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NEWS | Dec. 20, 2012

Class participants learn ways to resolve conflicts

By Robert Goetz Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

A class designed to help participants more effectively resolve interpersonal conflicts in a variety of settings will make its debut next month at the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Health and Wellness Center.

"Effective Communication in Conflict Resolution," led by Gina Ramirez, 359th Medical Operations Squadron Mental Health Flight outreach and resiliency technician, will include four one-hour sessions at 11 a.m. Jan. 8, 10, 15 and 17. The class will be offered monthly.

Ramirez, a licensed counselor who has a degree in clinical psychology, said the class is the result of discussions among 359th MDOS Mental Health Flight members who "wanted to have a class on something people deal with every day.

"We will talk about workplace conflicts, but it's pretty general," she said. "It can also apply to other situations."

Topics of the sessions are "Communication Styles and Personality Types," "Effective Communication," "Dealing with Conflict" and "Finding a Resolution."

"We will start with the different communication and personality styles," Ramirez said. "We will look at introverts and extroverts, as well as passive-aggressive and assertive behavior."

Ramirez said some aspects of the class will be similar to "Master Your Emotions," the anger management class she teaches that helps people cope with anger in healthy, productive ways and provides tips for dealing with angry people.

"This new class will also have strategies for dealing with difficult people, but it goes deeper into personalities and communication styles," she said.

Examples of difficult people are those who are whiny, power-hungry, negative and grouchy, she said.

Ramirez said active listening - "being engaged with the person you're speaking with" - is important in resolving conflicts.

"The key is to communicate effectively," she said. "The crux of this class is the communication aspect."

Ramirez also said people can benefit when they deal with conflict.

"It makes us more creative and helps us grow," she said.

Ramirez, who also teaches "Stress Management/Relaxation," said a variety of people attend her classes, but they all have something in common.

"The people who come to class are motivated to learn something to help themselves," she said. "It's another tool in their journey; they would like another skill."

Ramirez said she's looking forward to teaching the conflict resolution class, which will be filled with plenty of exercises, role playing and dialogue.

"There will be a lot of interaction, so I think it will be entertaining as well as informative," she said.

The class is open to active-duty members, dependents, retirees and civilian employees. To register, call the mental health flight at 652-2448.