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In this newsletter:
  • Conflict as an opportunity for change
  • Jo Berry and Pat Magee, Building Bridges for Peace
  • Beyond Right and Wrong - a documentary about people finding alternatives to revenge
  • The Forgiveness Project
  • Check out the most recent blog posts in CAOTICA
  • Find out about our e-books and training courses in CAOTICA store
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Conflict as an opportunity for change

In this CAOTICA newsletter I want to look at some examples of treating conflict as an opportunity for change. I've had a couple of great opportunities in the last few weeks to explore the idea of forgiveness and reconciliation through attending a film called 'Beyond Right and Wrong' and through seeing Jo Berry and Pat Magee give a talk about their experiences. 

The film Beyond Right and Wrong (click to see a trailer) features Jo and Pat as one of the examples of people who have embarked on a journey of exploration of what it means to understand the perspectives of those who are involved in violence and who have suffered at its hands. In their case their experiences revolve around the same violent incident: 


Building Bridges for Peace

Pat was known as the 'Brighton Bomber' after having planted the bomb that killed Jo's father in 1984 at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.  It was humbling, fascinating, moving to see the connection that they have formed through sharing their experience from their very different starting points about what happened that day and how it relates to all of our responses to conflict in whatever form that takes. I highly recommend seeing Jo and Pat whenever you can (click on the image above for the website).....not to look at their experience from a 'moral' point of view or from an abstract academic perspective but from a personal 'how this relates to me in my own struggles of being someone who hurts others or has felt hurt by others' in our own lives. 

For me, their journey isn't about 'doing good' it's about addressing important aspects of how we all relate to each other and how that can easily lead us to dehumanise each other when we are in conflict, sometimes to the extent that it opens the door to us killing each other. Here's a program made some years ago by the BBC about their story.


But the film Beyond Right and Wrong looks at a range of different settings where such journeys have started. We see people in Palestine and Israel who, through the death of their own loved ones, have been determined not to respond 'like with like' but to find a different way of responding - to see those who killed their loved ones as individuals who had their own reasons at the time for acting as they did, for justifying to themselves those reasons. And many of those interviewed in the film have come to see that had they been in a similar position they may have done the same things themselves. 

This is a very strong example of what is meant by 'connection' in the '3-cheers for conflict' that I've referred to previously - where we can understand another's perspective without having to agree with it, or condone the actions that follow from it. This opens the door to change. A more common response in unresolved conflict situations is to dismiss others' viewpoints without any consideration that, from a particular perspective it can have validity. In such cases it is a manifestation of the competitive approach to conflict that can never lead to resolution. 

Jo and Pat  and all those shown in the film are actively seeking to create 'connection' (though this may not be their way of describing what they are doing). Their willingness to listen to each other's perspective rather than simply criticise it or dismiss it is a powerful example of how, even in the face of terrible suffering, we can create a more effective way of responding to conflict. They are, of course, also creating one of the other '3-Cheers for conflict' that of 'insight' into themselves and their own feelings and thoughts and seeking to support themselves with feelings and thoughts that are difficult.


As you will see, the film also includes interviews with Marina Cantacuzino - Founder/Director of The Forgiveness Project and I'd always recommend a visit to that project's website for many, many stories of people who have found different ways of responding to violence and trauma in their lives without simply repeating their own experience back on others. 


Here is an introduction to the Forgiveness Project by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 
Recent Blog Posts on CAOTICA...

The 6 Underlying Philosophies of Mediation:

Philosophy  3 - Impartiality 

Philosophy 4 - No-blame approach

Youtube video Conflict Management Skills and Practises for a More Engaged Workforce - 
Webinar provided for American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) by Alan on 5th February 2013. 

Social Media Tips for Resolving Conflict - Do they work? 

Coming soon.....
 
Philosophy 5 - Confidentiality



You may also be interested in: 
 
Birds and Bullies - conflict resolution in the bird world - an observation from garden wildlife. 

Mediation Skills Training CourseWould you like to learn  
Mediation Skills with CAOS Conflict Management?
We have a Training Course
 in West London in March 2013.
 
Sammy, one of the trainees on our last course, was interested in mediating between trees that had fallen out with each other and was kind enough to let us take a photo of him in action......
Join our next Conflict Coaching Taster day on Saturday 23rd March 2013 - just £55 for the day and you get 10% off if you remember to quote CAOTICA when you book. 
Click Here for more details of the Taster day and the full 4-day training course we offer. 

A DISCOUNT OF 10% IS AVAILABLE ON ALL TRAINING COURSES IF YOU QUOTE 'CAOTICA' WHEN YOU BOOK
Please let me know what you think about CAOTICA Newsletter and about any particular interests or questions you have in the areas of mediation, conflict coaching and other conflict resolution issues and I'll do my best to provide articles, answers or information in response to them.

You can let me know via reply to this email  or via this Contact CAOTICA page. 


Visit CAOTICA store for resources to support you with responding more effectively to conflict:
Guide to the Principles of Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution
 
 
Alan Sharland, Mediator, Conflict Coach, Conflict Management Consultant and TrainerThank you for signing up to CAOTICA Newsletter!

Please share it with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or email it to anyone you think would be interested, using the buttons below. 

Best wishes 
Alan Sharland

Director, CAOS Conflict Management
Author of CAOTICA
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