In case you missed it, Mary Zinn and Senator Linda Newell spread the word about Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado on Colorado and Company. Watch them here at 9news.com.
Each year, Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado recommends a book for the community at large with the goals of spreading information and encouraging conversation on ways to manage conflicts at all levels of society. This year’s selection deals with difficult conversations, an aspect of conflict resolution that frequently occurs because these complex interactions take place not only in the workplace, schools, and congregations, but in our private lives from the supermarket to our homes. We are challenged everyday with navigating difficult conversations which influence how our relationships are strengthened or weakened, how we interact with the world, and how we understand our own communication abilities.
Difficult Conversations “explores what it is that makes conversations difficult, why we avoid them, and why we often handle them badly.” (p. 8). Often, we think of difficult conversations as asking your boss for a raise, telling your significant other you’re unhappy in the relationship, or telling your child that they are changing schools. Difficult conversations encompass many other interactions. These might include asking your coworker to refill the paper tray after it’s empty, telling your child they can’t play outside after dark, or explaining to your partner why you want to spend the night in.
Join us for a book discussion led by Diane Felt, a Conflict Resolution Month Synergizer. The book discussion will be held on October 17, 2017, 7:00 p.m. at The Conflict Center, 4140 Tejon St., Denver. Light refreshments will be served.
Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado is excited that Forgiving Others, Forgiving Ourselves is the book selected for the 2016 campaign. Authors Myra Warren Isenhart, PhD and Michael Spangle, PhD are from right here in our own state of Colorado and we are proud that they are doing such compelling work toward productive problem solving. Check out the book description from Amazon.com below and order your copy today!
“We have both witnessed the power of forgiveness as well as the devastating sense of loss that comes from withholding forgiveness. We invite you to journey with us as we explore all the dimensions of forgiveness, learning how to apply this gift to yourself and your life, as well as using it to guide others toward a happier, more peaceful existence.”
–from the Introduction
Everyone seeks forgiveness at some point in their lives―in families, from friends, in workplaces, in communities or from ourselves―but we often falter when we discover the practice takes more than simply saying or hearing “I forgive you.”
In this dynamic look at the process of forgiveness, conflict resolution experts Myra Warren Isenhart and Michael Spangle look at what is really keeping you from forgiving or seeking forgiveness. In addition to focusing on the soulful benefits of forgiveness, they also draw on insights from many fields―communication, psychology, counseling and theology, as well as their own original research―to explore the mental and emotional barriers in your path.
Learn how to:
- Make distinctions between forgiveness, apology and reconciliation
- Identify the conditions that make reconciliation appropriate or inappropriate
- Understand the elements of an effective apology
- Extend forgiveness to yourself
- Assist others in their own forgiveness journey
Mackintosh Academy Littleton participated in the Conflict Resolution Month’s celebrations with their community and staff in October – December community and staff conversations. Middle School staff (5th-8th) grade teachers either read or watched the documentaries on World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements. We invited parents also to read or watch the documentaries. Discussions then ensued on how we could easily implement practices that John Hunter included in his classroom simulations on world peace. We particularly were interested in allowing for the space and time for students to be uncomfortable in the messiness of not having the answers and solving conflict without adult “helicopter” interactions. We also have decided to pair up with a fellow Colorado educator, Tari Ste. Marie from The Logan School, to share what she has learned from being able to attend multiple workshops led by John Hunter and how she has incorporated his practices within her 5th grade classrooms.
How fortunate we are to have a Statewide Outreach Coordinator who represents our campaign beautifully and encourages participation across Colorado! At the meeting yesterday, Cary was presented with the 2014 Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado Outstanding Advocate Award. Each of us present had the opportunity to tell Cary, via Skype, which of her amazing attributes we most admired. The list was very long!
Congratulations to Cary and to Colorado for the benefits she generously and persistently bestows on our communities every summer!
Gratefully, the Synergizers
I had the opportunity this fall to sit on a committee for the Colorado Bar Association at the behest of the Colorado Legislature to review the feasibility of the Uniform International Commercial Arbitration Act for adoption here. It was a great experience and I got to learn a lot about the area from a bunch of people who had very differing opinions about the feasibility of the idea. It was great fun.
As can be expected when dealing with a group of highly verbal and passionate people, the discussions were not always quiet. At our penultimate meeting, just a we were discussing what our recommendation would be, it became a little contentious and membership of the committee began to revert to their positions. At that time, my mediator-self spoke up and began to summarize the shared interests and goals of the group, after which we were able to reach consensus on the recommendation and even start to discuss the “what next.” I had to laugh because it was just such an automatic response to what was going on in the room on my part – I didn’t even think I was “mediating” until the committee chair pointed it out to me by saying “October is Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado.”
Now, I hadn’t said anything about it being Conflict Resolution Month in the meeting so I was a little startled when he said that. It turned out that, on his way home from the previous meeting, the chair had seen one of the window signs and even taken a picture of it to show me.
I guess the moral of this story is, even when and where you might least expect it, those signs really do have a positive effect!
Two years ago, Summit County Commissioners proclaimed October to be Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado. Last Spring Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge hosted the “Talking It Out Panels.” September 30, Conflict Resolvers living and practicing in Summit took the first step toward creating a coalition that would expand awareness of programs in the area. There are 24 members, representing attorneys who mediate in the 5th Judicial District, juvenile diversion and restorative justice professionals, The Keystone Center, Advocates for Victims of Domestic Violence, representatives from the Library System and the School District. Soon we hope to add representatives from the police and the faith community.
Many suggestions for activity came out of our first meeting. Some can be implemented immediately, such as distribution of conflict resolution materials through the library system. Others are in the planning stages, for example, this winter, a panel of conflict resolution specialists will offer “Are We Getting to Yes? What’s New in Conflict Resolution in Our Community?” at Colorado Mountain College. Some ideas, such as space on a community website, are also under consideration without a specific time line.
Whatever the season, I’m delighted to be able to have played a role in creating this coalition. None of this would have been possible without the advice and support of Mary Zinn, matched by the enthusiasm of local conflict specialists.
Global Colorado: We’re All Here is a photographic exhibit celebrating Colorado’s growing diversity and the accepting nature of its’ population.
The exhibit features 104 images representing over 30 nations with all the children under the age of 18 living in the State. A focus is on the shared developmental moments in their lives like, having a best friend, siblings and learning a skill.
The Milestones Project (www.milestonesproeject.com 720 299 3434) produced the exhibit which is on display along Concourse A after security and at the Y junction.