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Category Archives: Conflict Studies

Federalism

Some talking head on some radio station this morning asked a self described “conservative” caller an interesting question: “You know, conservatives want the Federal government involved in some thing but not in others. Which is it? Why are you so back and forth on what you want government to do and not do?”

After fighting the urge to rip out my radio and throw it out the window, I chose a more effective way of dealing with the issue and screamed at the top of my lungs: “That’s American Federalism you f***ing MORON!!!” One of the beauties of the American system is that the powers granted to the states and the federal government are constantly being pushed and pulled, pinched and squeezed, expanded and contracted. The states acting as a check and a balance on the power of the feds and the feds acting as a check and a balance on the power of the states. IT’S A FEATURE NOT A BUG!

Thus, it is appropriate in certain instances for the state to hold power where the feds do not and there are appropriate instances where the feds to hold power over the states.

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is one of the issues where the states and the feds are fighting for power. Sebastian points this out clearly in his post We Can No Longer Tolerate Two Americas. Go. Read.

 

I Want to Be a Ukrainian

I Want to Be a Ukrainian
Margaret Wheatley ©2005

When I come of age,
When I get over being a teen-ager
When I take my life seriously
When I grow up

I want to be a Ukrainian.

When I come of age
I want to stand happily in the cold
for days beyond number,
no longer numb to what I need.

I want to hear my voice
rise loud and clear above
the icy fog, claiming myself.

It was day fifteen of the protest, and a woman standing next to her car was being interviewed.  Her car had a rooster sitting on top of it.  She said  “We’ve woken up and we’re not leaving till this rotten government is out.” It is not recorded if the rooster crowed.

When I get over being a teen-ager
when I no longer complain or accuse
when I stop blaming everybody else
when I take responsibility

I will have become a Ukrainian 

The Yushchenko supporters carried bright orange banners which they waved vigorously on slim poles. Soon after the protests began, the government sent in thugs hoping to create violence. They also carried banners, but theirs were hung on heavy clubs that could double as weapons.

When I take my life seriously
when I look directly at what’s going on
when I know that the future doesn’t change itself
that I must act

I will be a Ukrainian. 

Protest that endures,” Wendell Berry said, “is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence.

When I grow up and am known as a Ukrainian
I will move easily onto the streets
confident, insistent, happy to preserve the qualities
of my own heart and spirit. 

In my maturity, l will be glad to teach you
the cost of acquiescence
the price of silence
the peril of retreat

“Hope,” said Vaclev Havel, “is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.”

I will teach you all that I have learned
the strength of fearlessness
the peace of conviction
the strange source of hope

and I will die well, having been a Ukrainian.

 

Hatin’ On The Pope

Within less than an hour of the new Pope being elected yesterday, I saw a flurry of tweets hate raging on Pope Francis because he’s going to hold the church to traditional moral values. This morning, David Burge gave me the perfect answer:

 

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Conflict Studies, Crazy Left, Religion

 

Same Question, Same Answer

Jay takes the question “Why Do You Need a Gun? You Can Just Call 911…” and answers in a way that must make the antis smile. Why do I think it makes them smile? Because this is what they want.

They’ll deny it, of course. “We don’t want people to die!” they’ll emphatically scream. Unfortunately, they do. Understand, they don’t want you to take care of yourself  because your dependence on them is their sole reason for living. It makes them feel important.

Unfortunately, it also makes you dead.

 

Why it is Important

 

Mediation as Part of Employee Engagement

I came across this article on LinkedIn.com and really enjoyed it. In From Argument to Engagement, David Liddle discusses how traditional HR grievance resolution methods do little to actually help resolve conflict in the work place:

Traditional grievance or bullying and harassment procedures do little to resolve disputes. Drawing on a quasi-legal structure they are inherently formal and profoundly adversarial. When I speak with employees, managers and HR professionals, they tell me that they do everything that they can to avoid going into a grievance procedure. When they do however encounter the grievance process, the experience has been described to me as harrowing; upsetting; destructive; stressful; frightening; and ultimately counterproductive. Let’s not forget that this is the procedure of choice for resolving disputes in the majority of… organisations.

The dichotomy is plain to see. I call it ‘The HR Paradox’. HR professionals, on the one hand, are a key proponent and enabler of employee engagement. Yet on the other hand, HR are the custodians of a dispute resolution system which tears workplace relationships asunder. The HR Paradox has the potential to undermine the legitimacy of HR and in doing so, it creates the potential for cynicism and distrust of employee engagement initiatives. Nevertheless, employee engagement, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), is a core function of the HR profession.

He then goes on to discuss mediation, what it is, and how it can help your organization.

Mediation can be defined as a:

  • Framework – a process whereby a neutral third party intervenes in a dispute to help the parties to secure a satisfactory and constructive resolution.
  • Competence – a set of skills that HR, managers and business leaders use to secure constructive outcomes at times of conflict, change and crisis.
  • Mind-set – a way of thinking and an organisational culture which embraces dialogue and collaboration rather than blame and retribution.

The mediator is an impartial third party. They help the disputing parties to have an open and honest dialogue so that they can identify and secure a mutually acceptable outcome. A win/win outcome. Mediation is different because it about collaborating rather than blaming.

Mediation is an opportunity for parties-in-conflict to have a new conversation. Mediation provides parties both the privilege and the burden of creating their future.

The benefits of using mediation to build an engaged workforce:

  • It gives parties in a dispute a voice and a chance to be heard.
  • It encourages openness and honesty.
  • It generates empathetic, adult to adult connections.
  • Parties focus on their interests and needs rather than the strength of their relative positions.
  • The parties craft their own solutions – avoiding the need for solutions to be imposed.
  • It encourages creative and innovative thinking.
  • Issues are resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
  • It develops resilience – for individuals and for teams.
  • It underpins economic growth and drives competitive advantage.

I would LOVE to find a way to integrate mediation into my workplace, even in my own little corner of the organization. Being a grunt, I don’t really have a way to do this presently.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in Conflict Studies, Life, People

 

Conflict as Constructive Force

The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results. – Carl Jung

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in Conflict Studies

 
 
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