict resolution strategies.


The Sociopsychological Training promoted the contingent use of Conflict Resolution Strategies in the Board of Directors of the organization in which they worked, both due to the type of strategies most frequently used, as well as the increase in their use contingently. At the individual level, managers modified the conflict resolution strategies used and decreased the presence of personal communication barriers.