While developing a handout for my conflict resolution/mediation class I came across a number of communication tips that I thought worth sharing. They are good for communication in general... although I will note I find them easier to say than do!
Focus on behaviour not the person
Base feedback on direct observations rather than inferences
Use concrete behavioural descriptions not judgements to describe both positives and negatives.
Avoid words of negation: 'no', 'but', 'however'—they Read more [...]
Today I'm teaching my class some conflict resolution techniques & tips... so I thought I'd share with you.
The aim of Galtung's method is to transcend, to go beyond, the original conflicting interests, to achieve more than each party's stated goals. Not either/or, but BOTH/AND...
Mediation is usually done with both parties present. For deep conflicts, the Transcend method recommends the mediator meet with one party at a time. Conducted in a conversation style setting – the hope is to Read more [...]
Daisy chains and love hearts are great and all, but most of us love a little conflict. Our books, movies, politics, religions, and even our conversations, are based on conflict. The stories we live and tell are based on the contradictions, the tensions, the heroes and villains, the differences of opinion, stories about the good times and the bad. How can we reconcile a love of conflict, with a desire for peace?
A student of Peace and Conflict Studies, preparing to present at a conference to theologians, Read more [...]
"You are what you eat" - yes, this is true. But also "you are what you read" (and what you watch and hear)...
My mentor once told me that what you are reading now, and who you are talking to, is the biggest indicator of where you will be in five years time.
Connected to this month's project of revisiting what I learned in Peace and Conflict Studies pre-blog, it was interesting for me to read this piece of writing written three years ago in October 2007, which is pre-uni (before I'd even heard Read more [...]
This is a story within a story - an episode among Friday night's random route home. A conversation between a peace lover and army dudes - about war and love and perceptions, and chess and sex.
"What do you do?" A visiting American army boy, one of my friend's friends, asked me that inescapable ubiquitous question.
"Um..." I which box shall I put myself in this time? "I'm a student." I replied.
"What are you studying?"
"Peace and Conflict."
"Peace," I repeated, "You know.." Read more [...]
What motivates our decisions? Pleasure/pain; authority; social contracts; or some kind of internal judgement mechanism? Kohlberg identified the development of moral maturity as having six stages within three levels.
The pre-conventional level involves punishment and pleasure-seeking orientation enforced by authority and observed mostly in early childhood.
At the conventional level is where most of society resides with a good girl/boy and authority orientation stages, behaviour is guided by Read more [...]
19 April 2008 (Journal entry #5 - final part of this assignment for “Key Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies”)
"If you want peace, prepare for war"
The last few weeks have focused on the concept of Security, and at the Iraq Never Again conference last week, these concepts tied neatly together.
It’s interesting to think about security developments over the last 500 years. What a massive change our society has been through in this time! I recently saw two movies that were set in the Read more [...]
9 April 2008 (Journal entry #4 – part of an assignment for “Key Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies”)
Something dawned on me this week while learning about security threats. My undergrad degree is actually relevant! When we learned about the inter-disciplinary nature of Peace and Conflict Studies, I categorised this as combining History, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Religion – Arts and Humanities subjects. Given the pro-Capitalist, money-hungry, selfish nature of Business, I didn't Read more [...]
Can nice guys they finish first? Or is it always the bad boys who win the game? While you probably thinking I'm referring to my choice in men, I ask this question in a more general evolutionary context - inspired by a BBC documentary by Richard Dawkins. While one might expect Dawkins to say nice guys finish last, given his book The Selfish Gene, this documentary tells another story...
Dawkins refers to Game Theory and the Prisoner's Dilemma, exploring it in a human social experience, and in the Read more [...]
25 March 2008 (Journal entry #3 – part of an assignment for “Key Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies”)
"War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength"
It's our Easter vacation and I just watched George Orwell's '1984' for the first time. Propaganda, 'big brother' and 'thought crime'. Wow! What a movie!!!
1984 illustrated many causes of conflict and violence that in the past have led to major world wars, and to this day continue to cause psychological and physical violence Read more [...]
11 March 2008 (Journal entry #2 - part of an assignment for "Key Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies".)
Tonight when I arrived home my Opa was watching the channel 7 news. Two stories of conflict caught my attention.
The first was 'cyber conflict'. Personal attacks, defamation, and gossip occurring on the Internet. The story featured a guy who had taken revenge on his ex-girlfriend, verbally abusing her and her friends on his MySpace website. She took it to the police/court, and yet even after Read more [...]
Welcome to Peace and Conflict Studies. First assignment: to write write five journal entries that reflected on the learning process throughout the first half of semester. Written on the first day back at university, after five years of working, travel and a six months teaching myself everything I could at my Opas place, this is what I wrote:
3rd March 2008
Some quotes that stuck with me from today's class:
"Peace is an active process"
"While hunger rules peace cannot prevail"
"The Read more [...]