"I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man."
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Does one size fit all? Can one model for conflict resolution be applied to all conflicts?
According to a recent article from the TimesOnline, the answer is no.
In looking at ways to solve the "mid-east" issue, some have advocated that the Northern Ireland peace process should be used as a model to develop a peace process in the Middle East. The Times points out that a new study issued by Peterhouse College's John Bew and Martyn Frampton takes the position that a one-size-fits-all conflict resolution policy may not work in all situations. In fact, there may be times where a willingness to negotiate may not be profitable at all--at least in the world of terrorism, the authors conclude that "the willingness of a state to negotiate might encourage the terrorists to believe that their opposition are ready to concede--even when this is not the case."
In our day-to-day lives, both business and professional, do we take a one-size-fits-all approach to resolving conflict? As professional peacemakers, do we take the time to evaluate the parties' interests and develop a game-plan and methodology for resolving that particular conflict, or do we try to make everyone fit into the size and shape of shoe that we like to wear?
We live in a part of town with cyclists. All around us. All of the time. A couple of years ago, a law professor was convicted by a jury of either aggravated assault by threat or action when she "tapped" a cyclist who as in front of her and going too slow. The conviction was thrown out by an appeals court because of a faulty jury instruction.
The folks at Bicycling.com are focusing on the strained world of cyclists and drivers and how those two groups can coexist. Parts one and two of their series can be found here and here. Noting the deteriorating attitudes of cyclists and drivers to each other, executive editor Bill Strickland suggests that cyclists take the following approaches if they find themselves in a confrontation with a driver:
- Apologize for anything you did wrong;
- Personalize yourself;
- Point out incorrect information the driver may state;
- Cite the bottom line (i.e., it's easy for a driver to injure or kill a cyclist); and
- Cut off the interaction.
What do you think? Is this a good formula for helping resolve conflict between drivers and cyclists (the editors say that they use this approach with success). What about as a model for other types of conflicts?
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
"If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift."
--Matthew 5: 23-24
--Matthew 5: 23-24