Conflict Mediation Network

Providing Solutions to Conflict

Communication is the Bridge to the Future

Meadow Clark
(575) 538-2664
Silver City, NM

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• About Meadow Clark

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• 8 Steps to Conflict Resolution

• Working Together

• Conflict Checklist

• Will You React or Respond?

• Peace Place

• Imagine Exercise

• Fixed Positions

Conflict Resolution Tips

The natural response to conflict is "Fight or Flight". Neither of these helps to "Solve Conflicts".

Here are some tips for helping to resolve conflicts. When necessary, use a mediator to help you and the other person find a safe place in which you can have the conversation about the issues. It might help you find lasting Solutions.

Please refer to Bully Awareness for more suggestions and exercises. Even if you are not a Bully....they might help you with Conflicts that you do encounter!

The following exercise was written by Allen L. Beane, PHD....taken from The Bully Free Classroom K through 8th Grade.
8 Steps to Conflict Resolution

1. Cool down. Don't try to resolve the conflict when you or the other person is angry. Take a time out or agree to meet again in 24 hours.

2. Describe the conflict. Each person should tell about it in his or her own words. No put down allowed!! Important: Each person may have a different view of the conflict and use different words to describe it, neither account is right or wrong.

3. Describe what caused the conflict. What specific event led up to the conflict? What happened first? Next? DId the conflict start out as a minor disagreement or difference of opinion? What happened to turn it into a conflict? Important:Don't label the conflict either person's fault.

4. Describe the feelings raised by the conflict. Again, each person should use their own words. Honesty is important. No blaming allowed.

5. Listen carefully and respectfully while the other person is talking.Try to understand the other persons point of view. Don't interrupt, it might help to reflect the other person's perceptions and feelings by repeating them back.

6. Brainstorm solutions to the conflict. Everyone tries to come up with ideas. All ideas of OK. Be creative. Affirm each other's ideas. Be open to new ideas. Make a list of brainstormed ideas so you are sure to remember them all. Then choose one solution to try. Be willing to negotiate and compromise.
7. Try your solution. Give it your best effort. Be patient. It may not work the first time....try again.

9. If one solution does not get results, try another. Keep trying. Brainstrom more solutions if you need to to.
If you can't resolve the conflict no matter how hard you try, agree to disagree. Realize that conflict doesn't have to end your relationship. People can get along even when they disagree.

The following exercise was written by Allen L. Beane, PHD....taken from The Bully Free Classroom K through 8th Grade.

We Can Work Together to Find Solutions

• Relax. Take a deep breath and a step back, and admit how you feel about the problem.

• Choose to solve the problem, Let the other person know that you are ready to talk things through. Stay calm and don't make the problem worse.

• Share your feelings. Talk about the situation using "I statements". Be honest and specific about your feelings. Answer any question the other person may ask.
Editors Note: I Statements ( I find, I have found. I feel that, I think ). I statment are non blaming .... unlike You Statement. You statements make the other person put up barriers to what you are trying to say. I statements are a way to claim your feelings in a way that will get better results.
• Listen. Without interrupting listen to the other person's point of view. When the other person is finished, you can ask a few simple questions to find out more.

• Find a solution. Together agree on a way to solve the problem. Then put the plan into action.

• Make a plan for the future. Think of some better ways to handle the situation if it happens again. Agree to try one of these ideas next time.

Brought to you by Conflict Mediation Network

Conflict Checklist

It's Time to Take Action!

Walk a Problem Through These Questions

1. Win/Win
What is my real need here?
What is theirs?
Do I want it to work for both of us?

2. Creative Response
What opportunities can the situation bring?
Rather than "how it's supposed to be".,,,, can I see possibilities of 'what it can be"?

3. Empathy
What could it be to be their shoes?
What are they trying to say?
Have I really heard them?
Do they know I am listening?

4. Appropriate assertiveness
What do I want to change?
How will I tell them this without blaming or attacking?

5. Co-operative power
Am I using power inappropriately?
Are they?
Instead of opposing each other, can we co-operate?

6. Managing emotions
What am I feeling?
Am I blaming them for my feelings?
Will telling them how I feel help the situation?
What do I want to change?
Have I removed the desire to punish them?
What can I do to handle my feelings?

7. Willingness to Resolve
Do I really want to resolve the conflict?
What s my resentment caused by?
something in my past that still hurts?
something I haven't admitted to needing?
something I dislike in them because I won't accept it in myself?

Brought to you by Conflict Mediation Network

Will You React or Respond?

Fight or Flight are natural reactions to conflict.......what are your reactions.....and how could you change them to produce better outcomes to the conflict that you encounter?

• When I am about to react in Fight mode.....
Aggresive Behavior..........I win/You lose

My Physical reaction are. My Thought reaction are.

• When I am about to react in Flight mode.....
Passive Behavior .........I lose/ You win

My Physical reactions are. My Thought reactions are.

• Ways I could turn these reactions into a Flow Response are?
Assertive Behaviour.......I Win/ You Win.

The following exercise was written by Allen L. Beane, PHD....taken from The Bully Free Classroom K through 8th Grade.

Peace Place

Set aside a "PEACE PLACE". A cozy, clean, nature filled environment where you can go to resolve conflicts. A garden or outside space would be ideal in warm weather. Classroom or home could designate a small corner area.
1. If you have a problem with someone, ask them to go to the Peace Place with you and talk it over.
2. If another person ask you to go to the Peace Place, say yes.
3. When you are in the Peace Place use gentle, caring, respectful words.
4. Take turns talking and listening.
5. Use "I messages" to communicate your wants, needs and feelings.
6. Be a good listener. Pay attention to what the other person says. Don't interrupt. Don't add your own meaning to what they are saying, repeat back their words only, not your own.
7. If you can't solve the problem on your own, ask for help from a professional.
8. The Peace Place is special, treat it with respect. Bring only your best thoughts and behaviour.

The following exercise was written by Allen L. Beane, PHD....taken from The Bully Free Classroom K through 8th Grade.

Imagine Exercise

• Picture the person in our mind. Is it a man or woman? A boy or girl? What color hair does the person have? What color eyes? What is he or she wearing? How are they looking at you?

• Say to yourself. "(The person's name) is a human being? So am I. This is something we have in common.

• Ask yourself these questions:
   • What do I really know about this person? Where does my knowledge come from? My own experience? Things other people have said? Rumors? Gossip? My own prejudices?
   •What might be important to this person?
   • What is something this person needs?
   • What is something this person might like?
   • What are some reasons this persons acts the way they do?
   • What problems might this person have?
   • What might this person be struggling with?
   • What might this person be afraid of?
   •What might his person wish he or she could do?

Brought to you by Conflict Mediation Network

Fixed Positions

Find an object that you find pleasing to look at. Maybe a tree or an old house.
Stand to the back of it. Really look at it. Examine it. Explore it. What does it look like from only the back side?

Now walk around to the front side of it. Really look at it. Examine it. Explore it. What does it look like from only the front side?

Now ask yourself these questions?
Do the 2 side look different? Does the back look different than the front?
What do they have in common? How are they different?
Would the object be better off if it only had one side?
Do the 2 sides complete the total meaning or experience of the object?

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