NCRC Director of External Relations Ashley Virtue was live on Facebook answering your questions!
Hi everyone, welcome to a very special edition of Mindset Monday. We are coming to you live on Facebook from our downtown San Diego office at the National Conflict Resolution Center and we are so glad you're joining us. Thank you for being here. This is our first live show for Mindset Monday and we want to do a few of these throughout the year so stay tuned we will let you know as they come up. Keep in mind that we would love to know if you're watching so in the comments below let us know if you're here. Let us know if you're watching and where you're watching from. I know we have a lot of San Diego viewers but I know we have a lot of dedicated viewers around the country and so we would love to know where you're watching us from and also we want you to chat with us today so if you have any questions about conflict resolution or mediation or communication skills now is your time make sure that you type them in we would love to see what those are and chat with you and answer your questions today and just want to kind of make a quick note about that this is the boring stuff sorry I have to do it just because we answer your question that you write in I have to say I am NOT your mediator you have not hired me as your mediator so that's kind of the legal end of this I just want to make sure you know that I may give you some advice or my views on something but it doesn't necessarily mean I'm it doesn't mean at all that I'm acting as your mediator so okay got that out of the way but I had to let you know that so one of the things that were asked all the time is you know the national conflict resolution Center what is the national conflict resolution Center that sounds so broad and honestly it sounds so broad because it is really broad we handle conflicts at all levels of society so we work really in two ways at NCRC one way is on the service side of what we do so we do services like mediation or facilitations hosting dialogues and community building circles so that's really actively engaging with people in the community in a service the other branch of what we do is in training we train people all around the world in conflict resolution skills and in mediation skills so if you're out there and you're thinking I've always kind of been interested in mediation that might be something I'd want to do as a career at some point or just to boost my resume we can train you and credential you in that process we also do training with phenomenal other organizations around the country we work with great community groups we work with foster aged youth refugee communities veterans homeless we also train high-level corporate institutions that have us come in to train managers and supervisors and we also work with a lot of government institutions where we go in and train sometimes even their entire staff for all of their managers and supervisors in a certain conflict management strategy so anyway that's just like a very condensed version of what NCRC does but we do get questions about that a lot it's it's really broad we do many many things here but they're all focused around this idea of building a more civil society where we can engage and talk with one another effectively and with with kindness and respect so that's that's what NCRC is I'm gonna check in here Stephanie do we have a question okay okay good question so we have a question from Stephen um saying it's heard about mediation but what exactly is that great question so mediation is a process and you've probably heard of it before in fact if you have signed a contract of any kind in the last ten years you've probably signed a clause that says if there's any issues with this contract to going to court you may need to go to either mediation or something called arbitration before going to court and the reason for that is that the court system really wants to see people try to resolve issues outside of the very bogged down judicial court system right now and so they encourage people to go through these processes like mediation that are known as alternative dispute resolution okay so what mediation is is when a neutral third party mediator comes into a situation where there's a conflict and meets with both parties one thing that's kind of interesting about a mediator is that they do not direct the parties to a solution that's something that's misunderstood a lot of the time mediators are not there to tell the parties what they have to do they don't make a judgement or ruling at the end of a mediation session mediators are really there to bring people together and help guide their conversation so that the parties who are in conflict can possibly come up with a solution themselves so what's great about mediation the reason that we are such big believers in it is it's all about empowering people who are in conflict and who have maybe hit a point in the conflict where they don't know how to move forward the mediator is there to direct them through the process and guide them to a path forward but gives them the control of saying whether or not they agree with that solution gives them the control of coming up with ideas for the solution and that's really nice and really really different than going through say the legal process or going through the court system because once you get in front of that judge you present your case and then whatever the ruling is it's done you you kind of have to accept that in a mediation you have an opportunity to be a part of the solution not have the solution told to you so a lot of people opt for mediation prior to going to court because they like that idea of being part of the solution kind of having that control having that power and being able to do that so we highly recommend mediation um we definitely see a lot of folks come through who even some folks who come in and say there's no way the other party and I are gonna come to a solution there's just it's not gonna happen and then to their surprise and and it's really