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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The BIG Picture: Handling Hidden Conflict - With Six-Word Stories

Mediation allows conflicting parties to recognize that they may be diametrically opposed points on the same circle - and that preservation of the circle may be more important than their points.

Formal two-party mediation is rarely sought voluntarily. It is often suggested (or mandated) by our courts or other civil authorities.

Present-day conflicts have become stickier and trickier, and usually do not result in the costly litigation that then makes mediation an attractive option. 

Rather, these conflicts are often hidden. They are maintained and intensified through the vehicles of dogma, innuendo, subversion, and marginalization.

How do you handle situations where your ...

  1. Boss bullies via emails (that no one else sees)?
  2. Neighbor / client / employee / co-worker is "strong in their wrong"?
  3. Board of directors needs directing?

None of these scenarios have perfect solutions, but their resolution includes a few powerful steps.

We present them below using six-word (or fewer) "stories" (a comprehensive, concise, simple way to handle sensitive communication) ...

Handling The Sticky & Tricky

Count All The Costs Of Resolution

  1. Accept that you cannot control others.
  2. Recognize that you can control yourself.
  3. Acknowledge that resolution may be expensive.
  4. Acknowledge that inaction may cost more.

Weigh Your Options; Choose Your Path

          1.  You are neither omnipotent nor powerless.
    2.   Identify all your sources of power ...
          a.  Resources (creativity, relationships and finance)
          b.  Interests (passions, purpose, and ministry)
          c.  Communication (discourse, charisma, and audience)
          d.  Expertise (information, knowledge, and wisdom)
    3.  Choose a powerful way to proceed.

Pray So You See Yourself Clearly

  1. Humility, healing, and patience are virtues.
  2. Angry roots produce many bitter fruits.
  3. Healed roots produce much better fruits.

Say What You Need To Say

  1. Freedom of speech means come correct.
  2. Learn to tell your story well.
  3. Value listening much more than speaking.
  4. Economy of words facilitate greater comprehension.
  5. Civil discourse between dissenters promotes growth.

Pay What You Need To Pay

  1. You must protect time and family.
  2. All money is not good money.
  3. You must get your money right.
  4. Freedom from oppression is not free.

Stay Committed To Actions and Consequences

  1. Your fear is your only courage.
  2. Opportunities are often disguised as conflicts.
  3. Do not mistake activity for achievement.

Please reach out if you (or someone you know) needs our help!


Derrick Brown (derrick.s.brown at att.net)
Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution #39788

About Derrick Brown

Derrick Brown has 15 years of collective (and firsthand) experience (as a school and homeowner's association board member, school administrator, consultant, and registered mediator) handling the sticky and tricky. 

He has published more than 100 case studies based on those experiences.

Copyright © 2014 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

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