Tuesday, October 20, 2015

International Conflict Resolution Day 2015



Each Year some parts of the globe celebrate Conflict Resolution Day, the third Thursday of October. October has become a time to promote and celebrate peaceful conflict resolution practices worldwide. Dedicated dispute resolution practitioners are helping to educate the public about mediation and other innovative conflict management processes. The American Bar Association ABA declared the third week of October, “ABA Mediation Week,” in part building on the efforts of many other national, state, and local organizations in the USA, including the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) www.acrnet.org/crday which have been celebrating conflict resolution during the month of October. The ABA and ACR, as well as numerous other organizations worldwide, are working to raise awareness of the importance of mediation and conflict resolution.

History
In 2005, in order to increase public awareness about conflict resolution and its many benefits, ACR’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution designating October 20, 2005 as Conflict Resolution Day or the third Thursday in the month of October. ACR coordinated its efforts with other conflict resolution organizations and reached out to local, state and international groups to build interest in holding local celebrations in conjunction with Conflict Resolution Day.

Each Year ACR celebrates Conflict Resolution Day the third Thursday of October. This year is it October 15, 2015.

The logo of the tree was designed as a symbol to celebrate growth in Conflict Resolution. The first year, start small, but just like the tree the seeds you plant one year, will continue to grow and blossom each year.

Conflict Resolution Day was conceived in 2005 by ACR to:

Promote awareness of mediation, arbitration, conciliation and other creative, peaceful means of resolving conflict;
Promote the use of conflict resolution in schools, families, businesses, communities, governments and the legal system;

Recognize the significant contributions of (peaceful) conflict resolvers; and

Obtain national synergy by having celebrations happen across the country and around the world on the same day.

Locally:



Upon last checks at our local arm on conflict resolution agencies - Dispute Resolution Foundation they were silent on the matter of the day's recognition or activities yet again, but of note are some of their services which includes:

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):
Court connected
Workplace/business
Family and community
Schools /colleges etc.
Restorative Justice
Mediator certification
Caribbean programmes

Conflict Resolution Skills:
Building the Skills That Can Turn Conflicts into 
Opportunities

Conflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship. After all, two people can’t be expected to agree on everything, all the time. Learning how to deal with conflict—rather than avoiding it—is crucial. When conflict is mismanaged, it can cause great harm to a relationship, but when handled in a respectful, positive way, conflict provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people. By learning these skills for conflict resolution, you can keep your personal and professional relationships strong and growing.
Understanding conflict in relationships

Conflict arises from differences, both large and small. It occurs whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires. Sometimes these differences appear trivial, but when a conflict triggers strong feelings, a deep personal need is often at the core of the problem. These needs can be a need to feel safe and secure, a need to feel respected and valued, or a need for greater closeness and intimacy.
Conflicts arise from differing needs

Everyone needs to feel understood, nurtured, and supported, but the ways in which these needs are met vary widely. Differing needs for feeling comfortable and safe create some of the most severe challenges in our personal and professional relationships.

Think about the conflicting need for safety and continuity versus the need to explore and take risks. You frequently see this conflict between toddlers and their parents. The child’s need is to explore, so the street or the cliff meets a need. But the parents’ need is to protect the child’s safety, so limiting exploration becomes a bone of contention between them.

The needs of both parties play important roles in the long-term success of most relationships, and each deserves respect and consideration. In personal relationships, a lack of understanding about differing needs can result in distance, arguments, and break-ups. In workplace conflicts, differing needs are often at the heart of bitter disputes, sometimes resulting in broken deals, fewer profits and lost jobs. When you can recognize the legitimacy of conflicting needs and become willing to examine them in an environment of compassionate understanding, it opens pathways to creative problem solving, team building, and improved relationships.

Conflict 101
A conflict is more than just a disagreement. It is a situation in which one or both parties perceive a threat (whether or not the threat is real).

Conflicts continue to fester when ignored. Because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival, they stay with us until we face and resolve them.

We respond to conflicts based on our perceptions of the situation, not necessarily to an objective review of the facts. Our perceptions are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values, and beliefs.