a wonderful thing to see they do come up with something we even say even if you don't come up with a solution and the mediation a full-fledged agreement usually people make enough progress that at least the rest of the time that you're going through your dispute you've at least made a lot of steps forward and you're much closer to resolution than you were if you hadn't come into mediation so that's just one thing to keep in mind if you're ever considering it also call us if you're ever considering mediation or you have questions about it we have case managers that this is all they do and they can talk you through your case maybe what you know from the other side recommend the right kind of mediator for you and really walk you through the process so that you have a good understanding of it so it's a great option I highly recommend it that also brings me to another thought and topic I wanted to mention if you are local in San Diego we have a wonderful new column in partnership with the Union Tribune every single Sunday you can see it we are doing a fabulous column called mediate this and our president of our organization Steve Dinkin is writing back to people who write into the Union Tribune with questions about conflicts that they're in and there's a number of ways that you can submit a question to mediate this they're all anonymous so if you have a conflict or situation you definitely you know don't want people to know who you are don't worry they're kept confidential it's anonymous but your question could be published and we could write you an answer kind of like a advice column I guess you could call it and so it's great we've been running now for I think five or six weeks in the B section of the Sunday paper and even if you don't have a question that you want to your own conflict it's worth picking it up and reading just because there's probably something someone else has written in that you may have some experience with or you may have had some questions about at one point and it's great to read what the answers are they're really really helpful also wanted to let you know that I'm really looking forward to the next four weeks of mindset Mondays we have a really special series coming up you have probably heard about our peacemaker Awards we're posting about it all the time and we're really excited about this evening where we get to honor just phenomenal individuals who are contributing to peacemaking efforts all around the country around the world four of our peacemaker awardees are for local awardees are going to be they've they're filming mindset Mondays for us over the next four weeks so you're actually not gonna hear from me over the next four weeks you're gonna hear directly from them as we lead into peacemaker and they are going to share with you their tips in conflict resolution communication as we lead up to that event which is on April 7th Peacemaker April 7th make sure you're there if you haven't bought your tickets yet they are available on our website it's going to be a phenomenal evening we're expecting over 600 people probably gonna sell out so you still have time you've got about a month but you definitely definitely want to be there we're gonna be at the Marriott Marquis and marina downtown here so with that I am going to sign off on this first Facebook live it has been a blast interacting with you thank you so much for tuning in and we will definitely be back soon with another one and in the meantime keep your mindset right and keep tuning in on Mondays thanks everyone.
Let's talk about online conflicts and how YOU can manage them with respect and civility without losing your cool.
- Okay so today we want to talk about online conflicts. This is such an important topic because more and more of us whether we like it or not are having conversations about important issues in an online forum whether it's social media or via email and communication is just simply different online. So there's a couple of things to keep in mind when you're having an online conflict or even just communication style difference. One is always remember that there is a real person with real feelings on the other end of that computer screen. I know that can be hard especially when they're not treating you respectfully but at the end of the day you always want to come to that person even if you're not having a face-to-face conversation with the same respect that you would want to be shown. The other thing that's so important to remember is that you have to take a pause and think about what you want to say just like you would in a face to face conversation when you're getting heated and emotional. In fact online, this might even be more important because what you say or write online can be kept there in perpetuity so if you respond in the moment and say something that you really regret later, that's now out there and could be recorded or saved forever. And so remember that just because you're kind of hidden behind a computer screen or whoever you're talking to you might be feeling extra brave and hidden behind a computer screen, you still have to conduct yourself with that respect and civility that you want to put forward. Thanks.
Today everyone is talking about debating issues. But what is debate and is it the best way to present ideas? Debate is about “winning". In a debate you are using points to ramp up energy and support for “your side” of things. Maybe you convince a wavering middle/undecided person. Dialogue is about discussing ideas and hearing each other. Dialogue means you engage in ideas with someone who thinks differently than you. Through Dialogue you might actually change the mind of the person who you’re talking to.
Many times, conflicts are so much worse because we have reverence for those we are fighting with, we care about them and don’t like the fact that things are going badly. If you can swallow your pride, and prepare to admit your mistakes, instead of preparing your outward appearance, then you might find that the other person will lay their cards out for you too.
