Friday, July 3, 2009

Conflict Resolution at the Art Museum

On March 14th and 21st Vince Sensei, with the help of several students from Aikido of Reno, taught a conflict resolution class for front line service and security personnel at the Nevada Museum of Art.
In the first class Sensei taught techniques to help the employees of the museum to stay calm in stressful situations and to diffuse aggressiveness in conflict. Each participant experienced neutralizing conflict first-hand through the exercises and techniques Sensei offered in the one-hour class.
On the 21st, Sensei asked the museum employees what new insights they had noticed in the week after the first class. One student mentioned being more aware of her surroundings and of other people’s feelings. Another said her awareness and focus on breathing increased her feelings of being calm and centered.
In the 2nd class, participants learned about the cultural conditioning of many people’s dislike of being given orders, and some ways to get around that conditioning. Because most of the people in the class were security personnel, Sensei also taught some physical restraint techniques. From personal experience, I can tell you they learned these restraint techniques quite well in a short timeframe!
At the end of class I took a moment to talk to a couple of the participants. One gentleman told me the biggest thing he took away from the class was how the moment of first contact set the tone for an entire encounter. I asked the head of security for the museum how many times he has hosted Vince Sensei to teach conflict resolution at the museum. His reply was, "Multiple times." His emphatic response to my question if he would recommend this class to other businesses was, "Absolutely!” He went on to say he thought the class was, “completely appropriate to the museum’s situation". When asked what he felt the biggest thing his people took away from the classes was, he replied, "confidence". The experiential nature of the exercises allowed the students to swiftly and effectively internalize the lessons.
If you own a business and would like your employees trained to turn potentially customer-losing conflict into win-win situations, give Aikido of Reno a call and schedule a class today.

Jay Northrup

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