The Guide to the Principles of Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution ebook.
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This page introduces the Underlying Philosophies of Mediation that inform effective support for conflict resolution.
These Philosophies lead to the development of the Principles of Effective Communication and inform the use of the Effective Communication practices of
.... that support the resolution of conflict.
The Underlying Philosophies of Mediation are:
Click on the links to these pages to find a description of the relevance and importance of integrating the Underlying Philosophy described into any approach to supporting the resolution of conflict.
All of the Underlying Philosophies of Mediation imply each other in that they all acknowledge that effective conflict resolution support is always about enabling others to resolve their own disputes and not about trying to control or change the behaviour of others.
As mentioned frequently on this website, 'techniques' which seek to manipulate or control others are methods of conflict suppression which is basically a form of conflict avoidance.
It doesn't work.
Conflict avoidance is like putting a lid on a boiling pot. Temporarily it will look as if the problem has gone away, but in a short time it will burst out again, often more violently or more dramatically than before.
Sadly there are many such techniques in the mediation and alternative dispute resolution world as well as in the 'day to day' world.
I will mention examples of these where they are relevant to the content being discussed and will say why I think they are still conflict suppression or conflict avoidance techniques.
How long ago did the major world conflicts have their origins? Even conflict suppression techniques used hundreds or even thousands of years ago have still emphatically failed. And in many cases they are still being used today.Internationally, locally, and between you and I.
Listen to how a mediator or other alternative dispute resolution practitioner speaks. Do they say 'I resolved their conflict!'? Or do they say 'I helped them to resolve their conflict!'?
Many practitioners do not reflect on whether they are doing these things or not.
As a result, a lot of approaches to dealing with destructive conflict are ultimately ineffective.
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Get the Guide!
Are you experiencing difficulties communicating with someone? Perhaps at work with your boss, or your colleagues, or at home with your partner, children or other family members?
Is there an unresolved conflict that you are struggling with?
Buy The Guide to The Principles of Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution for just $7, and learn the insights gained from the practices of Mediation and Conflict Coaching that can help you communicate better and create new ways to resolve your conflict.
There's also a FREE COPY of the e-booklet Listening, Summarising and Questioning - The Simple, Effective Skills of Conflict Resolution with every purchase of The Guide.
Some recent feedback on The Guide:
Dear Alan - I recently purchased The Guide which I think is excellent and highly useful in a personal and professional context. I am a teacher with the Skills Institute in Tasmania and I'm about to roll out communication training in Tasmania's only youth detention facility. I have an enormous amount of material regarding communication but none as succinct or as user-friendly as what you have developed.
Teacher-Human Services Skills Institute - Tasmania
It is refreshing to find reading material that informs and inspires and can provide a good resource for small organisations such as ours.
Anne Johnston - The Shropshire Housing Alliance Mediation Service
I did a 1 hour workshop where I presented your Facts and Feelings Listening Exercise. We learned so much about how we listen and the consequences of not listening well that I was asked to purchase your book and have another Listening Meeting.
My team just launched a project that could have whipped the team members and executives into a tremendous conflict. I required everyone to follow your rules for listening and it has been the best implementation we have had in 10years.
Thank you for your generous and comprehensive communications and conflict resolution information.
Angela - Information Technology & Systems VP
'What is a Bully?' Comment on article by Alan which was published on the Mediate.com website
Thank you SO MUCH for this article! It brings forward some very key points about the phenomenon of "bullying" which I have been pondering for some while. Among others, asking to what extent can/should the person on the receiving end of the bullying/perceived to be bullying take responsibility/initiate steps to shift the paradigm? How can this happen without implying that the recipient is somehow responsible for the bullying behavior?
To a certain extent the steps you suggest point to the strategies of NonViolent Communication: Observe and simply describe the behavior, understand and honor your own feelings and needs in the situation, and take responsibility for meeting them by making requests to change the situation.
There has been a significant upsurge of email traffic about bullying in the last year among the members of the Int'l. Ombudsman's Association (principally the academic sector). Much of the exchange, in my view, has tended to favor the stance of "recipient of the behavior as victim," without agency to change the situation, thereby perpetuating the problem and doing a disservice to all. I will be forwarding this article to my colleagues to spice up the conversation!
Laurie McCann, Campus Ombuds, Univ Calif Santa Cruz