Okay, so it's pretty normal to want to have the best possible outward appearance, even when things are going wrong. I mean, you see this all the time with unstable governments who will do things like hold parades to try to appear strong and prosperous, or failing companies who will put on these lavish conventions so they can appear wealthier than anyone else. I mean, basically, people will do a lot to appear to be stronger or more “in the right” than they may actually be. And this can be especially true in conflict. No one wants to admit that they've made mistakes or acted in a way for which they, you know, should be embarrassed. So people can often put on this face of ultimate confidence and authority when in conflict. And then we all know some people who really can take this tactic to the extreme. They kind of hold on to this outward appearance, even when you may be presenting them with facts that kind of prove that they need to take ownership of something. So, how do you get around that? Well, one really simple way is to lead by example. Instead of trying to put on your own face and act like you're never wrong, come right out of the gate in your conversation with them about everything that you are wrong about. Go ahead and take accountability for anything you said maybe that you didn't mean or that you may have based your argument on false pretenses, or, I mean I do this all the time, even just that you were in a bad mood when the argument started. Kind of admitting that you're wrong not only gets rid of the barrier preventing resolution, but more importantly can completely disarm the other person. Because people never really expect anyone to come right out and admit their faults. So, if you can do that act of swallowing your pride and prepare to admit what your own mistakes are instead of just kind of like coming forward with “I have to present this strong outward appearance,” you might find that the other person will lay all their cards out for you too and you could have a really constructive conversation. So, let us know how that goes for you as you practice it and good luck. Thanks!
Imagine what the world would be like if we all agreed on everything. There'd be less arguments and whole lot less of conflict but unfortunately, that's not reality. We all have our own thoughts, opinions, and values -- which means disagreements can be pretty common, especially in the workplace. In today's Mindset Monday, Ashley Virtue explain the difference between disagreeing and disagreeing respectfully.
In our technology saturated climate, we can be kind of subliminally influenced by the way we see others act, especially when we are constantly bombarded by viral videos and news of people in conflict. Whether it's entire political parties or even just two people fighting in a store, our ability to see these conflicts like moments after they happen can have a profound impact on how we see others and how we react to people when we're in disagreement with them. So, it's really easy to get lost in kind of that apathetic feeling and say, “Well if they don't respect my feelings, then I'm not going to respect theirs.” Especially because we're bombarded by those negative interactions of the world, you know, it's hard to take the time to realize that not all disagreements have to become arguments. And so, but realizing that fact is really important. It's an important tool in learning how to change the way you can approach conflict. We all get heated when it comes to disagreeing with someone, but really that doesn't mean that we need to aggressively argue with them. A lot of the negativity that can sprout from a disagreement kind of comes from the way you handle an opposing view, not from the mere fact that you have an opposing view. So, just think about that next time you're having a disagreement with someone or looking at things differently than they do. Ask yourself, “Does this have to turn into a big issue or can I respectfully disagree with this person?” Thanks.
When we’re in conflict and dealing with a frustrating situation, it’s easy to focus on the pieces of the puzzle that don’t fit, instead of looking at the bigger picture
Puzzles. Okay, so I love puzzles. But not everyone does. Putting a puzzle together can be challenging, right? Especially when you get into it and you suddenly hit a point, where you can't find the piece that fits, you get super frustrated and spend all this time focusing on the part of the puzzle that you can't quite figure out. Or, sometimes what I do, you start on another part and you work your way back to the problem piece. So when we're in conflict and dealing with a frustrating situation, it's really easy to focus on the pieces of the puzzle that don't fit instead of looking at the bigger picture - what the puzzle is going to ultimately be. But it's important to always see that bigger picture and know when to let go of the pieces that frustrate you, or move on. Not only does letting go of the difficult pieces kind of help you keep a leveled head, but sometimes kind of tackling a conflict from a completely different direction can help you make some progress and you might come up with a better resolution. I mean, you never know. You might end up finding the perfect place for that difficult piece after all. So keep that in mind next time you're dealing with the conflict. Think about that big picture and maybe approaching the puzzle from a different angle. Thanks so much, we'll see you next week.
So much in the day and age of notifications and minute-to-minute news, we get bombarded with so much information, that we end up paying attention to what we CHOOSE to pay attention.