Conflicts trigger strong emotions. If you aren’t comfortable with your emotions or able to manage them in times of stress, you won’t be able to resolve conflict successfully.
Conflicts are an opportunity for growth. 

When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust. You can feel secure knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.

How do you perceive conflict?
Do you fear conflict or avoid it at all costs? If your perception of conflict comes from frightening or painful memories from previous unhealthy relationships or early childhood, you may expect all present-day disagreements to end badly. You may view conflict in relationships as demoralizing, humiliating, dangerous, and something to fear. If your early life experiences also left you feeling out of control and powerless, conflict may even be traumatizing for you.

If you view conflict as dangerous, it tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you go into a conflict situation already feeling extremely threatened, it’s tough to deal with the problem at hand in a healthy way. Instead, you are more likely to shut down or blow up in anger.
Healthy and unhealthy ways of managing and resolving conflict Unhealthy responses to conflict: Healthy responses to conflict

An inability to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person

The capacity to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person

Explosive, angry, hurtful, and resentful reactions
Calm, non-defensive, and respectful reactions

The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment

A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger

An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side
The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing

The fear and avoidance of conflict; the expectation of bad outcomes

A belief that facing conflict head on is the best thing for both sides

Conflict resolution, stress, and emotions

Conflict triggers strong emotions and can lead to hurt feelings, disappointment, and discomfort. When handled in an unhealthy manner, it can cause irreparable rifts, resentments, and break-ups. But when conflict is resolved in a healthy way, it increases our understanding of one another, builds trust, and strengthens our relationship bonds.

If you are out of touch with your feelings or so stressed that you can only pay attention to a limited number of emotions, you won’t be able to understand your own needs. And, if you don’t understand your own needs, you will have a hard time communicating with others and staying in touch with what's really troubling you. For example, couples often argue about petty differences—the way she hangs the towels, the way he slurps his soup—rather than what is really bothering them.

The ability to successfully resolve conflict depends on your ability to:
Manage stress quickly while remaining alert and calm. By staying calm, you can accurately read and interpret verbal and nonverbal communication.

Control your emotions and behavior. When you’re in control of your emotions, you can communicate your needs without threatening, frightening, or punishing others.

Pay attention to the feelings being expressed as well as the spoken words of others.

Be aware of and respectful of differences. By avoiding disrespectful words and actions, you can almost always resolve a problem faster.

Certainly in the LGBT community and advocacy we are woefully lacking in this regard, I am not aware of any direct interventions or collaborations with the above mentioned entity locally, judging by their stance I doubt they would take in LGBT issues seeing they also have a focus on family life which by our standards exclude same gender loving people. The 2011 impasse between the homeless men who have sex with men men (MSM) populations and two main NGOs comes to mind so easily that serve this community as deteriorating relationships over the years are unresolved and who also have MSM on staff serves to remind us in glaring terms the failings, one would have expected that barring the absence of any frontline services for the men and their registering their upset at same via two days of civil disobedience On August 23 and 24 2011 at the gates of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) and Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays (JFLAG) that an intermediary would have been brought in.They were supposedly banned for rowdy behaviour. 

Neither The Crisis Intervention Manager for JFLAG nor the Executive Director of the same group could console the men in 2011 and it had to take influentials who were apart of both organizations to quell the fracas yet we are asking the mainstream to be tolerant of same gender loving persons and embrace their right to freedom to express same love. Gay on Gay violence is also still a major challenge especially in the MSM communities as a recent incident has brought to bear as well where a prospective Miss LGBT World 2011 got herself in an altercation with a known enemy so to speak at a recent party the brawl halted proceedings for some time post the tussle she has been disqualified from the event, all this without very little attempt to have some intervention to quell the long standing disagreement between the parties. 

Fast forward to present we still see fights at parties, intimate partner violence and such. we still get reports of stoning of offices by angry persons that are kept hushed for fear of embarrassment yet no end seems in sight in settling this old issues.

Let us be reminded of the case of the eye gouging male who in a jealous fit blinded one eye of his partner which made national news to the humour of many and the case drag on the courts for some time despite the victim's attempt to have the charges dropped.

So, clearly some sort of interventions are needed in this regard.

Peace and tolerance

H

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