As one of the areas that Peace Speakers Mediation and Consulting Services (Peace Speakers MCS) focuses on is Conflict Management/Dispute Resolution, it is important to share how I view conflict. In our society, conflict is generally viewed negatively. There are stigmas, negative connotations and negative emotions that arise when people hear the word “conflict”. While these thoughts and feelings are valid, I would also like to invite people to see the positive side of conflict, which is what Peace Speakers MCS focuses on.

Conflict can be a great way for people to start communicating with each other. Part of the training and consulting I offer is how to do this in a positive and constructive manner. By managing conflicts and resolving disputes in a healthy way, individuals, groups and families can live or work together in a happier, healthier and more productive environment. Also, when we navigate through the twists and turns of conflict, we learn about ourselves and those we are in conflict with. Then, we start to uncover what is motivating the conflict (e.g, needs, values and interests) and realize what is important to us. By focusing on each other’s needs, values and interests, people can then come up with more meaningful, long-lasting and mutually benefitial solutions to the conflict/dispute. In doing so, this process wil maintain or even strengthen the relationships between all parties involved.

Another focus of Peace Speakers MCS is “team strengthening”. I use this term rather than “team building” as I have developed my approach on the basis that the team is already formed. My role is to work with team members, either individually of within the group, to strengthen the team. By facilitating discussions, team members can learn more about the way each member thinks and feels about certain ideas, values and philosophies. This process of team strengthening also allows teams to develop, more consciously their team identity, while at the same time respect and understand that each individual brings a uniqueness to the team that needs to be honored and nourished whenever possible.

One other important aspect of the Peace Speaker’s philosophy is that no one is perfect and nothing works out perfectly all the time. We all have, and will continue to, make mistakes. We need to hold ourselves accountable for our mistakes. And, just as importantly, we need to learn from them. Some conflicts are difficult to manage; some disputes seem impossible to resolve. This does not mean we give up, especially if it is one you feel you need to work through. Nor should we give up on a person because we don’t like the way s/he communicates when s/he is upset without making an effort to understand what is happening for him or her. We need to strive to…dare I say it…male everyone happy with the understanding that this is not always feasible.

I know from personal experience that the areas of conflict management, dispute resolution, working through difficult situations and team strengthening can be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually demanding. I take this work very seriously. Keeping this in mind, I have found, when appropriate, humor is an excellent tool to lighten the mood and energize people into forging ahead to reach their personal and professional goals. Also, having facilitated many workshops, humor can contribute to a healthy, positive and productive learning environment. So, be prepared to smile, laugh, learn and have some fun!



“Think peace…Speak peace…Create peace.”

©2010 Peace Speakers Mediation and Consulting Services