We live in the day and age of notifications and minute-to-minute news. We get bombarded with so much information that it's easy to end up just paying attention to what we CHOOSE to pay attention to. And honestly, doing this is inevitable. I mean, no one can take in all of the information that gets thrown at us anymore. But, the bad side is that when we do this, we tend to cherry pick information. We remember the things that we agree with and maybe remember the things that make us upset. And even when we willfully seek out information, we often tend to get our information from sources that confirm our preconceived beliefs or ideas. Or we might even get our information from neutral sources and interpret that information in a way that supports our view. But what many of us never do is go out of our way to look for things from the other side. For example, if you identify as a liberal - when was the last time you went to the conservative news website? If you're a conservative, when was the last time you turned your TV into a liberal news network? How much have you actually read about what the core differences are between political parties - what truly ideologically differentiates the two? A lot of us have never even really taken any time to understand what the opposing side truly stands for. And as a result, we often find ourselves in a gridlock as a society. So, the reason we suggest that you do these things is simple. The more you understand about what those you disagree with truly believe, the easier it will be to find common ground and make your point heard. It benefits everyone if we all understand what we truly disagree on instead of what we THINK we disagree on. Thank you so much for tuning into Mindset Monday, we hope you found this helpful especially as we're now in the new year. I also wanted to share that I'm sporting my new NCRC shirt, hope you like it. And we are looking forward, as we said last week, to providing you with a lot of great tips and tools in 2018. So, we'll see you next week. Thank you.
Here is some Mindset Monday inspiration from Diane Takvorian, co-founder of the Environmental Health Coalition and recently named KPBS and National Conflict Resolution Center - NCRC Community Hero. #SDHeroes
In the spirit of the new year, Ashley Virtue covers the art of letting go so that you can focus your attention and energy on things that are more fulfilling.
Hi and happy Mindset Monday! In the spirit of the new year we thought we would talk today about letting go. Throughout our lives we are thrown into the mix of people that are often much different from us and sometimes we have to work with these people to achieve maybe a common goal. Maybe that's in a professional work setting or a group project in school, or on a sports team. But inevitably you meet someone that just kind of rubs you the wrong way for one reason or another. And sometimes we can get a little bit obsessed with our dislike of another person, whether that's for a good reason or not a good reason. And so, it's important to realize that these types of situations can often escalate quickly for you and turn something that was maybe an annoyance into something that really is zapping a lot of your energy. So why do that to yourself? There's a story about a British soldier in World War II who was a radio engineer and was captured by the Japanese army. This gentleman was held as a POW for years before he was released. And out of all of the people that tortured him during his imprisonment, there was this one person who stood out to him. A man named Nagase Takashi. And so for decades after the war this soldier tried to track down Nagase with every intention of exacting revenge on him. But when he finally found Nagase, something really amazing happened. Nagase broke down in tears really crying and showing remorse over his heart and the guilt of what he had done during the war. And so, for this British soldier, he was not the person that he had dreamed up in his mind that he wanted to exact revenge on all of those years ago. He was someone who actually felt he could relate to. And at the end of the day he ended up being able to forgive him and the amazing thing is that this British soldier and this Japanese soldier ended up becoming lifelong friends and even writing a book together. All of that was because they were both willing to let go the pain that had happened before. And so for yourself, as you consider maybe people that have been in your past or people right now that are affecting you negatively, think about how you could let some of those situations go for your own benefit. Because it's really not worth carrying around all of that negativity with you. It's not to say that there aren't situations where you need to deal with and address the issue head-on - we absolutely believe in that. But there are some things that are just meant to be let go so you can move on. So, challenge yourself with that and see what happens for you. We're here to be a resource and provide you tools if needed. Thank you so much, we'll see you next week.
Happy Holidays from all of us at National Conflict Resolution Center - NCRC! As we approach the last week of the year, we want to do a fun challenge with you. Visit our YouTube channel and post a positive word for 2018 that starts with the 1st letter of your name.
Happy holidays from NCRC! We hope you've had a wonderful 2017 and, as we approach this last week of the year, we wanted to do a fun challenge with you. In the comments below please post one word that you can think of that is a positive goal for 2018. And so, we thought to spice it up a little bit, we would make a little alliteration game of it and say that you should post a positive word that starts with the first letter of your first name. So, my name is Ashley and so my word is that I want to be adventurous in 2018. We really look forward to hearing the positive things that you want to accomplish in 2018 and we're excited to connect with you next year and keep the Mindset Mondays going. Thanks so much!