Facilitator Journal | Issue #0287, January 30, 2007 ....
What is it that has us creating sides, usually two, just about everywhere?
In our families, communities, government, we seem to polarize around
two sides and call one side right and the other wrong (or left). Why
only two sides? Isn't it silly? Or is it? Perhaps there's something
deeper at play in our collective, cultural psyches that has us thinking
In this week's article, "Getting
to the Core of Conflict, we
explore this notion of right and wrong. We also review a simple but
profound solution to resolving conflicts in an approach called "Nonviolent
Communication," developed by Marshall Rosenberg. We're also offering
a 5-day teleclass around conflict that starts the week of February 12...
Transforming Conflict in the Workplace.
5-day teleclass will help you remove
the fear and uncertainty in working with conflict in groups and organizations.
Led by a 25-year expert in the fields of facilitation and mediation,
Harry Webne-Behrman. Class starts February 12th. See
details at the end of this issue.
at a Distance. This
5-day teleclass teaches the Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting
class is for those of you wanting to offer a teleclass but don't feel
you have all the skills and knowledge you need to do so, or for managers
working with distributed teams that require you to facilitate virtual
Class starts February 5th. Click
here for details.
Publisher and Founder of FacilitatorU.com
here for details
here for details
to the Core of Conflict
the method of "Nonviolent Communication" to resolve conflicts.
A theologian named Walter Wink suggests that violence has been a social
norm in the human community for some eight thousand years. That's when
a myth evolved that the world was created by a heroic, virtuous male god
who defeated an evil female goddess. From this point on, we've been in
this struggle of good and evil, right and wrong, which has supported the
development of a system of "retributive justice."
this system, the majority surrender their responsibility to "authorities"
who levy justice by deciding who "deserves" to be punished and
who deserves to be rewarded. Further, if we can make a case for ourselves
being "right" or "good", that immediately implies
that the other side is "wrong" or "bad" and we supposedly
"win." We've been so ingrained with this strategy that it really
seems to make sense to most of us. In fact, many may argue there is no
better strategy. But it's really absurd when you think about it. Isn't
it? Wouldn't it be better to find a strategy that helped everyone win?
A strategy that sought to restore harmony within the larger social fabric?
named Marshal Rosenberg has developed just such a strategy that he calls
"Nonviolent Communication" (NVC), which promotes "restorative
justice." This approach, instead of asking the question, "Who's
to blame here?" seeks instead to answer the question, "How do
we restore peace?" Or put another way, how do we restore a state
in which people care about one another's well-being?
NVC is a four-step strategy:
what is happening in a given situation. Objectively listen to the
messages coming from both sides of the conflict. What might they be feeling?
What might they need or want? Read between the lines if necessary and
prompt them to uncover their feelings and their needs.
Identify what each party is feeling. Our bias toward analysis frequently
has us talking "about" what we think is going on more often
than actually expressing what is going on for us. "Thinking about"
things is an abstraction at least one level removed from our reality.
It also comprises "lifeless" conversation. Our present moment
feelings and senses express what is "real" and "true"
for us now. These are expressions of our life force in real time.
Identify what each party needs. When we clearly express what we actually
need in a given situation, we show respect for ourselves. And by "owning"
our truth in this way, we show respect for the other party as well.
Have each side make requests for desired outcomes. Once each side
understands what the other feels and needs, we have a chance to use our
energies to create win-win solutions. Energies that otherwise may be wasted
attempting to force a loss on the other side.
strategy may seem obvious and simplistic, yet most people, particularly
when ensnared in conflict, don't speak this way to each other. Most of
us rebound into our conditioned approach of defending our positions and
blaming or pointing out the flaws in the other's logic.
most of us in western culture trained to repress or discount our needs,
we often seek ineffective ways to assuage the ever present feelings showing
up that are merely symptoms of our unmet and unconscious needs. We become
addicted to consumerism and distraction and when we have disagreements
with others, we try to "win" at their expense. After all, if
the only game I know is win/lose, then by god I'd better do all I can
it begins to dawn on us that anytime someone loses in a closed system,
we all ultimately pay a price...if not today, then tomorrow...then it
becomes important to develop strategies that best meet everyone's needs.
Use the NVC
approach with yourself right now around any conflict or unrest going on
inside of you. Follow the four steps above to find a peaceful resolution
between the conflicting parts. We'd love to hear how this works for you.
reply to this email to send me your comments.
Communication: A Language of Life: Create Your Life, Your Relationships,
and Your World in Harmony with Your Values,
by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Arun Gandhi
Do you hunger for skills to improve the quality of your relationships,
to deepen your sense of personal empowerment or to simply communicate
more effectively? Unfortunately, for centuries our culture has taught
us to think and speak in ways that can actually perpetuate conflict, internal
pain and even violence. Nonviolent Communication partners practical skills
with a powerful consciousness and vocabulary to help you get what you
In this internationally
acclaimed text, Marshall Rosenberg offers insightful stories, anecdotes,
practical exercises and role-plays that will dramatically change your
approach to communication for the better. Discover how the language you
use can strengthen your relationships, build trust, prevent conflicts
and heal pain. Revolutionary, yet simple, NVC offers you the most effective
tools to reduce violence and create peace in your lifeone interaction
at a time.
copies sold and now available in 20 languages around the world. More than
250,000 people each year from all walks of life are learning these life-changing
you like to republish this or other articles from the journal? You are f$ree
to do so providing you follow these guidelines.
by recommendation only when you find our material of use! If you enjoyed
this issue, we'd love it if you'd spread the word. Click
here to use our interactive form to tell your friends about MFJ, and
as a thank you, you will receive our f$ree Facilitator's Self Assessment.
Transforming Conflict in the Workplace...
you be a more effective facilitator or leader with
a more solid base of conflict resolution skills
under your belt?
organizations and relationships encounter conflict.
It's what we do with it that makes all the difference
in the world.
12th - 16th, 2007
10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time)
the fear and uncertainty in working with conflict
in groups and organizations in this 5-day teleclass
series: Transforming Conflict in the Workplace,
led by a 25-year expert in the fields of facilitation
and mediation, Harry Webne-Behrman.
Did you know that everyone has a unique style and
response to conflict? Knowing
your styles and response is critical to effective
o Do you feel comfortable modeling effective conflict
resolution skills as a facilitator? This
is one of the best ways to prevent conflict from
o Did you know that 80% of effective conflict management
consists of effective interpersonal communication?
Knowing how to facilitate this kind of communication
is key to mining the positive energy of conflict.
Do you know what it takes to establish conflict
resolution and staff facilitation programs within
organizations? This knowledge
is in growing demand for facilitators, coaches,
this class you will learn conflict resolution skills
for facilitative leaders by exploring and evaluating
your own styles and personal responses conflict,
learning and practicing conflict resolution strategies
in the context of group facilitation, and exploring
how you can implement conflict resolution and staff
facilitation programs within organizations.
the end of the 5 days, you will:
here for further details and registration.